‘Berg trustee, alumna scores big honor

Jan 10, 2013

Sondra LIbman

Since she joined the Board of Trustees in 1998, Sondra Gerhardt Libman, ’67, has had an impact on progress at Heidelberg through leadership, engagement and philanthropy. In April, she will be honored for her contributions to her alma mater when she is inducted into the Ohio Foundation of Independent Colleges’ 2013 Hall of Excellence.

Sondra will join an elite group of Heidelberg alumni in the Hall of Excellence. They include Russell Gifford, ’62 (inducted in 1992); the late Ralph Besse, ’26 (2000); and current Trustee and alumnus John Q. Adams, ’58 (2009).

The Class of 2013 also will include Harold W. Burlingame of Muskingum University, retired executive vice president of AT&T, and Clifford D. Shields of the University of Mount Union, retired director of education relations & corporate contributions at Standard Oil Co. Libman will join such luminaries as Coretta Scott King, Hugh Downs, Dr. Norman Vincent Peale and Sen. John Glenn

In selecting inductees for its Hall of Excellence, the OFIC considers qualifications such as commitment to private higher education through fundraising, advocacy, student engagement, volunteerism or other service; achievement in professional career or field of service; and leadership in chosen field. 

OFIC logo

The Hall of Excellence was established in 1987 to honor alumni of member institutions of The Ohio Foundation of Independent Colleges whose lifetime achievements exemplify the traditions, ideals, strengths, and values of private higher education. Hall of Excellence members strongly reflect the historic ability of independent colleges, through academic excellence and personalized educational concepts, to prepare graduates for global opportunities and challenges in business and industry and the arts and sciences and for service to society, community and nation.

Throughout her career and her life of service and philanthropy, Sondra ideally represents the Heidelberg vision of leading a life of purpose with distinction. She is a savvy business woman in the private sector, having retired as president of Americana Healthcare Corp. She balances her time as a wife, mother and grandmother, a volunteer, a civic leader, a philanthropist, an activist and a leader.  

“We are truly blessed that one of her great passions is her alma mater and her Philalethean sorority,” said President Rob Huntington. “She richly deserves this honor.”

Sondra joined the board in 1998 and became chair in 2006. She has masterfully guided the university through presidential transitions, capital campaigns and strategic planning, and has helped set a high standard for philanthropic giving along with her trustee peers.  

Through planned giving, Sondra and her husband, Robert, have designated an estate gift to Heidelberg for the Academic Comprehensive Campaign for Excellence that is among the largest single estate commitments in Heidelberg’s history.