Delaware News

OWU names commencement speaker

An attorney who took refuge with the family of an Ohio Wesleyan University professor after fleeing Nazi Germany in 1938 will be the 2014 OWU commencement speaker.

Stephen A. Ollendorff and his mother lived for a year with OWU sociology professor Guy Sarvis and his wife, Maud Sarvis, while Ollendorff's father, Ulrich, traveled to New York to establish himself as an ophthalmologist.

Later, Stephen Ollendorff earned his bachelor's degree at Columbia University and his Juris Doctor at Columbia Law School. Today, he is an attorney with K & L Gates LLP, a U.S.-based firm with more than 2,000 lawyers in 48 offices on five continents.

In 2001, Ollendorff and his wife, Bjorg, founded the Ollendorff Center for Human and Religious Understanding, based in New Jersey. In 2013, the center contributed $100,000 to OWU to create the Dr. Guy Sarvis Endowed Travel/Research Grant, which supports cross-cultural understanding and tolerance. OWU at the same time created the Dr. Guy Sarvis Award to present annually to a student who has worked to promote acceptance.

Commencement begins at 1 p.m. Sunday, May 11, in Phillips Glen outside Phillips Hall, 50 S. Henry St., Delaware. The ceremony will be streamed live online at For more information about commencement, visit