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Gates Foundation 2017
June 12, 2017 : Gates Foundation Scholars announced for 2017


Gates Foundation Scholars announced for 2017


In a 13-year timeframe, more than 180 Ross County students pursing a degree in higher education have received funding to tackle their educational endeavors thanks to the Gates Foundation.


This year, the Gates Foundation will once again award 12 students scholarships from the Ross County Scholar’s Fund to help offset the cost of an undergraduate college education not covered by financial aid and/or scholarships. In total, the scholarship fund will eventually reach $10 million in financial assistance given to students.


Five new recipients were added to the list of outstanding scholars with seven previous scholarship beneficiaries receiving funding to continue their studies. This year, seven of the 12 recipients will attend college at Ohio University in Athens or at Ohio University Chillicothe.


Chillicothe native Larry Gates, and his wife, Mary, established the fund in 2004 to pave the way toward attaining a degree for area students in Ross County.


When reflecting on the inception of the scholarship program, Gates noted, “When we originally started our foundation, we were so impressed with how helpful the local Dean and the foundation staff in Athens were in assisting us. Meeting such wonderful young people and their families has been most gratifying to us since the start of the Scholarship Program.”


It isn’t hard to detect the passion interlaced into the foundation’s creators, who reminisced openly about the propensity for success, aptitude and educational well-roundedness that the scholarship recipients display. Many have seen great success thanks to the generosity of the Gates family and have pursed graduate level degrees or sought out rigorous academic endeavors.


“We are so blessed to have Ohio University in our community – an institution that’s such a source of pride for us all,” Gates said while articulating the wonderful opportunity the school provides to the surrounding area.


Each year, students submit applications for first time award or renewal of the scholarship which are sent to the committee for selection.


Selection criteria for the scholarship includes potential to succeed in college as determined by high school grades and college entrance scores, letters of reference and financial need.  The scholarships are renewable for up to an additional three years for those who continue to qualify. Students may attend the college or university of their choices.  


2017 The Gates Foundation – Ross County Scholars

The new recipients include:

  • Darby Pillow - attending Ohio University

  • Jeffrey Postage – attending Otterbein University

  • Ann Shelby – attending Ohio University

  • Michael Stauffer - attending Ohio University

  • Sydney Tackett - attending Ohio University


Renewed recipients include:

  • Justin Dye – attending Ohio University Chillicothe

  • Casaundra Parker – attending The Ohio State University

  • Courtney Parker - attending The Ohio State University

  • Abbey Perry – attending Shawnee State University

  • Izabella Timmons – attending the University of Findlay

  • Katherine McMahon – attending Ohio University

  • Jillian Pontius – attending Ohio University


Gates Foundation directors include Nicole McLaughlin, Michelle Shanholtzer, Matthew Haller, Kimberly Hirsch, Nancy Harris, Jack Jeffery and Valerie Miller.

Mr. Gates is a retired executive with Philip Morris Companies and has been extremely active in the Chillicothe community and with Ohio University. He has served as a Chairman of the Regional Coordinating Council and served on the board of directors for the Ohio University Foundation in Athens. Additionally, he worked to develop the concept for the Entrepreneur Center and served as fundraising chairmen for the OUC Child Development Center.

The donor-advised fund is administered by The Ohio University Foundation, the private fundraising arm of the university.

More information on The Gates Foundation-Ross County Scholar's Fund is available online at