COTC Legends of Loyalty


The Legends of Loyalty award was established by the Office of the President to identify and recognize the recipients’ dedication and commitment to the college. It spotlights individuals who have, over the years, made a significant impact on the history of the college, and have gone above and beyond their required duties and proven unselfish allegiance.

Legends of Loyalty Nomination Form

2023 Legends of Loyalty Award Recipients

Bonnie Buchanan

Buchanan, a COTC alumna and Navy veteran, currently serves as a faculty member in the business management technology program where she provides instruction in business, software applications, marketing, communication, workplace skills, customer service, team building and field experiences. She has 25 years of service to the college and has been nominated every year for the COTC Teaching Excellence Award. She is also a past recipient of the COTC Transitions Alumni Award, which recognizes COTC alumni currently working at the college in either a faculty or staff capacity who help advance the college and make a difference in the lives of current students.

Portrait of Bonnie Buchanan standing next to John Berry.

David Brillhart, EdD

During his 26 years working for both COTC and The Ohio State University at Newark, Brillhart has overseen the fiscal health of both institutions. He is responsible for all business and finance functions including organizing, planning and administering campus budgets, policies and procedures relative to purchasing, payroll, student financial services, business affairs, accounting and facilities. His research, development and implementation of the COTC Promise tuition-guarantee programs in both Coshocton and Knox counties have changed the lives of hundreds of underserved students.

Portrait of David Brillhart standing next to John Berry.

Vorley Taylor

A 1996 graduate of COTC’s business management technology program, Taylor has 26 years of service to COTC and Ohio State Newark. As the program manager of multicultural affairs, she has developed relationships with internal and external partners to facilitate and grow educational and awareness opportunities for students, faculty, staff and community members. Programs like the annual Community Intercultural Relations Conference and Diversity Through Artistry have garnered her state-wide and national recognition. She received the COTC Transitions Alumni Award and the President’s and Dean/Director’s Diversity Award in 2022.

Portrait of Vorley Taylor standing next to John Berry

Julius S. Greenstein, PhD

Greenstein served as the second president of COTC from 1980 to 1994. During his 14-year tenure, he increased enrollment; added eight new academic programs; secured financial grants to improve student service offerings; oversaw the construction of LeFevre Hall and the south addition of Hopewell Hall; and built the modern infrastructure for traffic control, parking and pedestrian access. He also worked diligently to ensure that COTC had its own identity and was identified by campus constituencies and the community at large as an equal partner in its relationship with Ohio State. 

Portrait of four of the children of Julius Greestein stand next to John Berry.

Licking County Foundation

The Licking County Foundation’s relationship with the Newark campus dates back to the mid-1960s when it served as the fiscal agent for the community-wide fundraising campaign led by J. Gilbert Reese to construct Founders Hall. Over the years, it has contributed several million dollars to COTC and Ohio State Newark to support student scholarships, capital projects, student success initiatives and event sponsorships. In 2022, the foundation made its largest contribution to COTC and Ohio State Newark to support the renovation of Founders Hall.

Portrait of Connie Hawk standing next to her husband.

2022 Legends of Loyalty Award Recipients

Maddie “Marie” Dacus

During her 31 years working for both COTC and The Ohio State University at Newark, Marie Dacus touched the lives of countless individuals, making an extra effort to get to know staff and students by name. She was known for always offering a congenial Southern greeting as she stuffed campus mailboxes. “Her kindness, humility and faith provided a moment of calm respite during otherwise stressful workdays. Although she’s retired, she’ll never be forgotten because we remember how she made us feel,” said Jacqueline Parrill, EdD, COTC’s vice president and chief of staff.

Marie Dacus holds her Legends of Loyalty award gift box standing next to COTC President John Berry.

Clarissa Ann Howard

After graduating from Ohio State with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing, Clarissa Ann Howard began a nursing career at Licking Memorial Hospital that spanned four decades. In the early 1970s, she played a key role in the development of COTC’s nursing program because she wanted to ensure a steady pipeline of registered nurses to meet the workforce needs of the hospital. In 1990, she was honored with the Licking Memorial Health Systems’ President’s Award for outstanding service to the hospital and the community. Demonstrating her unwavering dedication to the nursing profession and the education of future nurses, she has designated a significant portion of her estate to fund a nursing scholarship at COTC, ensuring nursing education will thrive in the future.

