​​​​Congratulations 2016 Award Recipients

Each year, the University honors a handful​ of our most distinguished alumni.  The ​awarded winners are honored during the Alumni Association Annual ​Breakfast​ held during Homecoming and Family Weekend.

Distinguished Alumni Awards

Jacob F. Froning ’64, Ph.D.

Since graduating from Findlay College, Jacob F. Froning ’64, Ph.D. has lead an extensive career in the educational field. He was a graduate assistant at Ohio University for three years and a high school physics teacher for five years. He has served as a K-8 elementary principal for 16 years. He worked as a high school assistant principal and later principal for six years. Froning also was a superintendent of schools for 18 years.

Froning has been recognized many times for his services and achievements. He has received the Madison County Board of Developmental Disabilities Appreciation Award, the Northridge Local Schools Athletic Board President’s Award, the Junior Achievement Board Award, School Study Council of Ohio Board of Trustees Award, and London Rotary Club Person of the Year Award. He was the co-founder of the Madison County D.A.R.E program. He also received recognition by the London Rotary Club as a Paul Harris Fellow, State of Ohio Senate Resolution and City of London Mayor’s Proclamation.

Active in service and in his community, Froning has held positions on multiple boards and committees. He was on the London Public Library Board, the Madison County Hospital Board and the Madison County Red Cross Board. Froning served as the London Rotary Club President, the London Area Chamber of Commerce president and the J.J. Hartley Athletic Complex Board president throughout his career.

The University of Findlay recognizes Jacob F. Froning for his many years in the educational field and his commitment to serving the community. The Alumni Association is pleased to name him a Distinguished Alumnus of 2016.

William McIntosh ’91, M'09

William McIntosh ’91 graduated from the University of Findlay with a bachelor’s in business administration and marketing with a minor in finance. He was a member of the football team during that time and served as captain during his senior year. In 2009, he received his master’s in education in the human resources development strand. He started his career as operations manager for K-Mart before eventually becoming store manager for K-Mart in Fostoria, Ohio.

During his time at K-Mart, McIntosh led the conversion to the Big K Format and helped guide store employees through three years of bankruptcy. He used skills gained through his education to improve customer service and keep his store afloat while other stores throughout the country struggled. McIntosh helped raise $10,000 a year for March of Dimes sneaker sales for two years. After serving in a position of store manager in Lima, Ohio, he moved on to become a district human resources manager for Walmart in 2007. He currently has over 20 stores that report to him, and he works directly with store managers. He has trained thousands of employees.

In giving back to the University, McIntosh has volunteered to recruit students in the human resources development program in the College of Education and serves on the 1991 reunion committee. He has spoken on a panel for the University of Findlay football program. He has also supported a scholarship for the College of Education that will be endowed in 2017.

In addition to his management positions, McIntosh has volunteered for March of Dimes and St. Andrew’s United Methodist Church Finance and Outreach committees. He has served as the chair of the Finance Committee at St. Andrew’s Church for the last five years. He has also participated in the Hancock Leadership program. He coaches fifth and sixth grade students in the Liberty-Benton football program. His father, Jim, is a 1965 graduate of Findlay College, and McIntosh and his wife, Julie ’90, have a child, Britney, who is expected to graduate in 2017.

The University of Findlay recognizes William McIntosh for faithfully serving his church, community, and University. The Alumni Association is pleased to name him a Distinguished Alumnus for 2016.

Robert Nichols ’61

After graduating from Findlay College in 1961, Robert Nichols followed a 35-year teaching career. He began in Old Fort, Ohio before transferring a year later to Findlay City Schools where he coached football, basketball and track. During his years of teaching, he continued in his studies at the University of Dayton and at Bowling Green State University where he earned a master’s degree.

In addition to teaching and coaching, Nichols also has a passion for the government and how it works. He was given a chance to participate by serving on the Findlay City Council for 26 years. He served as a ward councilman and a councilman-at-large before stepping down in 2015. He is also a member of the Republican Party Central Committee.

Active in his community, Nichols served on the Board of Hancock Federal Credit Union for 24 years as a member and president. He was also on the Hancock County Board of Alcohol, Drug Addiction and Mental Health Services for six years. He currently serves as a member of the Hancock Regional Planning Committee. He also maintains a business which he started with a co-worker in 1973 as a limited partnership investing in real estate.

The University of Findlay recognizes Robert Nichols for his long-standing career and his involvement in his community. The Alumni Association is pleased to name him a Distinguished Alumnus for 2016.


Bruce Ritter ’90

After graduating cum laude from the University of Findlay with bachelor’s degrees in accounting and finance, Bruce Ritter ’90 became an accountant at Marathon Petroleum Corporation. Since then, he has held multiple supervisor roles within the company including supervisor of crude and feedstock, sales accounting and product supply accounting. Ritter now manages payroll and human resource information systems.

