Westerville News & Public Opinion

Longtime Otterbein administrator Van Sant dies

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Courtesy of Otterbein University
Joanne Van Sant

The Otterbein University community is remembering Joanne Van Sant, a former dean who died this morning (May 21) in her Westerville home. She was 87.

Van Sant, called “Dean Van” by students and faculty, began her career at Otterbein in 1948 as a physical-education instructor. She was promoted to assistant professor and associate professor before becoming head of the department.

In 1952, Van Sant began her career in administration, having been named dean of women. In 1964, she was named dean of students and was promoted to vice president of student affairs and dean of students in 1968.

Van Sant officially retired from the university in 1992 but maintained an office and office hours for many years afterward, according to university spokeswoman Jenny Hill.

In addition to her work at the university, Van Sant was involved in the American Association of University Women, Zonta International, the Westerville Women’s Music Club, Planned Parenthood of Central Ohio, the American Council on Education, Directions for Youth, the Westerville Civic Symphony and the Friendship Village of Columbus board of directors.

She was an ordained elder of the Central College Presbyterian Church.

Otterbein has created a memorial page to Van Sant at otterbein.edu/tribute.