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Ronald D. Orndorff

Class of 1957

Awarded in 2012

It was clear even from his first year at Beloit College that Ronald Orndorff is a born leader.

When it came to his undergraduate extracurriculars, he was not only a participant of various organizations—Sigma Alpha Epsilon, class officer, honor society Omicron Delta Kappa, Turtle Mound Society, athletic blanket winner in track and cross country—but he was also often the president.

His path of leadership at Beloit turned into a life-long journey for Ron­­—professionally, personally, and philanthropically.

Ron, an economics major, married fellow Beloiter Lois Hultquist in the same year that he graduated from Beloit, then served in the U.S. Army for several years. When he returned from service, the next several decades found him achieving success in the field of finance: first, as a branch manager with the Interstate Finance Corporation, and then with M&I First National Leasing Corporation in Milwaukee, Wis. He stayed with M&I until his retirement in 1997; at that point, he had led the corporation as president and chief executive officer for more than a decade, ultimately serving as chairman and chief executive officer. After retirement, he served as a director of Continental Saving Bank. Currently, he is chairman of the board of M2 Lease Fund.

Similarly, the college—and Beloiters on both ends of the spectrum, from prospective students to his fellow alumni—has benefited from Ron’s leadership skills time and again, recognized when he won an Alumni Award in 1978. He has been extremely generous with his time and resources over the years, serving as a guiding committee member of many capital campaigns, including the Sesquicentennial Campaign Strategy Committee, and the Major Gifts Committee. The Alumni Association Executive Board profited from his guidance in 1977 and 1978, when he served as its president. His proudest moments as a Beloit alumnus, he says, were serving on a search committee for President Martha Peterson, spending 10 years on the Athletic Hall of Honor selection committee, and, as a former track athlete, seeing the new track and field come to fruition, a fundraising effort he personally championed.

Yet the college was not the only entity to gain from his support—he served his church as an elder, his community as a member of the Kiwanis Club, the Elmhurst, Ill., Jaycees as president, and his industry as a director, vice chairman, and treasurer of the Equipment Leasing Association of America.

In appreciation for his continued support and service to the college, Beloit is pleased to award Ronald Orndorff the Alumni Association’s highest honor, the Distinguished Service Citation.