A Bobcat legacy: family tree has deep roots in Athens
Tuesday, May 29 2018 10:00am
Alumna Holly Seckinger '02 continues family tradition in the College of Business
Holly Seckinger BBA ’02 is a fourth generation Bobcat. She bleeds green and white. At five years old, she cheered at University basketball games wearing an OHIO cheerleader outfit. Let’s just say she knows firsthand the power of the Bobcat network, and how Athens will always feel like home.
When Holly’s great grandmother, Maxine Sands Heiser, earned her degree in education at OHIO in 1928, only ten percent of American women attended college. Joining the growing ranks of working women, Maxine went on to a long career as a teacher. Holly’s great, great aunt, Teresa Heiser, graduated in 1936, and served as a valued staff member of the College of Business for more than forty years. In 1962, Holly’s grandfather, Hoy J. Seckinger graduated from OHIO thanks to the GI Bill. He earned a bachelor’s and a master’s in education, and rose through the ranks as a teacher, principal and superintendent. It was the early1970s when Holly’s parents, Hoy and Sue, met at OHIO. After they graduated, they were married on the College Green in 1977.
“I will always credit my dad for how I ended up at OHIO,” says Holly. “He asked me multiple times if I wanted to look at other schools, but I never wanted to. This was always what I knew I wanted to do. And I absolutely never regretted my decision.”
Today, Holly is associate director of alumni engagement at the College of Business, following in her great aunt’s footsteps. When she came back to the University after 13 years in retail banking, it felt like a long-overdue homecoming.
“The day my parents first dropped me off in Athens, I specifically remember being surprised that I wasn’t sad,” Holly says. “My parents were crying and I was so confused. I grew up coming here. I grew up hearing my parents say it was the best four years of their lives. OU just felt like home. I can say that with one hundred percent certainty.”
Most alumni, whether they come from a long line of Bobcats or not, feel a special connection to OHIO that lasts a lifetime. One aspect of Holly’s job now is connecting students to careers. She does this, in part, by reaching out to the University’s extensive alumni network asking grads to meet with students, helping them secure internships and jobs. “Very rarely do I get a no,” Holly says. “Fellow Bobcats always bend over backwards to help our students.”
Holly’s father, Hoy Jon Seckinger ‘76, is back on campus every chance he can get, for athletic games and alumni events. “I literally choke up every time I drive into Athens,” he says. “It’s the hills, the village, the steeples, and the river running though the gorgeous green campus. The foundation of who I am and what I have done was molded over my time at Ohio University.”
Hoy is the global strategic account manager for Regal Beloit America, Inc., in Marysville. His company has partnered with the College of Business for decades, sending speakers to marketing classes and hiring interns. He’s been particularly impressed with the Ralph and Luci Schey Sales Centre, “arguably one of the best sales programs in the country.” Looking back, Hoy credits the College of Business career services for launching his own success. “My career started on campus,” he recalls. “I was recruited at OU—without the college’s support, I wouldn’t have this job.”
Both Hoy and Holly appreciate the Bobcat alumni network, the welcoming campus, and the excellent education they received at OHIO. But what they love most is something less tangible—a feeling only Bobcats understand.
“The minute you find out someone went to OU,” says Holly, “it’s like an instant connection. They really want to know more about you—and it’s more than just sports—it’s just something only Bobcats get.
“It’s the feeling of togetherness,” Hoy adds. “It’s the feeling that once you’re a Bobcat you’re always a Bobcat. It’s an old saying, but it’s true. OHIO is a place to belong to and come back to. In my opinion, there’s no place better in the world than Athens, Ohio.”