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Dan DiBiasio's Image Added to College's Presidential Portrait Gallery

Former President Greeted at Campus Gathering

January 16, 2013

Dan DiBiasio chats with faculty members Ed Agran (left), professor of history, Terry Miller, director of graduate studies, at the campus reception for the presidential portrait unveiling.

Dan DiBiasio chats with faculty members Ed Agran (left), professor of history, Terry Miller, director of graduate studies, at the campus reception for the presidential portrait unveiling.

Dan DiBiasio turned onto College St. from Main literally thousands of times during his 16 years as Wilmington College’s president, but Tuesday (Jan. 15) was different.

“For the first time ever in entering the College Hall parking lot, I pulled into a visitor’s spot,” said DiBiasio, now president of Ohio Northern University.

He served at WC from 1995 to 2011.

DiBiasio and his wife, Chris Burns-DiBiasio, returned to the College to participate in a ceremony at which his presidential portrait was unveiled at a campus gathering before joining images of the 16 previous presidents in Pyle Student Center.

WC President Jim Reynolds described the event as one in which, “We celebrate community and celebrate those that have made a difference in the life of the College.”

Robert Touchton, chair of the Board of Trustees, listed many of DiBiasio’s accomplishments at Wilmington College as including enrollment and fundraising records, new academic programs and buildings, enhancing service and outreach programs as a WC hallmark, establishing new sports and joining the Ohio Athletic Conference, and overseeing 15 consecutive years of balanced budgets.

Also, DiBiasio held regional and national leadership positions with the NCAA and higher education organizations representing independent colleges. Indeed, both DiBiasios also were leaders outside the physical parameters of the campus as well.

“Dan and Chris have meant a lot to the College and community,” Touchton said, noting DiBiasio had the second longest presidential tenure in the College’s 142-year history.

(LEFT) Dan DiBiasio and Robert Touchton uncover the presidential portrait as Chris Burn-DiBiasio looks on.

The former president expressed their pleasure upon returning to the College and having the opportunity to visit with friends and colleagues. He noted that, even though, “Our new favorite colors are (ONU’s) orange and black,” they continue to feel a close affinity and connection to Wilmington College.

He congratulated the College on “having the good sense” to name Reynolds as his successor.

DiBiasio mentioned their sons, Matthew and Michael, are doing well and following their dreams in Oregon and Vermont, respectively.

He noted the presidential portrait on display alongside the podium as he spoke evoked a memory from his inauguration in 1996 when Michael, then a pre-teen, occupied his time during the ceremony by drawing devil horns and blackening the teeth of his father’s photograph in the inauguration program.

He joked that the covered portrait might have been compromised had their sons been in attendance.

Chris Burns-DiBiasio echoed his sentiments regarding their return to WC.

“It’s wonderful to be here,” she said. “We have mistakenly referred to Wilmington College on occasion when speaking to Ohio Northern alumni and friends. (Sometimes subconsciously) it’s hard to move on.”