VIENNA - Ohio Valley University will celebrate the 80th birthday of Chancellor Keith Stotts with a private reception and program from 3-5:30 p.m. today in the Alumni Gymnasium on the main campus.
"From the beginning of their ministry, Keith and (wife) Joan Stotts saw the need for a Church of Christ college in the northeast. They have spent their lives building a legacy of Christian education for all ages, but especially in higher education at OVU," Ohio Valley President Harold Shank said. "Keith's 80th birthday offers the perfect opportunity to honor him and his life in ministry. We are extremely proud to honor them."
Stotts was born during the depression in Quaker City, Ohio, to a deeply spiritual family. He began his education in a one-room schoolhouse.
After being captivated by a gospel preacher, he earned a bachelor's in Bible and biblical languages, a master's in Old Testament and completed postgraduate work in psychology.
The Stottses dedicated their lives to furthering Christian education, extensively traveling over the years teaching family and leadership workshops. Before his tenure as president of Ohio Valley, Stotts was as an administrator for Mid-Western Children's Home.
From 1964-1976, the Ohio Valley board of trustees invited Stotts to serve with them until they elected him president of the university in 1977.
He was active in the business community during his tenure of president. Stotts served a year as president of the Mid-Ohio Valley Chamber of Commerce and many years on the chamber's education committee.
He was a member of Rotary for more than 20 years. He also spoke at numerous events in the Mid-Ohio Valley including the Chamber of Commerce, Rotary, Civitan Club and the Lions Club.
In 1998, he retired as president and became chancellor of Ohio Valley University.