Honoring Mike Atkinson

The OCU Biology Department is creating a bulletin board to honor Dr. Mike Atkinson, a professor who started his career at Oakland City College in January 1989. In May 2022, Dr. Atkinson retired and recently passed away in October 2023.  He was a “constant” on the campus and in the department for which he is known.

Biology shows how living things work; there are many. Dr. Atkinson’s wonder about God’s creation constantly drove him to learn and understand more as a student and teacher.

Scores of Biology majors learned by the hands-on approach of Dr. Atkinson.

In Indiana, the month of May is known for fast cars driving in a circle 225 times. Still, on university campuses everywhere, May is a place of celebration and smiles as thousands of students adore caps and gowns and enter the career phase of their lives. However, it was a bittersweet time for Dr. Atkinson as he cheered students who graduated and mourned the loss of those he would not get to work with again. His wife, Peggy, characterized it this way, “Michael was always so very proud of their life progression, but it took a little time over the summer to move past the loss of those he considered his progeny.”

Now we are asking former students, Biology majors, and colleagues to send some input for this bulletin board.

We would like to make a section to display some of the experiences and work that Dr. Atkinson was involved in. We are seeking Stories about experiences, classes, biology club activities, and other projects that you experienced with Dr. Atkinson. We could use information from you to tell us what you have done since obtaining your degree.  For example:


Mary (Atkinson) Fichtinger

Associates Degree from OCU in 2003

I went on to Butler University to obtain a degree as a Physician’s Assistant, and have worked many years in various hospital and medical  settings.  I have since obtained a Master’s Degree in Trauma Psychology and plan to continue working toward a PhD.   I now teach biology at a classical school.

You can accompany this with a picture of yourself or of yourself with “Doc.”

We would also like to make a section showing photographs of Biology Club activities/outing. If you have some pictures in your personal photo albums, please pick some to share. Include information explaining the picture, like where and when it was taken, and identify some of the people in the picture.

This picture was shared by Anne Pamu. The Biology Club took a trip to the Newport Aquarium in 2019. Anne was president of the Biology Club at some point during her years here.

We would like to make a section with testimonials of how he and/or his classes impacted your life and/or career choices. This is an example taken from people who posted comments and memories on his funeral site.

To contribute to Dr. Atkinson’s Memory Bulletin Board, please email your testimonial and pictures to [email protected].


Liz Carlisle

In 1990, I stepped into Dr. Atkinson’s 8 a.m. Biology class as a scared Freshman at OCC (now “OCU”).  I will never forget him starting his class with prayer and his faith instilled peace to my heart.  He was a talented teacher, an expert in his field, and a kindhearted soul.  His dedication to his family and our OCU community will not be forgotten.