The complete Huntington University chapel program on November 19, 2015, when four generations of the Merillat family–including matriarch Ruth Merillat–participated in a panel discussion led by HU president Sherilyn Emberton.
Ruth Merillat will celebrate her 95th birthday on January 18, 2016. Over the years she and her late husband, Orville, who passed away in 1999, have been a huge blessing to Huntington University and to many United Brethren churches and ministries across the world. Orville and Ruth started a cabinet company in 1946 which grew to become Merillat Industries, the world’s largest cabinet manufacturer.
On December 29, Ruth suffered a minor stroke. The family announced, “After a brief hospital stay, Ruth is now at home and getting some much-needed rest to help with her recovery. She has received countless flowers, cards, and well-wishes from her vast network of friends, and would like to thank each and every one of you for your thoughts, kindness, and prayers. As you can imagine, this is an important time for Ruth and our family as we work toward providing her with the 24-hour care she now requires.”
On November 19, Huntington University hosted four generations of the Merillat family on campus. Ruth Merillat, Richard & Lynette Merillat, and Tricia (Merillat) McGuire, along with her two daughters, were part of a panel on the subject of giving. Dr. Sherilyn Emberton, president of HU, led the panel discussion during the morning chapel. The video above includes the entire chapel.
The Merillats, members of Trenton Hills UB church in Adrian, Mich., first gave to Huntington University in 1968–a gift of cabinets for a house the college owned. In 1972 they led the campaign for the new Merillat Physical Education Complex, and gave toward nearly every building constructed in the 1980s and 1990s.
Three buildings on Huntington University’s campus are named after the Merillat family: The Merillat Complex (PLEX), the Merillat Centre for the Arts (MCA) and RIchLyn Library (a combination of the names Richard and Lynette).
The Merillats have contributed toward many other Christians organizations, and to numerous United Brethren causes–missionaries, church construction, church staff, national office staff and equipment, and much more.