Distinguished Alums 2016
Tracy Smith Malone
Rev. Dr. Tracy H. Smith Malone first made a conscious decision to serve in the church when she was 13 years old. Her calling led her to pursue a bachelor’s degree in religious studies at North Central College, a master of divinity degree from Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary, and a doctor of ministry degree from United Theological Seminary.
Malone currently serves as the District Superintendent of the Chicago Southern District and Dean of the Cabinet of the Northern Illinois Conference. Prior to being appointed district superintendent, Malone served at First United Methodist Church of Lombard, Illinois; Southlawn United Methodist Church in Chicago, Illinois; Wesley United Methodist Church in Aurora, Illinois; and Gary United Methodist Church in Wheaton, Illinois, several of which were cross-cultural appointments.
Malone has been actively involved in Black Methodists for Church Renewal, the United Methodist Commission on Religion and Race, and the United Methodist Board of Church and Society. She joined the Garrett-Evangelical board of trustees in 2012 and is also the chairperson of the board of visitors for Garrett-Evangelical’s Center for the Church and the Black Experience. Malone was elected by her colleagues to be a delegate to General Conferences in 2008, 2012, and for the 2016 General Conference. On September 27, 2015, the Northern Illinois Conference General and Jurisdictional Conference Delegation announced the endorsement of Malone for the episcopacy in 2016 and on November 9, 2015 the Northern Illinois Conference unanimously approved the delegation’s endorsement.
Malone and her husband, Derrick, live in Flossmoor, Illinois, with their two daughters, Alexis, 17, and Ashley, 13.
Bishop Donald A. Ott is a native of Milwaukee, Wisconsin. He graduated from Carroll College with a bachelor of arts degree and attended Perkins School of Theology and the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. In 1965, he was awarded a master of divinity from Garrett Theological Seminary.
In 1992, the North Central Jurisdiction of The United Methodist Church elected Ott to the episcopacy. From 1992 to 2000, he was appointed to serve the Detroit and West Michigan Conferences for two consecutive terms. Prior to his election as bishop, Ott served as district superintendent for the Milwaukee District in the Wisconsin Annual Conference. Ott has also served as pastor of four Wisconsin congregations, while also serving five years as associate council director and three years as council director for the Wisconsin Annual Conference.
Ott’s service to the church is complemented by his service to the local communities in which he lived and served. He has been a highly valued board member of Green Bay’s Board of Family Service Association and the Wisconsin Council on Children and Families. In addition, Ott’s mission travel has included Bolivia, Japan, England, Kenya, Soviet Union (Estonia and Russia), Nepal, India, Bangladesh, Israel, Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands, Latvia, and Lithuania.
Ott joined the Garrett-Evangelical board of trustees in 1999. In 2000, Ott and his wife, Jan, established the Bishop Don and Jan Ott Scholarship at Garrett-Evangelical to help students meet the financial challenges of a seminary education. In 2012, he was elected as a Garrett-Evangelical life trustee and received an honorary doctor of divinity degree from the seminary.
Ott currently resides in Muskego, Wisconsin. His wife, Jan, passed away in June 2015. He has two grown children, Denise (Mrs. Thomas) Shircel and Duane (Megan) Ott, and grandchildren Tyler, Amy, and Cora Shircel and Nicola, Madelyn, Brady, and Kennedy Ott.