Clarissa Ann Howard sits with her Legends of Loyalty Award gift box next to a kneeling COTC President John Berry.

Park National Bank

When the Newark community embarked on a fundraising campaign in 1966 to establish a permanent site for Ohio State’s Newark campus (which would later become the shared Ohio State Newark/COTC campus), Park National Bank’s corporate gift was the largest single donation to the campaign. Since that time, the organization’s leaders have served on COTC’s Board of Trustees and a variety of other campus committees. Since the Newark Campus Development Fund’s creation in the mid-1980s, nearly a dozen Park National Bank presidents, executives and directors have supported the college by serving on the NCDF’s Board of Trustees. In addition to its support of capital projects, including the Everett D. Reese Carillon, the John Gilbert Reese Center and the John and Mary Alford Center for Science and Technology, Park National Bank and its associates have established two separate endowed scholarships in honor of its past presidents.

Cheryl Snyders holds the Legends of Loyalty award gift box standing next to COTC President John Berry.

Faith Phillips

As the director of student financial services for both COTC and Ohio State Newark, Faith Phillips has made it possible for thousands of students to overcome financial barriers to degree completion. During her 25-year tenure, she has built a team that is student-focused and committed to outstanding service, all while maintaining a track record of excellent compliance and audit requirements. Phillips has had a pivotal role in administering scholarships for the college, including the creation of the Coshocton and Knox Promise initiatives. She is active in the Ohio Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (OASFAA), including as president, treasurer and co-chair of many committees. In 2021, she was presented with the Alex Murdoch Service Award by her peers in the OASFAA for “putting her whole heart and soul into her community and the association.”

Faith Phillips stands next to COTC President John Berry with her Legends of Loyalty award gift box.

Marilyn C. Tritt (posthumously)

Marilyn C. Tritt became a COTC nursing instructor in 1972 and joined the college’s administrative team as chair and instructor in the division of health technologies in 1974. In 1980, she became chair of the division of general studies, and in 1985, was promoted to dean of academic affairs. In 1990, when the Premier Scholarship was created by COTC faculty and staff, Tritt was a charter member. Upon her retirement in 1994, the COTC Board of Trustees appointed her senior administrator emeritus. When she passed away in 1995, her family and friends endowed a scholarship in her memory to benefit full-time students in health sciences technology with demonstrated academic success and financial need. In 2016, her husband, Donald G. Tritt, PhD, added a very generous charitable bequest to the fund.

Donald G. Tritt shakes hands with COTC President John Berry.

Doug Warthen

Doug Warthen began his COTC career in 1988 as an accountant in the Office of Fees and Deposits. Through the years he took on various roles and promotions leading up to his appointment as assistant director of facilities in 2012, where he continues to serve. During his 32-year tenure, he has continually put the needs of the college and its constituents first, making an extra effort to complete a project, address an issue or deal with any emergency that might arise. With his responsibility for overseeing the space needs for campus events, he has established outstanding relationships with customers and clients, both internal and external. His devotion to COTC, his many contributions and years of service, combined with his quick smile and light-hearted sense of humor, have earned him the respect and admiration of the campus community.

Doug Warthen stands holding his Legends of Loyalty Award gift box next to COTC President John Berry.

2021 Legends of Loyalty Award Recipients

2 men side by side dressed in dark suits

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2019 Legends of Loyalty Award Recipients

2019 Legends of Loyalty

L to R: John McDonald, Dr. Robert A. Barnes, COTC President John M. Berry, Sue Bidwell, Regina Williams, John and Christine Warner (posthumously) award accepted by daughter Melissa Warner Bow and grandson Andrew Bow

2018 Legends of Loyalty Award Recipients

2018 Legends of Loyalty

L to R: Richard Corbett (posthumously-pictured is wife, Judy Corbett), ​John Hinderer, Dave Mettler, Cheryl Snyder, Sarah Wallace and Karen Buchwald Wright

