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Corporations support successful minority leadership and recruitment program at Ohio University

ATHENS, Ohio (June 2, 2006) -- In 2003, The Cardinal Health Inc., Foundation partnered with Ohio University's College of Business to establish a pilot program: the Cardinal Health Junior Executive Business Program for Minorities. The foundation recently committed $44,000 over two years to continue funding this successful venture through 2008. In addition, Deloitte & Touche USA LLP has committed $15,000 to fund a component of the College's minority recruitment program established by the Black Student Business Caucus called "Focus on the Future: Empowering Tomorrow's Leaders Today."

"Together, the Cardinal Health Inc., Foundation and Deloitte & Touche USA LLP are making a real difference in Ohio's efforts to recruit students from underrepresented groups," said Interim Vice President for University Advancement Molly Tampke. "It's our vision to enhance diversity across the university community. Partnerships with corporations like these will help us to achieve that goal."

The Cardinal Health Inc., Foundation's original $60,000 investment launched the Junior Executive Business Program for Minorities during summer 2004. The program is designed to help high-achieving students from underrepresented populations, who are interested in majoring in business, make informed decisions about their futures, to prepare them for the transition from high school into a business degree program and to give them a real and relevant business experience with Cardinal Health.

During the program's two years of operation, 17 of 37 minority participants have chosen to attend Ohio – 12 of these enrolling in the College of Business. The number of participants who enroll at Ohio increases each year. In fall 2005, seven of the summer 2004 participants were enrolled. In fall 2006, 10 of the summer 2005 participants will be freshman. To date, all but one eligible participant has applied to Ohio University for the fall following their Junior Executive Program experience.

Pointing to the quality of Junior Executive Program participants, a number of the students enrolling at Ohio have earned prestigious scholarship packages designated for students from underrepresented groups, including: Templeton Scholars, full-ride scholarship; Urban Scholarships, full tuition and fee scholarship as well as a book stipend; and the King-Chavez-Parks Award, $8,000 - $10,000 in scholarship aid per year.

"A majority of the program's participants frankly tell me that, a year ago, Ohio University was not at all on their radar screens, and they had no intention of enrolling here," says program director Mary Strother. "Rather, they saw that the Junior Executive Program was a good opportunity and came onto campus and to see what Ohio University and Athens are really all about. It's personally rewarding that so many of the participants end up choosing to attend Ohio University."

This summer, the Junior Executive Business Program expects to enroll 26 high-achieving minority students. During an eight-day program in the College of Business they will experience college life first-hand and take classes in business, accounting, marketing, finance, and public speaking. The program emphasizes leadership, team building, and good study skills and students attend enrichment workshops in resume writing, business etiquette, and use of an extensive research library. The overall theme is on problem-based team learning.

"Participants put on their business consultant hat," says Strother. "They are 'hired' by Cardinal Health, a top Fortune 50 company, to analyze a particular problem or issue, and to make recommendations to them – live – at the end of the program."

"The combination of Cardinal's generous financial support and a passionate commitment by the university to developing relationships with schools, families, and students has been the primary reason for this program's success over the past two years," says Robert H. Freeman Professor of Logistics Management Chris Moberg, who teaches in the Marketing Department. "The program is having a profound impact on our diversity efforts."

The Black Student Business Caucus launched its "Focus on the Future" program in 2005. Established in 1988, the BSBC is a student organization focused on excellence and diversity as well as techniques necessary for survival in the corporate arena. Deloitte & Touche USA LLP's commitment will fund this program for three years, beginning in 2006.

Through the Deloitte & Touche USA LLP Focus on the Future Program, high school juniors have the opportunity to engage, bond, and share a college experience with their peers – as well as with current Ohio undergraduate business students, faculty, and staff. Participants get a taste of college life and majoring in business during an overnight stay on Ohio's Athens campus. Last February, "Focus on the Future" hosted 17 minority participants – up from nine in 2005.

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Media Contact: Director of Development Communication Jennifer Bowie, (740) 597-2987 or bowiej@ohio.edu

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