Michael Swackhamer

Photo courtesy of: Ohio University Advancement

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Gift from OHIO alumnus brings regional campus student to Athens

There are plenty of brilliant young minds that simply need an opportunity to come their way at the right time and place. Such an opportunity materialized for one deserving student with the creation of The Mr. John A. Long Scholarship.

The full scholarship is funded annually and provides an engineering student with the opportunity to transfer from an Ohio University regional campus to the main campus in Athens. The student must show a financial need and be maintaining a 3.0 G.P.A.

“I wanted to give this opportunity to students from an impoverished area of Ohio, to someone who probably would not be able to transfer to the Athens campus without it,” Long said. “My experiences and time spent at Ohio University put me in a position to give back in this way.”

Attending OHIO via the G.I. Bill after WWII, Long received a bachelor’s degree in Industrial Engineering in 1950. He is an Ohio native and lives in Texas where he worked for 30 years in several engineering industries.

Long says the scholarship will provide the same access to opportunity he had after the war.

The scholarship’s 2011 recipient, Michael Swackhamer, is a junior engineering student. He was able to transfer from the Chillicothe campus to the Athens campus in the fall.

“The sheer generosity of Mr. Long has given me the ability to concentrate on schoolwork and focus on receiving a quality education,” Swackhamer said. “After attending the Russ College of Engineering and Technology here in Athens, I cannot see myself in a field other than engineering and technology.”

Long hopes the expanded educational experiences students receive from attending OHIO on the Athens campus will aid them in reaching their goals of pursuing a successful career in science and engineering.

“I hope this scholarship will provide an incentive for all recipients to do well in school and continue on to a promising and rewarding career in engineering,” Long said. “Getting an education is important, much more now than it used to be,” Long notes, adding that as the need for higher education has become more crucial, his passion for giving has grown stronger.

Long’s philosophy about giving back has rubbed off on Swackhamer.

“The John A. Long Scholarship fund has led me one step closer to attaining my life-long goal of becoming an engineer,” Swackhamer said. “I hope that one day I am able to extend a hand and set up a scholarship to help out a student in pursuit of their dream, just as Mr. Long has done for me.”