A professor emeritus of civil engineering at Ohio University and his wife have made a charitable gift to create an endowed award in the Fritz J. and Dolores H. Russ College of Engineering and Technology.
Ed and Edith Russ’s gift creates the Russ Ross Award Fund in Civil Engineering, in support of undergraduate civil engineering.
The Russes said they established the fund in honor of their parents. “Back in the time my wife and I were thinking about college, about the only way you went was with parents’s support,” Ed Russ said. “Students today have federal, state, and guaranteed loans. None of that was available then,” he explained.
The scholarship is named after the couple’s parents – Edith’s maiden name is Ross.
Ed Russ said they hope the award will ease the burden for students who may find themselves overwhelmed by the financial burden of higher education. Just as his parents helped him, Russ would like to help students go to create for good in the world, he said.
“It was our parent’s desire that we advance our education,” Ed Russ said. “This is in recognition of their efforts. It’s a good way of honoring our parents.”
Chair of the Department of Civil Engineering Deb McAvoy said Ed and Edith’s devotion is clear. “Even after retirement, Professor Ed Russ continues to maintain contact with faculty and monitors student progress in our senior design capstone course,” she said.
Since he retired from teaching in 1991, Russ has stayed connected to the university community through a civil engineering graphics course he helped develop. In it, students learn how to use AutoCAD to solve hypothetical problems related to structural, sanitation, water, utility and other civil engineering applications. Russ continues to visit the campus a few times a year and helped update the course for the semester transition last year.
“The Russ Ross Award Fund is a continuation of the Russes’ tremendous support and will perpetuate their devotion to future generations of civil engineering students,” McAvoy said.
The Russ Ross Award Fund gift is part of OHIO’s The Promise Lives Campaign, which seeks to raise $450 million by June 30, 2015. The Campaign has secured more than $429 million toward its goal in support of students, faculty, programs, partnerships and select facilities at Ohio University.