By Natalie Smith
In celebration of its Bicentennial, Ohio University has launched the largest fund-raising efforts in its history, the Bicentennial Campaign, and faculty participation has played a significant role. Sixty-six percent of faculty and staff have made gift commitments to the campaign. Their total giving: more than $9.5 million. Ray Stephens, professor and director of the School of Accounting, is setting his own goals to ensure success in the program.
Through his efforts, Stephens -- who has only been with the University since 1999 -- has already helped to establish seven scholarships. After donating his own money, he canvassed staff members and alumni to help fully fund the scholarships.
"I've encouraged other faculty if they are going to make donations, to donate to [these scholarships]," Stephens said. "Support from alumni and friends is an important part of a quality program."
Each of the scholarships Stephens created has honored retired accounting faculty.
"I believe all scholarships should be named, and these were important people in the development of our program," Stephens said.
Stephens said he hopes to continue to establish more scholarships in the future in order to help meet the schools three endowment needs: scholarship endowment, faculty fellowship endowment, and named professorships.
"It's important for us to be able to attract and maintain students."
Stephens previously served as a professor at Kent State University from 1991-1999 and Ohio State University from 1978-1991. He earned a bachelor's degree from the University of Georgia, an M.B.A. from East Carolina University, and a D.B.A. from Harvard University.
The Bicentennial Campaign -- which has raised nearly $175 million toward its goal of raising $200 million in time for the university’s bicentennial in 2004 -- will provide money for scholarships, endowed professorships, technological enhancements, innovative programs, and selected capital improvements.
Natalie Smith is a student writer with the University Communications and Marketing.