Local students among 200 graduates at 165th commencement

PHOTO BY NICOLE WALBY Students await the time they will receive their diploma Sunday during Heidelberg University's 165th commencement ceremonies in Sieberling Gym.

Among the more than 200 students who graduated Sunday during Heidelberg University’s 165th commencement ceremony were two local students who shared their college experiences.

Haley Schreiner is from Fostoria and received a bachelor’s degree of arts in theatre.

“My overall experience has been wonderful at Heidelberg,” Schreiner said. “Going to a campus that is small but has been around for awhile gives every student so many awesome opportunities that they may not get at a large school.”

On campus, Schreiner was involved in theater and with Alpha Psi Omega. She also was a member of the sorority Delta Sigma Chi and the corollary of Rho Eta Delta, entitled “Rho’s Buds.” Schreiner spent time in the community choir and Singing Collegians.

During her time at Heidelberg, Schreiner also got married.

“I think people were shocked at first because we are considered a younger couple, but it was right for us,” she said. “Being married while attending school was honestly a breeze.”

Schreiner said she and her husband — Teddy Berger — push each other to be the best they can be.

“I definitely wouldn’t have been able to do it without my husband Teddy,” she said.

Schreiner credits her professors for helping connect her with jobs, experiences and other people on campus.

“I have been able to stage manage, direct, write my own shows and perform since the first day I stepped on campus,” Schreiner said. “That’s a lot of resume building for a theater major. I wouldn’t have been able to do that if it weren’t for Heidelberg. I am very thankful for that.”

For instance, Schreiner said she got the opportunity to direct a one-woman show with Erikka Breidenbach, titled “The Search For Signs Of Intelligent Life In The University.”

“It was a challenge unlike anything I have ever had before and it really helped me see and find what I was good at, what I retained from my theater classes and what areas I still need to work on,” she said.

In addition, Schreiner was stage manager for “Sister Act,” one of the largest productions she ever has worked on. She also received the J. Robert Allman Award in Theatre Arts at the Heidelberg Student Awards Ceremony.

“I was very honored that my work did not go unnoticed,” Schreiner said. “I was completely shocked when I received the email informing me of this award. It was a very exciting moment.”

Schreiner and her husband will be moving to Nashville, Tennessee later this month where she hopes to work for the Nashville Children’s Theatre.

“Though we are moving, we absolutely will not ever forget our home at Heidelberg University,” Schreiner said.

Also earning a degree Sunday was Kory Wise of Tiffin, who received a bachelor of arts degree in religion and English.

“There’s something special about the liberal arts education offered (at Heidelberg),” Wise said. “I definitely wouldn’t have come to that realization if I had only taken classes in a specific, narrow field.”

Wise said during his time at Heidelberg he also developed many great relationships with friends and professors.

Wise was involved with the Catholic Newman Club, Rho Eta Delta fraternity, the Singing Collegians and — now able to reveal the secret to everyone – Wise was the school’s mascot, Siggy the Student Prince for several athletic and campus events.

With his faternity, Wise organized “E” Day events this past March which honored Matt Karlovec, a 2010 graduate who was diagnosed with encephalitis – a rare brain disease, in 2013.

“(Matt) wanted to hold an event to raise awareness of the disease and I was thrilled to make his dream a reality,” Wise said.

The fundraiser and keynote dinner raised $460.

“I know that when I look back on my time at Heidelberg, this event is something I’ll always be glad that I did,” Wise said.

Wise plans to apply to be a seminarian for the Catholic Diocese of Toledo. If accepted, he will go to the seminary in either Cincinnati or Detroit, Michigan.