Heidelberg and Tiffin universities receive 2021 Lifetime Achievement Awards


Winners named during TSEP Annual Meeting

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Heidelberg University President Rob Huntington (left) and Tiffin University President Lillian Schumacher stand with award presenter Tiffin Mayor Aaron Montz, member of the TSEP Executive Board.

TIFFIN, OHIO – June 25, 2021 – Tiffin-Seneca Economic Partnership is proud to have named Heidelberg University and Tiffin University as the winners of the Lifetime Achievement Award during the 2021 Annual Meeting June 3, 2021.

Heidelberg College was founded in 1850 by members of the German Reformed Church who named it after the Heidelberg Catechism of 1563. The school was as a co-ed campus from the beginning, which was unusual for its time. Heidelberg’s American Junior Year program at Heidelberg University in Heidelberg, Germany, is the oldest exchange program between an American university and a German university. In 2009, Heidelberg College became Heidelberg University, to reflect more appropriately the academic offerings of the school. Heidelberg offers 36 undergraduate courses of study, four graduate programs, 16 minors, and 13 pre-professional programs.

“We’ve always been a welcoming community, a welcoming campus, and we’ve embraced faculty, staff, to come together to help lift students up from all backgrounds that come to Heidelberg University,” said Heidelberg President Rob Huntington.

Tiffin University was founded in 1888 after Heidelberg decided its commercial management division didn’t align with its mission. The school was founded as Tiffin Business College, first located in Downtown Tiffin and then moved to Miami Street to a former school building, which today serves as the Main Classroom Building. Over the years, TU has successfully transitioned from traditional seated students to a mixture of seated and online students, from across the country and around the world. Today, TU offers more than 25 majors through on-campus and online learning that result in real advantages for its students.

“Over our history, we’ve really grown, not only in terms of our student growth, but also in terms of our campus. If you look around our campus today, it looks very different than it even did 15 years ago, 25 years ago, and definitely 30 and 40 years ago,” said TU President Lillian Schumacher.

Having started as an institution that was one, and then going their separate ways, today the administrations at Heidelberg and TU often seek out opportunities to collaborate, such as the annual Around the Town event.

“Tiffin University and Heidelberg collaborate in many, many ways – and it wasn’t always like that,” Schumacher said. “Our institutions today work really well together, and I think we’re both very proud of the fact that we are part of the education community of Tiffin, Ohio.”

“We share, as I think all people should share, this common goal which is that we want to attract people from outside the area to come to Tiffin and Seneca County, initially through the educational experience at the college and university level, and then we would like them to stay, to build lives here, which I think is great for the entire Tiffin and Seneca County community,” Huntington said.

“These institutions have had a profound effect on our economy, our community, and, for some of us, professionally and personally,” said Lisa Hohman, TSEP board member. Hohman, CEO of Concordance Healthcare Solutions, is a Heidelberg graduate and TU Board Member.

The Covid-19 global pandemic created challenges for the universities, but both managed to adapt during difficult times.

“This school has worked its way through and survived,” Huntington said. “Going all the way through to the global flu epidemic of 1918 to the global covid pandemic of 2019. We’re leaning into it to work our way through this Covid Pandemic.”

“It has been a long almost 13 months now, and higher education, as well as in education in general, not to mention our world, so many of us have had to adapt and adjust due to the pandemic,” Schumacher said. “It was seamless for the most part, but of course, when you go through disruption like this, you grow and adjust along the way.

“Our students are amazing – the college students today, they are some of the most resilient,” she added.

Schumacher thanked TSEP and its members for recognizing both Heidelberg University and Tiffin University for the Lifetime Achievement Award, which Huntington echoed.

“It is so fitting and so appropriate that we would each and together win this award together at the same time, in the same year,” he said.

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About the Tiffin-Seneca Economic Partnership

Started in 1983 as the Seneca Industrial and Economic Development Corp. (SIEDC), the Tiffin-Seneca Economic Partnership is a private, non-profit corporation dedicated to driving positive economic, downtown, and community development in Tiffin and Seneca County, Ohio, which consistently ranks among the top communities nationally for economic development. Learn more about the great things going on in Tiffin and Seneca County at www.tiffinseneca.org.

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