Monday, May 21, 2018

Light Rain, 68 °F

Liz and TJ Simonik

Liz Simonik, left, poses with her brother TJ Simonik and the OHIO Bobcat at Tailgreat Park before an OHIO football game

Photo courtesy of: TJ Simonik

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Brother and sister Bobcats establish scholarship for siblings who come to OHIO

Younger siblings sometimes follow in their older sibling’s footsteps and become students at Ohio University. They share their experiences together as Bobcats on campus and for the rest of their lives. TJ and Liz Simonik, both recent OHIO graduates, established the Simonik Sibling Scholarship “to assist and reward families when students follow in the footsteps of their siblings onto the campus of Ohio University.” Even though they only shared one year on campus together—TJ’s senior year and Liz’s freshman year—they made the most out of it every Sunday while dining at Jefferson Hall for brunch.

“TJ’s advice about courses, managing school and campus life in general helped me adjust quickly,” Liz remembered. “While I didn't understand until I was a senior myself, he and his friends would always say, ‘You're so lucky to be a freshman. Enjoy every minute because the time will fly by.’ They were right,” she said.

TJ graduated in 2007 from the College of Business with a degree in accounting and Liz graduated in 2010 from the College of Arts and Sciences with a degree in biological sciences. Both feel passionate about Ohio University and thought the best way to leave a legacy would be to establish the scholarship.

“As siblings attending Ohio University, we were far from alone, but we felt passionate that the best way we could leave a lasting legacy was to help other siblings who chose to attend Ohio University,” TJ said.

Liz said the scholarship idea was a personal choice that means something to both of them.

“The scholarship acknowledges that while we both had great experiences at OHIO individually, the fact that we were able to overlap and share the campus for one year enhanced that experience,” she said.

Even beyond graduation, TJ has remained involved with Ohio University by volunteering for alumni organizations such as the College of Business’s Society of Alumni and Friends and the Ohio University Alumni Association’s (OUAA) Greater Charlotte Chapter Network. TJ steps down as the Chapter’s president at this week’s 10th annual Charlotte Networking Week. He has been a member of the OUAA’s Charlotte Chapter since moving there in 2007 and has held the position of president since February, 2009.

The Charlotte Networking Week, which is happening this Thurs. – Sat., is a three day event that gives current OHIO students the opportunity to network with OUAA Charlotte Chapter members. Students shadow local companies, hear panel discussions and attend social networking events.

The scholarship is a gift toward The Promise Lives Campaign, which seeks to raise $450 million by June 30, 2015, and already has secured more than $414 million toward its goal in support of students, faculty, programs, partnerships and select facilities at Ohio University.