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BW names 2022 Alumni Merit Award winners

Five accomplished alumni are the recipients of a 2022 Baldwin Wallace Alumni Merit Award, the highest honor conferred upon a graduate by the university. The award celebrates outstanding alumni for their achievements and service to their profession, community and alma mater. This year's recipients are:

Steven Caple Jr. '10
Film Studies

Steven Caple, JrCaple graduated with a major in film studies and later earned a Masters of Fine Arts at USC School of Cinematic Arts in Los Angeles. He has quickly become one of Hollywood's most sought-after filmmakers. His debut feature film "The Land" premiered at Sundance 2016, and in 2018 he directed "Creed II." His television credits include "Grown-ish" and the mini docuseries "Rapture." He has collaborated with clients as diverse as Google, Delta and the NFL in the world of commercial directing. Caple's work has earned him multiple directorial awards as well as his name on the Forbes "30 Under 30" list.

Caple is a co-founder of Engage the Vision, a non-profit organization that helps foster the new generation of creative minds. He remains in close contact with BW and has returned to campus to engage with students about his career in the film industry.

Caple is currently in post-production on the new Transformers film, set to be released in 2023.

Richard "Dick" L. Fletcher '70, MBA '76
History and Graduate Business

Richard “Dick” L. Fletcher

Fletcher majored in history, lettered in basketball and was a member of Phi Kappa Tau. His BW career began in admission, leading to increasingly responsible positions in institutional advancement. In almost 50 years of service to BW, Fletcher worked under five presidents and managed two successful capital campaigns, which raised more than $200 million for BW. In 2007, Fletcher was named senior vice president. He retired in 2020.

Fletcher was a member of the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education (CASE), National Committee on Planned Giving and Independent College Advancement Associates (ICAA), which honored him with the Ernest Sheetz Mentor Award. Since 1991, he has served on the board of the Eliza Jennings Senior Care Network.

In retirement, Fletcher has volunteered as a 50th Reunion Ambassador and was the keynote speaker for BW's Fall 2021 Commencement, where he received an Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree for his impact on BW and in the community.

Thomas "Tom" Olak '92
Political Science

Thomas “Tom” Olak

Olak, who is honored posthumously with the Alumni Merit Award, earned a Bachelor of Science in political science with a minor in business. He was a resident assistant (RA) and student body vice president, responsibilities he held while battling Hodgkin's lymphoma his junior year.

His career began with McDonald and Company Investments before his future father-in-law invited him to join the family's automotive wholesale and retail business, Parts Distributors, in Norwalk, Ohio. The business expanded and remained in the Conway-Olak family for three generations until it was sold after his passing.

Olak is remembered for his service to the community in many organizations, including the Norwalk Rotary Club, the Milan Lions Club and the Masons, among others. Additionally, he served as president of the Norwalk Area Chamber of Commerce, the Norwalk Economic Development Corporation and the Milan Library Board while overseeing a $1 million expansion.

He generously gave his time to BW as a member of the Alumni Council for several years; his legacy continues through his twin daughters, Regan and Kaitlynn, who are current students.

Kathleen (Kathy) Papp '96, MBA '02
Communications and Graduate Business

Kathleen (Kathy) Papp

Papp earned a Bachelor of Arts in communications and was a member of Zeta Tau Alpha (ZTA) sorority. Since graduation, Kathy has remained deeply involved with ZTA, serving as a local alumnae officer and advisor of the BW chapter. She is also a ZTA district president for Ohio, a role responsible for overseeing nine alumnae chapters across the state.

Papp works in information technology as a manager with KeyBank. As the leader of her team, she oversees three teams across the country while excelling in process design and administration and interpersonal connections. She is co-chair of the Northeast Ohio chapter of Key Women's Network, a women's group at KeyBank that supports career development, mentoring and coaching, networking and business development initiatives.

Papp is an involved member of Women for BW and Alumni Council and served actively in the former BW Women's Club.

Randale Richmond '04

Randale Richmond

Richmond earned a Bachelor of Arts in history from BW and a Master of Education in higher education administration and student personnel from Kent State University in 2006. As a BW student, Richmond was a member of the varsity football and track and field teams and was active in the Black Student Alliance and Buddy System.

Richmond's career in athletics and student-athlete academics and compliance began at Kent State. In 2015, he was named the senior associate athletic director at Old Dominion University (ODU), where he founded ODU's first Student-Athlete Leadership Academy. Richmond later returned to Kent State as director of athletics, his current position.

Throughout his career, Richmond has been recognized as an advocate for his field. His many accolades include "40 Under 40 Club" in Kaleidoscope Magazine, "Who to Watch in Education" in Crain's Cleveland Business and an ODU President's Diversity Champion Award (2018-2019) among others. Richmond is also a graduate of the NCAA Leadership Institute.

As a BW alumnus, he has returned to campus as the keynote speaker for the Obie Bender Awards.

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