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Man for all seasons

Mount Union picks a president who can engineer success

A Case degree helped launch Thomas Botzman ’81, PhD, speedily into engineering — he attained a dozen patents as a young polymer engineer for Goodyear. But the Eagle Scout from Stow, Ohio, was just getting started. 

Botzman became a multi-lingual professor, a Fulbright Scholar and a top college administrator. In July, he’ll become the 13th president of the University of Mount Union. The private college of 2,200 in Alliance, Ohio, announced his appointment in January. 

“He brings with him an array of experience,” Matthew Darrah, chair of the Presidential Search Committee, said in a press release. 

Botzman and his wife, Venessa, will return to a campus they know well. Botzman was on the faculty and served as an administrator at Mount Union from 1989 to 2004. The couple’s daughter, Gabriela Botzman, graduated from Mount Union in 2017 with a degree in elementary education. 

He’ll be leaving Misericordia University in Dallas, PA, where he has been president since 2013. The local newspaper, the Times Leader, published these insights into the Misericordia president, supplied by Botzman: 

  • He’s one of 13 children. All nine brothers are Eagle Scouts, and all four sisters are Gold Award Girl Scouts. 
  • He lived in Luxembourg in the 1980s and taught in Mexico (four times, once as a Fulbright Scholar) and Italy in the 1990s. 
  • Many of his 12 patents are for rubber products and tires in extreme environments. 
  • He’s worked as a short-order cook and dishwasher, a disc jockey, college business and economics professor and a CFO and claims “spinning records is much more difficult than it looks.”

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