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Bryan Benchoff (left) with Bill Brand (right) at the alumni reception in Scripps Hall lobby on April 13, 2012.

Photographer: Matt Adams

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Scripps Alumnus establishes endowed scholarship in honor of friends he lived with at OHIO

Bill Brand makes a pledge for the 73 West State Street scholarship

Bill Brand of Williamsville, N.Y., who graduated with a bachelor’s degree in 1987 from Ohio University, visited campus this past weekend to announce the establishment of the 73 West State Award, a two-year renewable scholarship for Scripps College students, in honor of the friends he lived with at 73 West State Street while a student at Ohio University.

Brand, now the executive vice president of HSN, has made a gift to the endowment, and has invited others to contribute as well. In particular, the gift was made in honor of six 1987 OHIO graduates: Kate Bartter Arnold; Elizabeth Stanic Douet; Marianne Kelley; Dan Krosse; Sarah Thayer Schneider; and Brian Unger.

Brand, a graduate of the School of Media Arts and Studies, formerly Telecommunications, and a handful of friends met on campus this past weekend for Alumni Weekend festivities. Brand announced the gift at a small alumni reception in the lobby of Scripps Hall on Saturday evening.

“I’ve been so lucky to have had these enduring friendships all of my life, and almost everyone here tonight either lived or visited at our house at 73 West State Street,” Brand said. “It is in the spirit of those friendships that I established the 73 West State Street Scholarship.”

Scripps Interim Dean Scott Titsworth was impressed with the group’s closeness and pleased that their positive experiences as students in the mid-’80s led to a gift that will support today’s students and future generations.

“I can see that this group goes beyond friendship; they are a family, and supportive of each other professionally and personally,” he said during his remarks. “That spirit of friendship and family brought you all here tonight, and it's my pleasure to thank Bill Brand for making that happen, and to thank him for his support and engagement.”

While Brand’s friends and classmates have always known Brand to be a giving, charitable person, the gift made that idea even more concrete.

“The world needs more people like Bill Brand,” said Kate Bartter Arnold. “Our children would be lucky to grow up to have the character that he has.”

Sophomores carrying a minimum grade point average of 3.0 and nominated by school directors will be eligible. The winner will ultimately be chosen by the college’s scholarship committee and will receive a renewable scholarship, determined by the endowed principle, for each of his or her remaining two years at Ohio University. The ideal applicant will be an identified leader of his or her peers with involvement in activities outside the classroom.

The first scholarship will be awarded when the fund is fully endowed.

Brand’s gift is part of Ohio University’s The Promise Lives Campaign, which has raised more than $385 million toward its goal of raising $450 million by June 30, 2015. The Campaign will provide support for students, faculty, programs, outreach and select facilities. Learn more at www.ohio.edu/campaign. To make a gift to Ohio University’s Scripps College of Communication, please visit www.ohio.edu/give. Be sure to include “Scripps College of Communication” as your desired beneficiary.