Ritter has maintained an active relationship with the University and its students. In 2013, he met with representatives from Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs on behalf of the College of Business. He has participated in a mentoring program for accounting students and presented to the Accounting Club. He is also a member of the Accounting Advisory Board.

Also active in the community, he served the Trinity Lutheran Church Board as secretary in 2006, then became the vice president until 2008. Throughout that time, he served on the church council. He also serves on the audit committee.

He was the vice president, president and participated on the school board from 2004 through 2008 at Trinity Lutheran School. Ritter also coached girls’ and boys’ basketball for the school. Ritter and his wife, Ronda (May ’91), who also earned her degree from Findlay in accounting and finance, have three children, Courtney, Megan and Eric.

The University of Findlay recognizes Bruce Ritter for his success in his field and his faithful service to his University and the community. The Alumni Association is pleased to name him a Distinguished Alumnus of 2016.

Ron Tulley M’04, Ph.D.

Ronald Tulley M’04, Ph.D. earned a Master of Business Administration in Organizational Leadership from the University of Findlay. He has led an impressive career in the study of the English language and education, also earning master’s degrees in English/technical communication from Bowling Green State University, curriculum and instruction from Southern Illinois University at Carbondale and a doctorate in English/rhetoric from Case Western Reserve University.

Tulley has taught in the English Department at the University of Findlay since 2002 after first teaching similar subjects at various schools in Illinois and Washington. He has held administrative positions at UF including co-director of the technical communication area, chair of the English Department, director of the writing center, academic coordinator for online delivery and his current role as dean of the College of Liberal Arts. He also acts as a thesis advisor for many students in the Master of Arts in Rhetoric and Writing Program.

In addition to his work as an educator and administrator, Tulley has published many academic journal articles, textbooks, and edited collections. His latest book, “A Process Approach to Effective Writing in the Health Professions” will be released in 2017 by McGraw Hill. He has given presentations and lectures all over the world on various topics including online learning, identity formation in the digital age, scientific writing, the role of social media and much more. Some of the most notable places he has presented include the National Conference for the College English Association (2015, 2014), The Thomas R. Watson Conference on Rhetoric and Composition (2012, 2010), the Rhetoric Society of America Annual Conference (2012), and the Society for Technical Communication.

Also an active member of the University and Hancock County communities, Tulley has chaired multiple faculty hiring committees in the English department, served as treasurer for the Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society, advisor for the “Slippery Elm” literary journal, and a member of numerous faculty and administrative committees including faculty affairs committee, faculty development committee, Richard L. Gebhardt Writing and G.G. Bruer Creative Writing awards, the environmental sustainability committee, the university diversity committee and many others. He is currently a mentor for Hancock County’s Children’s Mentoring Connection and has volunteered with other philanthropic organizations including Outrun Ovarian Cancer and the Ronald McDonald House. He received the Harriette Smith Ritz Award for service to the University of Findlay in 2013 and served as the Richard E. Wilkin Faculty Chair in the College of Liberal Arts in 2012.

The University of Findlay recognizes Ronald Tulley for his outstanding career as an educator, his dedication to his students and his commitment to the University. The Alumni Association is pleased to name him a Distinguished Alumnus for 2016.

​Old Main Award​

Suzanne (Lifer) Surowiec, Pharm.D. ’13

Suzanne (Lifer) Surowiec, Pharm.D. ’13 is the 2016 recipient of the Old Main Award which is presented to UF alumni who have demonstrated distinctive achievements in a chosen career, civic involvement and/or service to the University of Findlay before age 36.

After graduating from the University of Findlay in 2013, Surowiec completed a post-graduate pharmacy practice residency at Blanchard Valley Medical Associates (BVMA) while also working as an assistant professor at Ohio Northern University. Working with more than 750 patients at BVMA, she also acted as a preceptor, mentoring sixth-year pharmacy students completing their rotations.

In 2014, she returned to the University of Findlay to serve as the College of Pharmacy’s first shared faculty member. She splits her time each week between UF and BVMA and brings her clinical experience into the classroom as an assistant professor of pharmacy practice. She teaches students in their fourth year of the program as part of the cardiology and endocrine modules as well as the capstone course for fifth year students to prepare them for advanced pharmacy practice experience rotations in different aspects of the field during their sixth year.

In addition to her academic experience, Surowiec has completed research in her field focusing on antiarrhythmic medications. She is currently working on two research projects with UF students involving diabetes and hypertension. Her work “Evaluation of a Pharmacist-run Antiarrhythmic Clinic” completed along with Michelle Musser, Pharm.D. and Karen Kier, R.Ph., Ph.D. was published in 2015 in the Journal of American Pharmacists Association.

