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Gallery of Donors

Over the years, gifts to the College of Health Sciences and Professions have come in many forms from a highly diverse group of donors, each with a unique motivation for reaching out to the College and its students. The donations have endowed scholarships, funded graduate assistantships and student awards, even paid for a special gallery space within Grover Center to display the exceptional work of students and faculty members. One thing all these gifts have in common is their enhancement of student learning.

Charles and Judy Beck

Ohio University alumnus Charles Beck and his wife, Judy, have pledged a $1 million gift to support the university's nursing program and its Kids on Campus afterschool and summer programs for area schoolchildren.

Beck received a bachelor's degree from OHIO in 1962 with a major in mathematics and a minor in Russian language. He is currently on the 39-member board of trustees of the Ohio University Foundation, the university's fund-raising arm. Judy Beck is a designer and artist who owns the firm Chambers Design. The couple lives in Los Angeles.

The Beck gift will be divided among three funds: the Judy and Charles Beck Endowment, which will benefit Kids on Campus; the Beck Family School of Nursing Support Fund; and the Jeanne DeLeur Beck Scholarship in Nursing Endowment, which is named for Chuck Beck's mother, who had a lifelong dream of becoming a nurse.

In the Becks' words, "We have devoted recent years to supporting initiatives in the fields of education and health care.  We feel both grateful and privileged to contribute to a college at Ohio University (Health Sciences and Professions) that combines both. We are convinced that the Nursing and the Kids on Campus programs are well-conceived, and we are impressed with their effectiveness in addressing needs that are not always the top priorities in today's budget-stressed environment. We wish to help, we know that our gift will be in good hands, and we hope that it will encourage Ohio University in its commitment to maintain excellence in these important areas."

The gift will bolster two programs that are facing challenges. Enrollment in Ohio University's School of Nursing has more than doubled in the past decade as it strives to help address a shortage of nurses in the region – part of a nationwide problem of too few nurses to care for the swelling ranks of baby boomers. Kids on Campus, a community organization that provides tutoring and meals to academically at risk youngsters, has seen its main source of funding – state and federal grants – dwindle in recent years due to budget cuts. Kids on Campus and the School of Nursing are both part of Ohio University's College of Health Sciences and Professions (CHSP).

"We thank Chuck and Judy for their continued generosity to Ohio University's College of Health Sciences and Professions. Their gift will greatly benefit students on our Athens campus as well as children in the Athens community," said Ohio University President Roderick J. McDavis. "It is gratifying to earn the support of our alumni, especially that of our Foundation Trustees, as we continue to elevate the student experience and to foster our students' learning and growth. This leadership gift will help us do that as we strive to provide the best student-centered learning experience in the country."

Randy Leite, CHSP dean, said the Becks' gift will make a big difference for two programs that have an outsized impact on their rural Appalachian community.

"Chuck and Judy continue to be wonderful friends to our college, our students, and the people we serve," Leite said. Their generous gift will help us to tutor and feed our community's most vulnerable children and put more nurses in a medically underserved region that has elevated risks for diseases such as diabetes. Chuck and Judy's commitment to helping the children of Appalachia and future nurses who might serve the reason is very commendable."

Herb and Margaret Eglie

After a successful 30-year career in food services, Herb Eglie wanted to honor the people and experiences he says were the main ingredients in his success. He may have come up with the perfect recipe.

Eglie, AB '57, and his wife, Margaret, have donated $100,000 to establish an endowed scholarship in Ohio University's School of Human and Consumer Sciences. Beginning in fall 2007, the gift will help students who follow Eglie's footsteps into food-related fields by pursuing such majors as dietetics, nutrition with science, hospitality, and hotel and tourism.

The Russell W. and Ida L. Davis Eglie Memorial Scholarship is named in honor of Eglie's parents, who lacked the means to send their son to college but nevertheless encouraged him in his determination to go. Eglie had other inspirations as well, which he explained during an April tour of an Ohio University campus that has changed markedly since he last saw it 18 years ago. The retiree and his wife had traveled from their Leaning Acres Ranch near Minerva in northeast Ohio, where they raise sheep.

During a talk with a group of Human and Consumer Sciences students, the soft-spoken Eglie passed on lessons he had learned during his career, much of it at ARAMARK, an international company that specializes in food, hospitality and facility- management services. His work has taken him all over the Midwest – Chicago, Pittsburgh, Wooster, Ohio, Rockford, Ill., and two summers in Wisconsin feeding Boy Scouts.
He also described what it was like learning the ropes of the food-services trade at Ohio University during the mid-1950s under the supervision of his mentor, the incomparable Margaret K. Davis. Davis supervised University cafeterias and other services for nearly four decades, and her name graces a dining room in the campus' landmark Baker University Center. (For more on Davis, see story below.)
From Davis and others, Eglie learned to pay attention to the details, do the best he could with what he had and follow the Golden Rule in managing those who worked for him in the years that followed.

"Treat employees the way I would want to be treated," he said. ""And don't blame them for their job abilities if you haven't provided the training they need.''

Eglie said he was persuaded by his attorney to make his gift to OHIO now, rather than in his will, so he could see the difference it made in the lives of the students it will help.

"I thoroughly enjoyed my time here," he said. "And I want to see [those memories] put into action."

His parting advice for the students was to keep an open mind about where their career paths might lead. As an example, he offered his own experience of coming to OHIO on scholarship to study law, but then changing course once "food service grabbed hold of me."

"You'll find a niche. I found mine. And remember Ohio University in the future. Remember what it's done for you."

Mary Ellen Clay

Mary Ellen Clay died in 2005 and never attended Ohio University, but OU nursing students will benefit from her generosity and appreciation of nurses for years to come.

In 2006, the nursing programs at Ohio University, Ohio State University and Belmont Technical College in St. Clairsville each received endowments of $246,000 from the estate of the Upper Arlington woman whose appreciation of nurses grew from her childhood struggle with polio. Her bequest was divided equally among the schools.

Clay earned both her master's degree and Ph.D. in entomology from OSU in 1966 and 1969, respectively. She received a bachelor's degree in biology from Muskingham College in New Concord in 1963. From 1969 until the time of her death on Aug. 4, 2005, she was involved in OSU's entomology program as a graduate researcher, professor and adviser.

Clay's gift to help nursing undergraduates was motivated in part by her appreciation of the commitment to her own college education by her parents, Walter and Christena Clay, according to Craig E. Evans, the Columbus attorney handling her estate. She also was inspired by the nursing care she received at Columbus Children's Hospital after contracting polio as a child.

"She had identified nursing as being important to her from her life experience. Nursing, her parents, and eastern Ohio students were all important to her," Evans said.

Clay, who was born in the Harrison County town of Smyrna, requested that preference for scholarships from the endowment go to students from the eastern Ohio counties of Harrison, Guernsey, Tuscarawas and Belmont.

Across the United States nurses are in high demand. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that more than 1 million new and replacement nurses will be needed by 2012 – making Registered Nursing the top occupation in terms of job growth. The American Hospital Association reports that 126,000 nurses are needed now to fill vacancies in our nation's hospitals.

The Clay Family Memorial Nursing Scholarship Endowment at Ohio University will benefit students admitted to the associate degree or baccalaureate completion degree programs in nursing, according to the endowment guidelines. Students need not be enrolled full time, but must be making satisfactory progress toward completion of the degree program as determined by the department administration.

The scholarship funds will be especially valuable for nursing, a field whose students often struggle to divide time between full-time jobs and their studies.