Carol Christy

Carol Christy

Photo courtesy of: Arie Janssens

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Faculty and staff giving

Late Ohio University Lancaster professor creates scholarship fund for part-time students

Carol Christy was known as a professor who had a zest for life and a passion for her Ohio University Lancaster Campus students. Her death in June 2012 did not squelch either of those things. Christy made a bequest within her will of more than $200,000 to establish the Carol A. Christy Scholarship Fund.

"She used to lecture sometimes sitting Buddha-like on her desk. What you saw was what you got. There was nothing fake about her," said Ohio University Lancaster Emeritus Associate Professor of History Ed Fitzgibbon. "She loved teaching and loved her students. She was so enthusiastic."

Christy's scholarship is for part-time students at the Lancaster Campus who are at least 25 years old and have work or family responsibilities in addition to their college studies.

"She had a great deal of affinity for students who had to work their way through school with jobs and a family to worry about," said Arie Janssens, Christy's husband. "She had empathy for those students."

"I think most of us who have taught here for a while really appreciate those kinds of students, the adult students," added Fitzgibbon. "The part-time, adult students are a joy to teach and I know she just enjoyed it too. I'm sure any financial help they can get would be appreciated, and I'm sure that's what she had in mind."

Christy, a political science professor, died after a six-year battle with Multiple System Atrophy at age 68. She was hired at Ohio University Lancaster in 1970 as an instructor and attained the rank of full professor in 1988. Christy retired in April 2000.

"She was the first full professor on this campus and the first one to publish a book," said Fitzgibbon. "Early in the history of the campus there was more emphasis placed on community service and campus service and teaching. So, scholarship got lost in the mix. But the fact that she could do all three made others think they could do it too."

Throughout her career at Ohio University Lancaster, Christy taught classes on politics, government, and international relations, among other topics. She also authored a book and a number of academic articles in the area of women's participation in politics around the world.

"She was a very strong advocate for women's rights and very committed," said Fitzgibbon.

"Carol had a very active and very sharp mind. She had beautiful eyes and had a beautiful laugh," added Janssens. "She was interested in and believed in teaching, nature, opera, people and public service."

According to Ohio University Lancaster Development Director Mandi Custer, Christy is a perfect example of the impact that a planned gift can make.

"She has ensured her legacy at Ohio University Lancaster, and the students will benefit for years to come," Custer said.

Christy's gift supports Ohio University's The Promise Lives Campaign, a $450 million campaign to support scholarships, faculty, the student experience, facilities and community outreach. So far the campaign has raised more than $411 million in support of these priorities. The campaign ends in June 2015.

The Promise Lives ... in Lancaster

As part of Ohio University's The Promise Lives Campaign, OHIO's Lancaster Campus aims to raise $3.5 million in order to expand educational opportunities that spur business growth in Fairfield County. The campus already has secured $2 million in support toward the campaign.  

Ohio University's Lancaster Campus and Pickerington Center are a critical gateway to education and opportunity for students and the community. A variety of bachelor's and associate's degree programs can be completed at the Lancaster Campus and the Pickerington Center, along with four master's degree programs at the Pickerington Center.

The Lancaster Campus has experienced tremendous progress since its founding in 1956 and continues to provide a premiere university education within a small-college setting at an affordable price.

To learn more about The Promise Lives Campaign or to make a donation, visit or contact Mandi Custer at