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Wednesday, Dec 17, 2014

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Fairfield National Bank President Steve Wells

Fairfield National Bank President Steve Wells

Photo courtesy of: Cheri Russo

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Fairfield National Bank makes $75,000 gift to Ohio University Lancaster/Pickerington and scholarship fund

Scholarship includes opportunity for paid summer internship at Fairfield National Bank


Many college students struggle with how to balance finances, work, school and internship requirements. That is one of the reasons Fairfield National Bank is making a $75,000 contribution to Ohio University Lancaster (OUL) and the Fairfield National Bank Scholarship. The scholarship will allow students to meet their college requirements, get the real-world experience they need to get a job and make money at the same time. This is one of the largest corporate gifts in OUL history and it comes at a time when corporate giving is tumultuous at best.

“Ohio University is a vital part of the economic vitality of our community, so further funding our scholarship made great sense to us. It ensures access to educational opportunity for deserving individuals, and promotes their learning and leadership,” said Steve Wells, bank president. “We have witnessed many of our friends, family and bank associates grow tremendously thanks to the educational opportunity provided by the Ohio University Lancaster Campus and Pickerington Center, so we want to help build upon that more.”  

The Fairfield National Bank Scholarship will be given to full-time, undergraduate students with financial need. Preference will be given to students who demonstrate student leadership or involvement in their school or community. The scholarship will help fund the student’s college education at Ohio University Lancaster | Pickerington while also granting students an opportunity for a paid internship at the bank. 

“Practical, hands-on experience is a critical part of learning and bridging the gap from the classroom to the real world. We saw this as a great opportunity to provide a real world experience, as well as a chance to add motivated, bright individuals to our workforce. Everyone can benefit from this exciting arrangement,” said Wells.

“Making scholarships available to students is crucial and the fact that Fairfield National Bank is adding money to its scholarship is a wonderful thing for the students and our community,” said Lancaster Campus Dean Jim Smith.

Fairfield National Bank (FNB) has been serving families and businesses around Fairfield County for generations. There are bank locations in Lancaster, Baltimore, Canal Winchester, Pickerington and Reynoldsburg. Giving back to the community has been a part of the FNB culture since the bank was established in 1872. Philip Rising, the first president, and his family donated the land that is now Rising Park to the city of Lancaster in 1909. FNB is continuing the founding fathers’ tradition of giving back to the community by providing volunteers and financial support to a variety of organizations in Fairfield County. 

The $75,000 gift supports Ohio University’s The Promise Lives Campaign, a $450 million campaign to support scholarships, faculty, the student experience, facilities, and community outreach. So far the Campaign has raised more than $413 million in support of these priorities. The Campaign ends in June, 2015. 

On the Lancaster Campus, the goal is to raise $3.5 million in order to expand educational opportunities that spur business growth in Fairfield County. The campus already has secured $2 million in support toward the Campaign. Fairfield National Bank President Steve Wells is the chair for the Lancaster | Pickerington Campaign.

“We count Ohio University as one of the most important and unique assets in Lancaster, Pickerington, and the surrounding area. Few towns our size have this type of resource, and it is vital that we support and promote our most important assets. Competition for jobs and growth in towns everywhere is fierce, and having an asset like Ohio University, right here, so close to home is a huge advantage for us and one that we value at Fairfield National and that I personally value,” said Wells.

Ohio University’s Lancaster Campus and Pickerington Center are a critical gateway to education and opportunity for students and the community. They offer 14 associate’s degree and nine bachelor’s degree majors along with four master’s degree programs at the Pickerington Center. The Lancaster campus has experienced tremendous progress since its founding in 1956, and continues to provide a premiere university education within a small-college setting at an affordable price.

To learn more about The Promise Lives Campaign or to make a donation, visit www.ohio.edu/lancaster or contact Mandi Custer at custera@ohio.edu or 740-654-6711 ext. 234.