Endowed Chair funded by Board Chair Hill honors Economics Professor and CFO Seidel

April 20, 2009

McDaniel College Board chair Martin K. P. Hill and his wife, Kelly W., have established The Ethan A. Seidel Chair in Economics and Business Administration, named in honor of the professor and administrator who has served the college for more than four decades.

The first recipient of the endowed chair is Professor John L. Olsh, a 1967 alumnus and chair of the Economics and Business Administration Department.

President Joan Develin Coley announced the $1.5-million gift to endow the Seidel Chair Friday (April 17) at the College’s annual dinner for trustees and faculty.

“The Hills’ gift advances the extraordinary teaching that is the hallmark of a McDaniel College education,” Coley said. “We deeply appreciate their great philanthropic and leadership commitment to McDaniel. It is a partnership that will continue to enrich our students’ educational experience for many generations to come.”

From left - Ethan Seidel, Martin K.P. and Kelly W. Hill, John Olsh

Marty and Kelly Hill chose to honor Ethan Seidel for his tenacious dedication to his students, to the College and to the Carroll County community. Seidel’s teaching and leadership at many levels has yielded high dividends for those who seek his expertise and counsel, Coley said.

Marty met Seidel soon after he became a trustee and was impressed with the professor who, in addition to his full-time teaching load, was the Special Assistant to the President. “In the Special Assistant role he seemed to have his hand in everything on campus,” observed Marty. “In the ensuing fund-raising campaigns, we learned that there are legions of students who almost genuflect when you mention his name. Everywhere we travel when the discussion turns to McDaniel College, someone mentions Ethan Seidel.”

A professor and vice-president of administration and finance, Seidel has been twice selected by his students for the Distinguished Teaching Award and was one of 20 economists nationwide to receive in 1982 the Leavey Award for Excellence in Free Enterprise Education. As an administrator, he oversees a $56-million operating budget, recent campus construction exceeding $45 million, management of the College’s endowment and operations including campus planning, improvements and maintenance, human resources, for-profit rentals and contractual agreements including Baltimore Ravens Training Camp and WMC Development Corporation.

Seidel has served since 2003 on the Carroll Hospital Center Board of Directors, currently as its vice chair, and is serving a fourth term on the Carroll County Economic Development Commission. He earned his bachelor’s and doctorate degrees from The Johns Hopkins University and his M.B.A. from Wharton Graduate School of the University of Pennsylvania.

The selection of John Olsh, a long-time colleague of Seidel’s, as the first recipient of the Seidel Chair recognizes Olsh’s unwavering dedication to teaching and mentoring nearly three decades of students – always holding them to the high standards he set in his own educational achievements. After graduating from what was then Western Maryland in 1967, cum laude with departmental honors in Economics, he earned his M.A. and Ph.D. at the University of California at Davis before returning to his alma mater in 1980 as Associate Professor of Economics.

Serving as chair of the department for the past 10 years, Olsh is recognized by colleagues and students alike as the consummate teacher – engaging and challenging his students even while taking on extra classes during the regular semesters, January Term and over the summer.