The recipients of this year's awards were announced during the 2022 Homecoming weekend celebration. University President, Dave Kaufmann, and Alumni Advisory Board President, Trevor Alexander, celebrated the accomplishments of these talented alumni. 



Elli Wachtman wins Distinguished Young Alumni

Elli Wachtman '20

Since graduating from Capital University a mere two years ago, Elli Wachtman has continued to be a role model in service to others. While at Capital, she was a charter member of the Bonner Leader program, where she led 30 student leaders through service and social advocacy training.

After graduating from Capital, Elli began her Master of Arts studies in International Development and Social Innovation for Global Impact. In addition to going to graduate school, she worked tirelessly to address gender-based violence in Kenya as the founder and executive director of the Sikhona Rescue Center. This resource center is an international nonprofit organization dedicated to housing and empowering women and children survivors of emotional, sexual, or physical violence in Kitengela, Kenya. Survivors receive basic needs and cultivate a community to stand up against the violence they have endured.

In 2021, Elli was awarded the “25 Under 25” award from the Washington Business Journal. Through her commitment to service and her courage to provide help and hope to those who have been forgotten, Elli lives the Capital mission of transforming lives. She is the third generation of Wachtmans to make their mark on Capital University.


 Barbara Farnsworth Parker wins Distinguished Alumni Award

Barbara Farnsworth Parker  '69

Barbara Farnsworth Parker has been a fearless leader within the nursing field for more than half a century. “Nurse Barb” began as a public health nurse at the Columbus Health Department but eventually found her calling at LifeCare Alliance. For 30 years, Barbara worked her way through the ranks at LifeCare Alliance to provide exceptional nursing care to everyone who has walked through their doors.

When she is not doing wellness examinations, working in chronic disease management, or involved in other health-related tasks, Barbara volunteers at Holy Family Catholic Church through a Mount Carmel outreach program to provide footcare to the homeless community in Columbus. “Without Barbara Parker, there would be many people going without life-saving medical attention, a lot of students not getting experienced direction, and several organizations less able to help those in need.”

Barbara has been transforming lives for a better world in her daily work – from leading tai chi classes to helping older adults with their balance to screening individuals for diabetes through the Central Columbus Diabetes Association.


Donald Rankey Jr. wins Distinguished Alumni Award

Donald Rankey Jr.  '92

Before Donald Rankey graduated from Capital University, he already had begun setting himself up for success by starting his own business, HomeLife Companies Inc., where he has served as CEO for more than 32 years.

As a former Delaware City Council member, Donald was a strong advocate for the resurgence of downtown Delaware, Ohio. He personally purchased and renovated multiple downtown build- ings, earning him the nickname “The Architect.”

During his time with Delaware City Council, Donald served on the Airport Commission, Parks and Recreation Commission, Balance Growth Task Force, and Delaware County Community Im- provement Corporation. In 2016, he was appointed to Delaware County’s Finance Authority, where he spearheaded efforts to attract new multifamily developments. Through his efforts, he created more than 2,000 jobs, and increased real estate investment in the county to more than $100 mil- lion.

Donald led a campaign to use a portion of money invested in 2022 to give a “hardship bonus” of $1,500 to every Delaware county employee to help ease the impact of COVID and inflation. A lifelong resident of Central Ohio, he and his wife, Pam, have three adult sons.


Sugu Suguness wins Distinguished Alumni Award

Sugu Suguness  M'92

Throughout his life, Sugu Suguness has represented what it means to be a true leader. Sugu earned his master’s degree in Structural Engineering at The Ohio State University in 1985, then went on to earn a master’s in Business Administration and Management at Capital University in 1992.

Sugu started his career at Moody Nolan architecture firm in the 1980s. He then served as president/CEO at companies such as Dynotech, Amaazz, and Prime Engineering & Architecture, Inc. With 21 years of leadership at Prime, Sugu provided multidiscipline architectural services to clients such as the United States Army Corps of Engineers, Department of Homeland Security, NASA, and more.

Sugu chaired Ohio State’s Civil, Environment, and Geodetic Engineering External Advisory Board. In 2016, he received OSU’s College of Engineering’s Distinguished Alumni Award, recog- nizing distinguished achievement in the field of engineering through significant inventions and research. At Capital, he serves on the Master of Business Administration alumni committee and mentors current MBA students.

A resident of the Dublin, Ohio, area, Sugu gives back to the community through Lutheran Social Services, NAMI, and Turnstone Center for Children & Adults with Disabilities. Sugu and his wife, Sucheela, have two adult children.


Congratulations to all of our winners!!


Previous Award Winners

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