2017 Legends of Loyalty Award Recipients

Ken Ollish, Sandra Siegrist, Whit Tussing and Lisa Smith

2017 Legends of Loyalty

2016 Legends of Loyalty Award Recipients

John Alford (posthumously)​, Scott Wilson, Barry Riley and Steve Riley​

2016 Legends of Loyalty

Pictured (l-r): Mike Cantlin, Stephanie Cantlin Athen, Barb Cantlin, Ron Alford (all family of John Alford), Dr. Bonnie L. Coe​, Scott Wilson, Barry Riley and Steve Riley​

2015 Legends of Loyalty Award Recipients

Robert and Joan Robinson

2015 Legends of Loyalty

Pictured (l-r): Joan (Jodie) Robinson, Robert (Robby) ​Robinson and Bonnie L. Coe, Ph.D.

2014 Legends of Loyalty Award Recipients

Art Ghiloni, Carolyn Simpson, and Calvin E. Roebuck (posthumously)​​

2014 Legends of Loyalty

Pictured (l-r): Jim Roebuck, Lydia Roebuck, (son and wife of Calvin Roebuck), Bonnie L. Coe, Ph.D., Carolyn Simpson and Art Ghiloni

2013 Legends of Loyalty Award Recipients

Ellen Robinson and William McConnell stand on either side of COTC president Bonnie L. Coe.

William T. McConnell

As Campaign Chair for the Next Generation Challenge, McConnell’s leadership for the two-year fundraising endeavor increased support of scholarships for students attending COTC and Ohio State Newark.  The campaign exceeded its $20 million goal to raise nearly $21 million ensuring scholarship dollars for students in perpetuity. Next Generation Challenge contributions are already having an impact with the first students scholarships awarded in the 2012-2013 academic year and a solid foundation for scholarships moving forward.

Linnea Hopewell

A COTC faculty member instrumental to the success of the Radiologic Science Technology program evidenced by the tradition of a 100 percent pass rates of her students on the registry exam. Described as a dedicated faculty member who, “sees her students from the start to graduation to employment,” she serves as an ambassador for the college within the industry and in clinical sites within and beyond central Ohio. Under her leadership, the program has successfully navigated accreditation reviews, semester conversion and numerous technology upgrades. She is respected by her peers and has a reputation among students as a mentor, advisor and supporter.

Ellen Robinson

Robinson joined COTC in 1986 to lead the expansion efforts in Knox County, making the transition from the Knox County Career Center to Fredericktown High School to the newly renovated and state-of-the-art Ariel Hall building located on Main Street in downtown Mount Vernon. Robinson has been described as the face and heart of the COTC Knox Campus by countless students who credit her as their inspiration to reach their educational goals. Today, Robinson remains an integral member of the Knox Campus team and a vital link between the college and the community.

2012 Legends of Loyalty Award Recipients

James R. Woolard, PhD

Responsible for the physical facilities of the college for more than 30 years, Newark resident James Woolard’s tenure at COTC includes the construction of most of the buildings on the Newark campus as well as three COTC extended campuses. An accomplished author, Woolard was an integral part of the team that recently wrote the COTC history book entitled, “Celebrating the Journey”.

James Woolard stands with COTC president Bonnie Coe.

Linda Reynard

Serving the students of COTC for 30 years, Newark resident Linda Reynard has worked in the offices of Admissions, Advising, and the Gateway, the one-stop center for student services. Adapting to the growth of the college and the changing needs of the students, Reynard has been steadfast in her commitment to customer service and instrumental in furthering the mission of the institution.

Linda Reynard stands with COTC president Bonnie Coe.

 2011 Legends of Loyalty Award Recipients

Amy Bishoff

Bishoff is a COTC resource planning analyst

Cathie Clippinger

Clippinger is a COTC resource planning analyst

Kay Duncan

Duncan retired from COTC as the registrar. 

Howard LeFevre (posthumously)

The late LeFevre was relentless in his pursuit of ensuring educational access to all of central Ohio, the tangible results of his vision stand today in COTC’s four campuses in Newark, Knox, Coshocton and Pataskala. 

John Merrin

Merrin retired from COTC as the director of enrollment. 

J. Gilbert Reese

Reese is recognized as one of COTC’s founding fathers and an inaugural member of the COTC Board of Trustees.

Alex Rolletta

Rolletta was the first faculty member to teach in COTC’s accounting program.