The Rich Bebee Leadership Award for 2017 has been bestowed upon two former distinguished Ohio University Chillicothe students, Dr. Diane Diekroger and Jack Everson. The two will be formally recognized during the Graduate Recognition ceremony April 28th at OUC’s Shoemaker Center.
The award recognizes former Ohio University Chillicothe students who exemplify service to the university, philanthropic support, recognition in their professional field and service to the community.
The award is named in honor of Richard Bebee, who was Dean of the Chillicothe Campus from 2001 to 2010. Past winners include Martha Gerber Rittinger in 2012, Ken Breidenbaugh in 2013, Julie Lyddon Gourley in 2014, Stephen Gary in 2015 and James Caldwell in 2016.
Diekroger earned her Bachelor of Arts in Social Work degree from Valparaiso University in 1969, her Master in Social Work in 1971 from Washington University in St. Louis, Mo. and her Doctorate in Counselor Education from Ohio University in 1988. After serving as a school social worker in the St. Louis public schools, Diekroger joined Ohio University Chillicothe where she went on to fill roles in numerous positions for the Chillicothe Campus including adjunct faculty, Academic Retention Counselor, College Adjustment Coordinator and Coordinator of Student Support and Career Services. As an involved Ross County resident, Diekroger’s civic contributions have included work with the Chillicothe Branch of American Association of University Women, Ross County Mental Health Association, Ross County YMCA, the Sew ‘N’ Sews, a local quilting group whose mission is to make and give away quilts to those in need, and the Chivaho Credit Union Scholarship Committee.
Everson’s pursuit of higher education began at Ohio University Chillicothe before transferring to the Athens Campus to earn his Bachelor of General Science with an emphasis in Physics in 1977. He currently holds the position of senior consultant for American Management Services, a national firm that performs business rescue for small to medium sized companies. His contributions to Ohio University Chillicothe and Ross County are far reaching. His civic involvement includes his role as former Mayor of Chillicothe as well as service to numerous boards of directors, alliances, commissions and councils dedicated to the betterment of Ross County and the state of Ohio. Everson was instrumental in instituting the athletic “Wall of Fame” for OUC athletes in the Shoemaker Center and his focus on partnerships with the Chillicothe Campus while Mayor of Chillicothe strengthened ties for the two institutions in the community.
Both Diekroger and Everson embody the spirit of the Rich Bebee Leadership Award and will be honored for their significant contributions to the betterment of Ohio University Chillicothe.