Annual Report on Giving 2019
“Religion, morality and knowledge, being necessary to good government
and the happiness of mankind, schools and the means of education shall forever be encouraged.”
—The Northwest Ordinance of 1787, Article III
In 1804, this promise, enacted by our nation’s founding fathers, gave birth to Ohio University, the first university established in the newly settled American territory. More than 215 years later, that promise serves as a beacon to some 251,262 living alumni and 32,965 current students for whom the dream of an OHIO education has been encouraged. It’s a promise that stands at the heart of Ohio University’s mission and is a source of inspiration to students, educators, leadership and generations of visionary donors whose philanthropy not only supports but also endorses an OHIO education.
In fiscal year 2019 (July 1, 2018, through June 30, 2019), 15,407 OHIO alumni and friends made Ohio University’s legacy part of their legacy, generously committing $29,658,802 to The Ohio University Foundation. Their support opens the door to higher education, provides students with life-changing opportunities for professional and personal growth, and equips faculty and staff with the resources and facilities that make OHIO one of the nation’s premier transformational learning communities.
This 2019 Report on Giving is a tribute to the champions of Ohio University’s future – the individuals who, like our founders, know the value education brings to both the individual and humankind and who are committed to making OHIO a place where education serves both.
that thou mayest
GROWTH IN KNOWLEDGE
Hometown higher education heroes
Chillicothe native Sydney Tackett is a first-generation student whose higher education dreams were fueled by her parents and financially backed by two hometown heroes.
“College was always in the cards for me in the sense that my parents were going to do everything they could to make it happen because they wanted that for me and they believe that we need higher education in order to have opportunities,” said Tackett, a junior studying nursing at OHIO’s Chillicothe Campus.
It’s a belief shared by fellow Chillicothe natives Mary and Larry Gates who, in 2004, established the Gates Foundation-Ross County Scholar’s Fund to help offset the costs of an undergraduate degree for students in their home county. Since then, more than 200 scholarships have been awarded to deserving Ross County students pursuing their educational dreams and career goals.
“It has made a massive difference for me and my family,” Tackett said of the Gates Foundation scholarship she has received for the past three years. “Going through nursing school and not having that financial burden is one of the biggest blessings. I would like to thank Mary and Larry Gates for creating a scholarship fund for people like me who might not have had the opportunity to go to college if it weren’t for them, their passion and their determination to uplift and encourage future generations to pursue higher education.”
In fiscal year 2019, 222 donors contributed more than $306,000 to scholarships benefitting students at OHIO’s five regional campuses.
Debt-free and Bobcat-backed
Claire Kirwen’s hard work in high school earned her scholarships and a place in the College of Business Honors Program. But it was a scholarship Kirwen received in 2018 that brought added meaning to her OHIO experience.
The Patricia A. Pae ’90 and Monique Means McDonough ’95 Scholarship honoring Women Business Leaders, created in partnership with The OHIO Match, pays forward the financial support McDonough received as a student while paying tribute to the opportunities these alumnae had as students and the strong OHIO women who inspired them as graduates.
For Kirwen, the scholarship not only alleviated financial worries but gave her a boost of confidence in the year leading up to graduation.
“The title attached to it, ‘women business leaders,’ meant a great deal to me,” she said – and even more so after she connected with the successful OHIO women behind the generosity. “To be able to make that connection and to really feel supported by alumnae was incredibly meaningful to me.”
Less than a week after graduating, Kirwen accepted a position as a coordinator in the Research Education and Training Center at the Cleveland Clinic’s Lerner Research Institute.
“As I start my career and am surrounded by other young professionals, I am thankful not to be weighed down by student loans, unlike many of my colleagues,” Kirwen said. “Additionally, I feel lucky to have been able to connect with alumnae like Patty and Monique because they are a good example of the Bobcat spirit.”
that thou mayest
GROWTH IN WISDOM
Training students while elevating local quality of life
Dr. Kelly S. Johnson has spent the past 20 years collaborating with Ohio University students, faculty, government agencies and private partners to permanently restore Southeastern Ohio waterways once declared biologically dead from the effects of acid mine drainage. It’s a labor of love fueled not only by the passion and skillset of the individuals involved but also by private philanthropy.
In 2007, Johnson was named OHIO’s American Electric Power (AEP) Watershed Research and Reclamation Professor. Created in 2004 by the AEP Foundation, the endowed professorship, housed in OHIO’s Voinovich School of Leadership and Public Affairs, supports the University’s ongoing efforts to improve the region’s water quality ravaged by decades of coal mining.
“I think the fact that it’s in our backyard makes it all the more important,” Johnson said of the work she, her students and others involved in the efforts do. “We know the landowners. We know the watershed groups who are in contact with people who live in those areas. It adds a feeling that we are contributing something important and something neighbors can see.”
Funding from the professorship has been used to purchase necessary research equipment, for travel expenses for graduate students to attend and present at conferences, and to construct artificial stream channels where OHIO faculty and students conduct research year-round. It’s funding that is not only enhancing the training OHIO students receive on their road to becoming environmental scientists, but also elevating the quality of life in the region.
Facilitating the exchange of ideas, culture and experiences
The Robert and René Glidden Visiting Professorship supports short-term academic appointments for distinguished visitors to Ohio University with the goal of exposing students and faculty to scholars who contribute to and enrich the community’s intellectual and research endeavors while showcasing OHIO’s strengths and resources.
