by Abby Totten, Student Public Relations Writer
Homecoming week at Cedarville University isn’t just exciting events and reunions, it also serves as the time to honor alumni and those who have served the university.
The university will honor the following individuals at the annual awards ceremony:
Alumnus of the Year: Rev. William “Chip” Bernhard ‘77
Since graduating, Bernhard has spent his life primarily in church ministry. He is currently the pastor of Spring Creek Church in suburban Milwaukee, Wisconsin, a role he’s held since 1987. Prior to leading in his current role, Bernhard was the associate pastor at Shawnee Baptist Church in Vincentown, New Jersey, for seven years. For 22 years, Bernhard served as the chaplain of the Milwaukee Bucks of the National Basketball Association (NBA). He currently serves as a trustee for Cedarville University.
Young Alumnus of the Year: Danny Baron ‘14
Baron earned two bachelor's degrees from Cedarville University — in marketing and business management — and he’s used his education to develop a successful real estate agency with Keller-Williams Advisors in Cincinnati, Ohio.
Baron also serves on the worship team at Grace Baptist in Mason, Ohio.
Distinguished Service Award: Paul Ware
For 45 years, Paul Ware has served Cedarville University as its head groundskeeper. Ware has designed, planted, and maintained all the landscaping across campus.
Athletic Hall of Fame inductees include:
Rachael Castro Oren graduated from Cedarville in 2005 with a bachelor's degree and was an award-winning pole vaulter. She returned to Cedarville to earn her master’s degree in education in 2016. Oren is a five-time NAIA all-American and a five-time NCCAA all-American. She owns four of the top 10 indoor/outdoor pole vault records at Cedarville University and was named an NAIA scholar-athlete two times during her career.
Oren is the founding head of school at The Classical Academy, in Indianapolis, Indiana. Her family is active in Hope Church, a Harvest Church plant on the north side of Indianapolis.
Scott Aker, who transferred from Wittenberg College after two years, graduated with a history degree in 2007 from Cedarville University. As a collegiate golfer for the Yellow Jackets, Aker accumulated numerous honors for his skill on the golf course. He earned NCCAA and NAIA all-American honors in 2006 and 2007 and was an NAIA scholar-athlete in 2006 and 2007. Aker established Cedarville’s career scoring average (74.72) during his time at Cedarville, a mark that remains today. His 18-hole score of 67 remains to be the lowest score by any Cedarville golfer in university history.
Aker has been a lieutenant in the Ohio State Highway Patrol for 13 years and currently serves at the training academy in Columbus, Ohio. He is also an active member at Southgate Baptist Church in Springfield, Ohio, as an elder and Sunday school teacher.Located in southwest Ohio, Cedarville University is an accredited, Christ-centered, Baptist institution with an enrollment of 5,082 undergraduate, graduate, and dual enrolled high school students in more than 175 areas of study. Founded in 1887, Cedarville is one of the largest private universities in Ohio, recognized nationally for its authentic Christian community, rigorous academic programs, high graduation and retention rates, accredited professional and health science offerings, and the #4 national ranking by the Wall Street Journal for student engagement. For more information about the University, visit www.cedarville.edu.