Outside of the University, she is a member of the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy, American Pharmacists Association and numerous other pharmacy organizations. She has volunteered yearly for the UF Orientation weekend service projects and assisted with Marathon Petroleum flu shot clinics and health screenings.

For her accomplishments in her field, her service to the community and her support of her alma mater, the University of Findlay honors Suzanne Surowiec with the Old Main Award for 2016.

Gold Medallion Award

The Late Anne Bacon ’00, M’13

The late Anne R. Bacon ’00, M’13 is the 2016 recipient of the Gold Medallion Award, which was established in 1993. It is presented posthumously to alumni who had superb records of distinguished career accomplishments and had made outstanding contributions to their profession, to their University and/or to their community but had not been appropriately recognized by the University prior to their deaths.

Bacon graduated from the University of Findlay in 2000 with a bachelor’s in political science and later received her MBA as well as certification as a registered emergency medical technician. During her time at the University, she was a member of the Tau Omega Phi and the Phi Kappa Phi honor societies and the recipient of the Gary Lee Cramer Political Science Student of the Year award.

With over 14 years of experience working in the healthcare profession, Bacon stacked up a repertoire of achievements. While serving as coordinator for the Emergency Medical Services for Children, she helped develop and design new marketing campaigns that promoted the EMSC program statewide. She also worked with the State Board of EMSC to develop pediatric EMS protocols and injury prevention initiatives. As the Membership Services Director for the American College of Emergency Physicians, she served as chapter deputy director, coordinator of the annual summer symposium and residents’ assembly, reimbursement committee liaison, executive agency lobbying advocacy and outreach committee liaison and custodian of political action committee.

She served as the corporate director of business development for HCF Management, Inc., an extended care nursing facility in Lima. While at HCF Management, Bacon was awarded with the Excellence in Leadership Award for her leadership abilities and coaching skills. She was largely successful as a director of physician relations and helped build long-term and beneficial relationships with physicians and specialists. She created opportunities for physicians and specialists to utilize services at nursing and rehabilitation centers, which increased patient flow and referrals. She served as a mentor to regional business development team members.

She was a member of First Presbyterian Church of Upper Sandusky where she sang in the choir, taught Sunday school and served as an elder. She dedicated her time to her three beautiful boys, her husband and her large extended family. She enjoyed traveling, boating with her husband and running. Bacon actively raised money for various causes by completing 5Ks, half marathons and charity walks.

The University of Findlay recognizes the late Anne Bacon for her dedication to caring for others and for the community by honoring her with the Gold Medallion Award for 2016.

Arch Award

Diana Montague, Ph.D.

Diana Montague, who has served the University of Findlay in a number of roles for more than 30 years, is the 2016 recipient of the Arch Award. The Arch Award honors an individual who performs the highest standard of personal achievement in both their professional and personal endeavors. This individual also demonstrates loyalty and support of the University of Findlay for at least 25 years of employment and is not a graduate of the institution.

Montague first became an instructor in the communication and English departments in 1986 and has continued to teach students in various courses in media, public relations, and literature, earning tenure in 1992. Now as a full professor, she has served as faculty marshal for the commencement ceremony since 2013 leading the graduates through the arch as they celebrate the next phase of their lives.

In her time at Findlay, Montague has also served as teaching partner and mentor for the Center for Teaching Excellence, chair of the communication department, director of the first-year seminar and first-year experience programs, faculty liaison for academic service learning and faculty advisor to the student newspaper. In 1999, She earned the Founder’s Academic Excellence Award for Full-Time Faculty, from the University of Findlay. Most recently, she received the Harriette Smith Ritz Award for Service to the University. At The Washington Center’s Presidential Inauguration Seminar in Washington, D.C., in 2009, she served as faculty leader.

Montague began her career at Winona Daily News as an assistant news editor and columnist in 1983 after earning her bachelor’s degree in journalism from Valparaiso University. She completed her master’s in journalism from the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign in 1986 and earned her Ph.D. in American culture studies at Bowling Green State University.

In addition to her work experience, Montague has served the community in a number of ways, including as the co-director of University of Findlay’s annual orientation service project for freshman students. She is also a member of the Curtain Raisers Advisory Board, supporting professional and collegiate fine arts productions at UF and a liaison to the city of Findlay’s Town and Campus organization. In 2016, she served as director of the Mazza Museum’s Young Artists Workshop.

The University of Findlay recognizes Diana Montague for her exceptional career as an educator and her commitment to this University, her students and the community. The Alumni Association is pleased to name her the 2016 recipient of the Arch Award.