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Tuesday, Oct 21, 2014

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Peggy Viehweger

Peggy Viehweger is a 1971 College of Arts and Sciences graduate and Athens native.

Photo courtesy of: University Communications and Marketing

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Alumna pledges scholarship to Appalachian students


When Peggy Viehweger attended Ohio University in the late 1960s, life was different. With the civil rights movement in full swing, the Vietnam War dominating headlines and the Beatles dominating airwaves, it was a far cry from our world today. But according to Viehweger, there is one thing that hasn’t changed—the struggle for students to afford to go to college.

“When I was in school, I was really aware of the difference between those who could go to college, and those who could not,” she said.

An active member of the Bobcat family, Viehweger has established a scholarship endowment in her name. The Peggy Viehweger Scholarship, which will be matched $.50 on the dollar through OHIO’s Undergraduate Scholarship Matching Program, will benefit students selected for the Appalachian Scholars program who also are enrolled in the College of Arts and Sciences on the basis of merit and need.

The Appalachian Scholars program provides funds and support to students from any of Ohio’s Appalachian counties who demonstrate financial need, academic excellence and showcase a strong desire to succeed. The Scholars engage in the LINKS program, which matches incoming freshmen with upperclass mentors who help them transition into their first academic year. Scholars also reap the benefits of many services like free tutoring, a residential learning community, a summer pre-matriculation program, and technology and research training.

Viehweger, a 1971 College of Arts and Sciences graduate and Athens native, knows first-hand how beneficial an OHIO education can be, not only from an academic standpoint but also in terms of personal growth.

“I spent a lot of time learning how what I had been taught applied to the world at large,” she said. “Being involved in debating and questioning everything helped shape me as a person, and coming to OU helped me grow.” As an alumna, Viehweger has remained committed to OHIO. She serves as a National Trustee on the Ohio University Board of Trustees, a member of The Ohio University Foundation Board, a member of OHIO Women (formerly known as Women in Philanthropy) and as the representative for the College of Arts and Sciences' The Promise Lives Campaign Steering Committee.

Viehweger’s gift is part of OHIO’s The Promise Lives Campaign, which reached its goal of $450 million in support of students, faculty, programs, outreach and facilities in April—14 months ahead of the June 30, 2015, deadline. Having secured more than $452.1 million, the Campaign will continue through June of 2015 and focus on increasing scholarship gifts.

Through her scholarship, Viehweger hopes to be a part of students’ journeys into higher education. Her family has been involved in the University since her grandfather Don Peden (after whom the stadium is named) became the winningest football coach in Bobcat history. Her mother, Ann Peden Urbach, also attended Ohio University, as did Viehweger’s daughter. With such a strong generational tie to OHIO, Viehweger knew that she wanted to establish a scholarship to help future students.

“As a member of the OU team, I have been able to see these kinds of gifts and grants at work,” she said. “I know how it is to do it all on your own, having worked my way through college. A meaningful scholarship is a great way for me to contribute to the education of students.”