Hometown: Perrysburg, Ohio
B.A. in Business Administration
Why did you choose Kentucky Wesleyan?
“I was born and raised in a small town in northern Ohio near Toledo. My high school graduating class was very small, and I felt a big university would be overwhelming to me. I wasn’t sure what career path I wanted to follow, and Kentucky Wesleyan offered a variety of studies.
We had a rule in my family that we had to attend a college at least eight hours away. Our parents wanted us to learn to be self-sufficient and solve problems as they arose. I was not able to run home every weekend, and I had to stay at Wesleyan until holiday breaks.”
Tell us about your experience as a Wesleyan student.
“I chose a business administration major, and the education I received has been invaluable to me. I made many wonderful and life-long friends. We were in each other’s weddings. We vacationed together when we started having families. We have attended those children’s weddings and watched as we all became grandparents.
I have great memories of attending basketball games. The teams were outstanding, and everyone went to the games. I was a Phi Delt, and we definitely had the best parties on campus. The campus was very diverse with students from many places . . . good memories.”
Who influenced you when you were a student?
“Gus Paris was the registrar, and he was always very helpful.
Joe Roop was the dean of students and golf coach. He was always there for me, too, and he got things done.
They were both very impressive people.”
Tell us about your career path.
“I retired in June from Jefco (located outside Richmond, Va.), the corporation I founded in 1988. We manufactured and installed glass. When I retired, we had over 100 employees, and I sold the company to three key staff members. I served on numerous boards in the building industry, and Jefco was one of four companies I owned during my career.”
Tell us about your family.
“Susan and I have been married 42 years. We have a daughter who lives nearby with her family. We enjoy time with our grandson, a second grader, and granddaughter, who is in Pre-K.”
Are you enjoying retirement?
“Yes, I am. I have a new license plate that reads – “POPTXI.” That says it all. I take the grandchildren to and from school, and it’s the best job I’ve ever had.
Life, family and business took up 40 good years, and now that I’m retired, I’ve contemplated what I wanted to do. I knew I wanted to give back to Kentucky Wesleyan, and good fortune in business made it possible for me to establish the White-Schmeal endowed scholarship for business students. This has been a thrill for me and only the beginning of what I want to do for the College.”
What are your impressions of your alma mater today?
“I have visited campus quite a few times over the years, most recently last summer. I always enjoy being back on campus. It looks better than ever. President Bart Darrell is making quite an impact, and I offer my congratulations on the renewal of his contract for five more years. He is bringing energy to our school. Enrollment is up and student retention has improved dramatically.
He is obviously very involved with students on campus. He finds out what they want and what they need. That’s how you win. That’s how you get ahead.
There is no doubt that many good things are coming to Kentucky Wesleyan in the near future. That makes me happy and proud.”