GOSHEN, Ind. - Goshen College alumni Keith Springer ('69) and Sue Roth ('66) received the 2012 Dr. Ruth Gunden and Dr. Roman Gingerich Champion of Character awards at a special convocation for Alumni Weekend on Friday.
Since 2005, the Maple Leafs Athletic Club has bestowed the awards to one male and one female they feel are great examples of the college's core values in their own lives through their work in their occupations and communities. The awards are named after Gunden and Gingerich, who were pioneers in the history of the Goshen College Athletic Department.
"They have taken the values they learned during their Goshen College educational and athletic experience and are now living them in their work and community service," said Athletic Director Tim Demant. "This is a big part of what we want our athletes to learn here."
Keith Springer '69 – Dr. Roman Gingerich Champion of Character Award
Keith Springer '69, of Fisher, Ill., has dedicated his life to serving others, both locally and around the globe. While studying mathematics and secondary education at Goshen College, Springer participated in basketball and baseball. He set career-scoring records for men's basketball, finishing with 1,531 points from 1965-69. Springer taught math and coached 9th grade boys basketball at Concord Junior High School in Elkhart, Ind. from 1969-71.
In 1971, Springer and his wife, Kathy (Newcomer) Springer '71, served for two years at the American School of Brasilia in Brazil with the Mennonite Board of Missions (now Mennonite Mission Network) as overseas mission associates. While there, he taught high school math and physics and coached boys basketball. In 2004 and again in 2011, the Springers travelled to Argentina to visit and share with churches of the Patagonia Mission Project. In 2012, they did volunteer work at Nazareth (Israel) Village.
Springer served for six years on the Christian Nurture Commission of the Illinois Mennonite Conference. Since 1977, he has operated a cash grain farm with his brother. He is a member of East Bend Mennonite Church in Fisher, Ill., where he is the chairman of finance and is vice president of the board of directors for the Illinois/Iowa chapter of Everence Financial. The Springers have two adult sons, Ryan '96 and Eric '99.
Sue Roth '66 – Dr. Ruth Gunden Champion of Character Award
Sue Roth '66, of Stryker, Ohio, helped pioneer organized sports opportunities for women, striving to give them equal access in the athletic world. While studying physical education at Goshen College, Roth was a member of the Women's Athletic Association and participated in field hockey and softball, as well as several intramural sports. After graduating from Goshen College, she taught physical education and coached in Middlebury, Ind., and Stryker, Ohio, before returning to the college from 1976 to 1999 to teach physical education and coach field hockey, volleyball and track and field.
While teaching and coaching in high school, Roth worked hard to develop opportunities for girls. She increased the number of sports to make sure every girl had the opportunity to participate in the sport she wanted, even though Roth was expected to coach all sports alone.
As a volleyball coach at Goshen, Roth was named the Hoosier Conference for Women Coach of the Year in volleyball in 1985, 1988 and 1989. She initiated the women's track and field program at Goshen and promoted student athletes as commissioner with the Indiana Association for Intercollegiate Athletics for Women. She also worked with Ruth Gunden in developing the Hoosier Conference for Women, which filled an organizational need for women in sport.
Roth is a track and field official for the Ohio High School Athletic Association. She attends St. John's Christian Church in Archbold, Ohio.