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Thursday, Apr 24, 2014

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Denice Korcal

Photo courtesy of: University Advancement

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Alumna has 28 years of continuous giving - and counting

HTC alumna pays back scholarship dollars to college


When Denice Korcal left Ohio University in 1984, she did so with an interesting mission: she decided she would give back to the University at least as much as she received in financial assistance as a student.

Twenty-eight years and nearly four-dozen donations later, Korcal is persistent in fulfilling her mission.

Korcal graduated from the Honors Tutorial College (HTC) with a Bachelor of Arts in Spanish and went on to earn a MBA from Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management. She boasts a 27-year career at the Greater Chicago Metropolitan Water Reclamation District and works in water quality and flood damage protection.

“A friend gave me the idea of viewing my scholarships as loans,” Korcal said. She made her first gift to the HTC in 1989 and has been paying back her “loans” ever since.

Korcal attributes much of her success to the education she received at OHIO and the self-discipline she learned as an HTC student. Korcal also said that without scholarship and grant funds, she would not have been able to pursue a college education.

“There is no way I could have attended Ohio University without financial assistance,” Korcal said, adding that she believes it is even harder for students and families to afford tuition in today’s economy. “I would hate to think that something as trivial as money would hold back a hard worker from being able to succeed,” Korcal noted, “so I try to help where I can.”

Korcal’s philosophy of investing in those who invested in her education carries over into her career. The Water District funded much of the cost of her master’s degree through tuition reimbursement. Korcal, now the government agency’s director of human services, stayed on instead of pursuing a higher paying career.

“I didn’t want the taxpayers who footed the bill for my degree to get nothing in return,” Korcal said. “I think they are getting a good return on their investment in me.”