May 11, 2010
Ohio University’s College of Education, soon to be the Gladys W. and David H. Patton College of Education and Human Services, believes that the future depends on the college’s ability to prepare “talented, responsible, ethical educators” who are dedicated to lifelong learning. The college’s professors, students and alumni realize the potential impact education majors will have on the next generation. With the help of alumni, such as Carolyn Balogh, education students are given the chance to pursue an education that will, in turn, give others a chance to do the same.
Along with her husband Jim, Carolyn has endowed a $50,000 scholarship. The second scholarship established by the Baloghs, it will be awarded to undergraduates in the College of Education from the Cleveland area majoring in Middle or Early Childhood Education. According to College of Education Dean Renée Middleton, the Baloghs are “very loyal supporters of and advocates for Ohio University and the Gladys W. and David H. Patton College of Education and Human Services.”
“This endowed scholarship aides us in recruiting the best and brightest undergraduate students from the Cleveland area,” Middleton continued. “The geographic component of the award allows us to specifically target diverse teacher candidates from both urban and rural communities, furthering Ohio’s purpose as an access institution.”
According to Kaylin Kopcho, director of development for the College of Education, the Balogh’s gift may not only change the lives of individual students, but those of entire families and communities too.
“[This scholarship] has the potential to reach out to high-achieving, first generation college students and the possibility to help along a teacher candidate who is then going to go back into the classroom and influence the lives of the areas’ youth for years to come,” Kopcho said.
Carolyn is an Ohio University Foundation Emeriti Trustee. She is also active in Women in Philanthropy of Ohio University and has been involved with the College of Education Advisory Board and the Alumni Association Board of Directors among many other organizations, both at Ohio University and in her hometown of Cleveland.
“By and large, the fact that our alumni give gifts such as this one shows the value of an Ohio University degree,” Kopcho says, “It shows what one can accomplish and how one’s success in an industry or in the private sector can translate to rewarding the next generation of teachers, lawyers, doctors [and] accountants.”
Donors such as the Baloghs realize the impact that a donation, small or large, can have on a student. Whether covering full tuition or taking care of the cost of books, scholarships can directly affect the success of student.
“Students who receive awards and scholarships often talk about how motivating it is to be recognized for their hard work and achievements,” said Maureen Coon, assistant dean for student affairs and academic advising in the College of Education. “In addition to receiving high marks on grade reports, the additional motivation that comes from monetary recognition is another catalyst for the students to achieve their goals.”
Along with aiding a student in his or her education, gifts such as these directly benefit Ohio University. According to Kopcho, scholarships, especially endowed scholarships, and awards that exist in perpetuity are the “most direct way to increase enrollment.”
“For any academic unit, having scholarships available gives you a valuable tool to attract the best and the brightest, as well as to provide access to the institution,” she said.
According to Kopcho, the primary focus of the current capital campaign is to grow Ohio University’s endowment. This, in turn, will boost enrollment, attracting diverse undergraduate and graduate students and faculty to the campus, while securing funding for strategic goals and programs across Ohio.
Thanks to an IRA rollover incentive program that was established under the Pension Protection Act of 2006 for the 2006-2007 calendar years and under the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act for the 2008-2009 calendar years, gifts like the scholarship funded by the Baloghs have been relatively easy to establish. According to the Wall Street Journal, Congress is moving closer to extending the life of the tax break, which has encouraged many investors who meet the criteria to donate to charity.
This provision allowed tax payers who were approximately 70.5 years of age or older to transfer up to $100,000 a year from their retirement accounts directly to a charity without having the transfers counted as taxable income.
“It provides individuals with a vehicle to make a gift to the charitable organization of their choice while avoiding tax on the yearly IRA distributions the donor is mandated to take,” Kopcho said.
During the life of this tax break, 79 transfers were made to Ohio University using IRA rollover as a giving tool. This resulted in a total transaction amount of $810,691.32 from this program.
Regardless of how a gift is made, there is no denying its impact on the college to which it is given and the university as a whole.
“A lifetime of hard work has provided [Carolyn and Jim Balogh] with the ability to help the next generation of Bobcat educators attain undergraduate degrees,” Middleton said. “With the rising cost of higher education, now more than ever, private support is vital. As Dean, it’s comforting to know that there are loyal alumni and friends out there like the Baloghs.”