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Celebrating Scholarships and the Future of Community on OHIO’s Regional Campuses

By Mandi Custer | Oct 21, 2012

Ohio University has a rich tradition and heritage in providing access to education, and when the first regional campus was founded in 1946 in Chillicothe, the spirit and impact of providing that access in the form of scholarship funding expanded beyond Athens and into the southern and southeastern Ohio communities.  Every scholarship is special, and every one changes the life of the student who receives it.   But when a student attending an Ohio University regional campus receives a scholarship, the impact is prolific, touching the scholarship recipient, his or her family members and the community in which the student lives, works and pursues their Ohio University degree.

Regional campus scholarships also provide educational access to students who demonstrate a financial need, including students living in poverty.  At the Zanesville Campus, 80 percent of students need financial aid to attend college—at the Southern Campus, the number increases to 85 percent.  Scholarships can be the deciding factor for students when considering a college degree.

The Impact of OHIO Regional Campuses on Communities

A strong sense of community is a key component to student success at regional campuses, partly because approximately 95 percent of regional campus students are employed at nearby businesses.  Coupled with the fact that the majority of regional campus students intend to use their Ohio University degrees to find employment in the same region, the reality is many area businesses see funding a regional campus scholarship as a way to fund future leaders and enhance the pool of employees in their respective communities.

Regional campuses enroll a high number of non-traditional students.  Many regional campus students have children and fiscal responsibilities that can make staying in college a challenge.  Many are first-generation college students and for them, beginning a new tradition comes with its own challenges, too.   

Regional Scholarships: Making the Difference

The Zanesville Campus:
The Charles W. Allbritain Education Scholarship Fund

Born and raised in Zanesville, Ohio, Charles Allbritain received his bachelor of science degree in education from Ohio University in 1969 and his master’s degree in education in 1979. Chuck touched the lives of many as a teacher, principal, and coach for more than 35 years.  When he died on June 12, 2007, his family and friends knew that the most appropriate tribute they could make to his life was to establish a scholarship in his name. Chuck’s widow, Erin Allbritain, was also an educator. She said she never anticipated how personally rewarding it would be to touch the lives of future teachers in Muskingum County. 

The Lancaster Campus|Pickerington Center: The Dr. Carol Christy Scholarship Fund

An estate gift from Carol Christy, professor emeritus of political science, established the Dr. Carol Christy Scholarship Fund.  Christy, the first full professor within the regional campus system, established her scholarship to fit the Lancaster students’ needs to a tee.  The scholarship benefits part-time students, age 25 years or older, who have work and or family responsibilities in addition to managing their college courses. 

“Dr. Christy certainly knew and understood the students at the Lancaster Campus and Pickerington Center,” said Dean Jim Smith.       

The Southern Campus:The Clifford E. and Jean Peters Allen Scholarship

The Clifford E. and Jean Peters Allen Scholarship was established by Clifford and Jean Allen to support Southern Campus students. Mr. Allen fought in the infantry in World War I and received Army disability checks from 1918 until his death in the 1970s. With each check he purchased U.S. Savings Bonds.  Following Clifford’s death, Mrs. Allen cashed in the bonds to fund the scholarship, a reflection of his pride for the Southern Campus.  Michelle Dotts received the award for the 2012-2013 academic year.

“My husband and I are both current students, so the lifted burden of having less to pay back in student loans once we graduate was an added bonus.  Neither one of us are in professions that will garner a huge amount of monetary gain (from the degrees being pursued).  We do what we do because it is what we love and what we feel we are supposed to be doing,” she said.  

The Chillicothe Campus:The Howard O. "Corky" Miller Scholarship

Unlike the main campus in Athens, regional campuses cannot award athletic scholarships.  Still, OHIO’s regional campuses field teams in volleyball, basketball, baseball, golf, softball and tennis.  While there are no season passes and admission to athletic events is free, the community pride for regional campus athletics is real and abundant.  In Chillicothe, the family of legendary Chillicothe Campus basketball coach Howard "Corky" Miller established a scholarship that captures the former coach's commitment to supporting these student-athletes. The Howard O. "Corky" Miller Scholarship benefits full-time undergraduate student-athletes who demonstrate financial need and have a GPA of at least 3.0. 

Campus and community pride resonate on each of the five regional campuses within the Ohio University system.  Scholarship gifts of all shapes and sizes change the lives of students of all ages and backgrounds.  For more information about funding a scholarship on a regional campus, please contact Joyce Atwood in Chillicothe atwoodj@ohio.edu, 740-774-7732; Cindy Linn in Zanesville linnc@ohio.edu, 740-588-1547; Matt Ward on the Southern Campus wardr3@ohio.edu, 740-547-3792; and Mandi Custer in Lancaster custera@ohio.edu, 740-654-6711, ext. 234.