ATHENS, Ohio (Oct. 25, 2005) -- Ohio University trustee Robert D. Walter and his wife, Margaret (Peggy), have become early donors to Ohio's new Appalachian Scholars Program. Robert Walter earned his bachelor's in mechanical engineering from Ohio University in 1967, a master's in business administration from Harvard Business School in 1970, and an honorary doctorate from Ohio in 1997. He is chairman and CEO of Cardinal Health in Columbus, Ohio, a company he founded in 1971 at the age of 26. He has served on Ohio University's Board of Trustees since 1997. Peggy Walter earned her bachelor's in fine arts from Ohio in 1967.
Joining Ohio University President Roderick J. McDavis and his wife, Deborah, in making an early financial commitment to the program, the Walter's $10,000 gift will provide scholarship support for one Appalachian Scholar during the 2006-07 academic year.
The Appalachian Scholars Program is a need-based scholarship initiative that seeks high school students from the 29 counties in Appalachia Ohio and provides them with scholarship support to attend Ohio University. The program will provide opportunities for graduates of Appalachian school districts in the state who demonstrate enthusiasm, motivation to succeed, academic achievement and financial need. All six Ohio University campuses will participate in this program.
"The Appalachian Scholars Program is a renewed commitment to widening the doors to an Ohio University education for students from Appalachia who demonstrate enthusiasm, motivation to succeed, academic achievement, and financial need," McDavis said in a press conferencing announcing the program on Oct. 7. "By creating greater access to educational opportunities, Ohio University can make a profound difference in the quality of life and economic future for children of Appalachia."
The goal is to enroll the initial class of 10 Appalachian Scholars for fall 2006 and eventually enroll 40 students from the 29 county-region in Ohio identified by the Appalachian Regional Commission as being part of Appalachia. Already, scholarships for the first five Appalachian Scholars have been secured.
For each student selected, the program includes a four-year renewable scholarship, an annual book stipend, and participation in an annual leadership seminar. Those students also will receive funding to attend an approved professional conference in their junior years, internship opportunities and technology and research training. Ohio University alumni will mentor students throughout their academic careers.
To apply for the program, students must be admitted to Ohio University and demonstrate financial need by completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) by Feb. 1, 2006. The President's Office for University Diversity will contact eligible students, who should then complete an application packet including an essay and two letters of recommendation. Eligible students will participate in an interview with member of the selection committee. Other factors included in the review process are grade point average, class rank and standardized test scores.
The 29 Appalachia Ohio counties are Adams, Athens, Belmont, Brown, Carroll, Clermont, Columbiana, Coshocton, Gallia, Guernsey, Harrison, Highland, Hocking, Holmes, Jackson, Jefferson, Lawrence, Meigs, Monroe, Morgan, Muskingum, Noble, Perry, Pike, Ross, Scioto, Tuscarawas, Vinton and Washington.
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Media Contact: Director of Development Communication Jennifer Bowie, (740) 597-2987