Alspaugh, Sylvia


Sylvia Alspaugh was a fixture across Otterbein Athletics for nearly 30 years, serving in a variety of aspects and making a positive impact on many. She began contributing in the late 60’s alongside a handful of pioneers (and future Hall of Famers) working as the secretary to Dr. Marilyn Day in the women’s department of Health and Physical Education. During that time, she handled countless tasks behind the scenes for the likes of Dr. JoAnn Tyler, Joanne Van Sant and others.


Known by many as pleasant, personable, patient and well-balanced, Sylvia quickly found herself taking on critical roles as Title IX laws were being passed in 1972. Once implemented, she became a backbone for the department in seeing policies/procedures through and keeping them intact for future success.


Sylvia was a driving force in supporting the transition of women’s athletics into varsity level, as they started getting sponsored at the Ohio Athletic Conference and NCAA levels around 1984. Her efforts (and mindset) helped bridge the gap from an intramural mentality to that of more serious competition. As female sports began picking up steam, so did the combination of men’s and women’s athletics into one department. Sylvia remained a consistent presence through many adjustments… while branching out to serve as a liaison for other parts of campus. Her knowledge benefited ideas for recruiting, collaboration and student-athlete participation in extracurricular activities.


During office hours, Sylvia always greeted kids with a personable smile and was a reliable source for health and physical education majors. Many of her clerical efforts and relationships helped evolve Health and Sports Sciences (HSS) into what you see today. Outside of the regular “work day,” Sylvia was a regular attending practices, games, banquets and alumni functions. She assisted fellow Hall of Famer Pam Verne with countless gameday operations.


Sylvia takes her spot in the Otterbein Athletics Hall of Fame for all that she helped accomplish, and for all those impacted, across her three decades of service.