2022 Oliver L. Poppenberg Sr. (CIT ’59)

Poppenberg, wearing a blue suit and tie, smiles holding his alumni award

For more than 60 years, Oliver Poppenberg has served his fellow alumni with creativity, generosity and tireless enthusiasm.

His work began in 1967, when Poppenberg sought to bridge the divide between alumni of Case Institute of Technology and Western Reserve University after their schools federated. He and a friend also created a program to connect alumni with prospective students and encourage high-school seniors to enroll at CWRU.

Poppenberg spent decades as an officer of the CWRU Alumni Chapter in Pittsburgh and president of the Alumni Council that he helped to create—the precursor to today’s Alumni Association. He was a member of Case School of Engineering’s Visiting Committee and major gift committees.

Poppenberg’s philanthropy includes gifts to the engineering school and the Linsalata Alumni Center for building and construction projects. He also gave support for his fraternity, Sigma Alpha Epsilon, to secure a campus house and complete a major renovation.

“My most precious gift to Case Western Reserve University,” Poppenberg said, “is my granddaughter, Sophia Poppenberg, who graduated last year with a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering.”

This piece, written by Jo Steigerwald, originally appeared in the Fall 2022 issue of Think Magazine.