The 2018-19 Glidden Visiting Professorship did all that and more – thanks to additional funding from OHIO’s College of Arts and Sciences, Physics and Astronomy Department and Nanoscale and Quantum Phenomena Institute that allowed the appointment to span an entire year and reach more corners of the University.
The year Daiara Faria of Brazil’s Rio de Janeiro State University spent at OHIO fostered the exchange of ideas, cultures and experiences that propelled research into the properties of graphene forward and led to new interdisciplinary connections.
In addition to interacting extensively with physics and astronomy faculty and students, Faria presented to students in the Margaret Boyd Scholars Program and the Department of Modern Languages. Faria shared with them the activism she has engaged in in her home country where financial turmoil threatened to shutter her university as well as some of the science-based community outreach she has spearheaded.
“As a scientist, she’s the best example I can think of for my students,” Dr. Nancy Sandler said of the Brazilian colleague with whom she has collaborated for nearly a decade. “To be able to bring someone like her to my program and to this University – so our students have an idea of what it means to be a scientist and a woman scientist – that, to me, is priceless.”
that thou mayest
GROWTH IN LOVE
A tribute to the past, inspiration for the future
From buildings that bear donors’ names to the Alumni Gateway gifted in honor of the 100th anniversary of OHIO’s first graduates, Ohio University’s campuses are filled with visible reminders of those who have given in support of an OHIO education.
The past year saw the installation of another one of those reminders and a tribute to a group of Bobcats who have established a legacy of excellence, service and brotherhood.
2019 marked the 100th anniversary of the Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc. Phi Chapter, Ohio University’s first African-American student organization. In honor of this milestone, the fraternity’s alumni society launched the Alpha Phi Alpha 100th Anniversary Fund.
The impact: the dedication of the Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. Phi Chapter named Conference Room – Room 226 of Baker University Center. Fifty-nine donors contributed 143 gifts to the fund, and during the 2019 OHIO Black Alumni Reunion the naming of this space was celebrated and a dedication was held. The room honors OHIO’s Alpha Phi Alpha brothers and their unwavering commitment to the organization’s aims: manly deeds, scholarship and love for all mankind.
“(The room) is a commemorative symbol,” said Terry Frazier (BS ’99, MED ’00), an Alpha Phi Alpha alumnus who spearheaded the fundraising effort. “It shows we’ve left a legacy.”
The room also serves as inspiration for future Ohio University students who are encouraged to leave their own legacy while pursuing their education.
“The guys that were here before me, they just had a great foundation,” said senior Tyrell Carter, the fraternity’s current president. “They were great individuals. They were leaders on campus, and they sparked my interest and made me want to follow in their footsteps.”
A moment nearly nine years in the making
On April 18, 2019, the Ohio University community made history. In a 24-hour period, 1,535 donors contributed more than $443,000 to the University during its first-ever Giving Day.
It was both the beginning of a new Ohio University tradition and the grand finale to a fundraising effort that started nearly nine years earlier when the Ebony Bobcat Network (EBN) was formed with an overarching goal of connecting Bobcats and supporting OHIO’s Urban Scholars Program.
In 2010, the EBN embarked on a campaign to raise $300,000 to fully endow the EBN Urban Scholarship Fund. On Giving Day 2019, the EBN surpassed that goal – thanks to the 574 donors who contributed 1,421 gifts to the fund, which will provide tuition assistance and support to high-achieving students from urban school districts across Ohio.
For OHIO’s newest Urban Scholar, first-year student Carla Spearman of Cleveland, the scholarship is much-needed and appreciated financial assistance that is also giving her a sense of purpose and leading to opportunities.
“To me, being an Urban Scholar means showing people the importance of diversity and what inner-city kids can do as opposed to what we expect from them stereotypically,” Carla, who is majoring in music production, said. “Financially, it helps a lot as far as daily stress, but it’s also opening a lot of doors for me. Just today, I found out that I was nominated to attend a black student leadership conference in Atlanta. I think my scholarship had a lot to do with that, and I’m just really grateful.”
A testament to the strength of Bobcat bonds
When alumni give to Ohio University, they invest in its future and the Bobcats following in their footsteps. They reaffirm their love for their alma mater. And, in many cases, they renew the bonds they share.
In the months leading up to the 10th anniversary of their graduation, the Master of Sports Administration Program’s Class of 2009 banded together to establish the Evie Kittle Award. The scholarship was created to support future Bobcats while honoring a classmate’s incredible sacrifice and selflessness.
Five years earlier, Matt Kittle (BBA ’04, MBA ’08, MSA ’09) and his wife, Elena, made the difficult decision to turn a moment of sorrow into an opportunity to give to others. After learning that their first child had two birth defects that gave her a less than 1 percent chance of making it to delivery, the couple decided to try to carry her to term and, when the time came, to donate her organs.
Evelyn “Evie” Grace Kittle was born April 4, 2015. She only lived 58 minutes, but the five organs she donated gave life to others and a new purpose to her parents who became staunch advocates for organ donation.
Today, Evie’s legacy lives on – in the individuals whose lives she saved, in her parents’ advocacy, and in the countless Ohio University students whose education will be financed in part by the scholarship that bears her name.
“(The Evie Kittle Award) is a testament to how our family at OHIO supports each other and this institution that has given us so much,” said Matt.