Roger Shelor, left, David Stolzfus, and Scott Wright rest during a Global Consulting Program trip to Barcelona, Spain.
Apr 22, 2013
By Corinne Colbert
Roger Shelor played many roles in his life: restaurant manager, military intelligence officer, scholar of finance; husband, father, devout Christian. But at Ohio University, he is best remembered as a dedicated teacher. Even after being diagnosed with terminal cancer in winter 2012, he continued to teach—even into fall semester, with online lectures that he videotaped in advance.
Shelor, Fox Professor of Business and chair of the Department of Finance at Ohio University, died on October 29, 2012, at age 60.
“He was actually grading papers the night before he died,” said his wife, Barbara.
So when Shelor’s colleagues in the College of Business wanted to find a way to honor his memory, establishing a scholarship seemed the most fitting choice.
“Roger was very dedicated to his students,” said E. Ann Gabriel, director of the School of Accountancy and a longtime colleague. For example, he made a point of being available by e-mail or phone late into the evening and early in the morning on weekends to answer questions from students in the online Professional MBA program for working business people.
“He felt very strongly that the PMBA faculty needed to be available to respond immediately given the students’ time constraints,” Gabriel said.
Gabriel is just one of several College of Business faculty who have given to the Roger Shelor Memorial Scholarship Fund, established in December 2012. The scholarship will be awarded to an outstanding undergraduate majoring in finance with demonstrated financial need.
The Shelor scholarship fund is part of 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 $419 million in support of these priorities. The Campaign ends in June 2015.
Shelor was not only a compassionate teacher, but also a beloved colleague and friend, said Dean Hugh Sherman.
“He dedicated his life to his family and being a good person to everyone he came in contact with,” Sherman said. “I never saw him lose his temper or say a negative word about anyone.”
An example of Shelor’s character, Sherman said, was his support for newcomers to the college.
“As chair, he worked tirelessly to ensure every new faculty member felt comfortable living and working in Athens,” Sherman said. “He felt a personal responsibility after hiring someone to ensure he or she was happy personally and professionally.”
Among those new faculty Shelor mentored was Andrew Fodor, assistant professor and current chair of the Department of Finance, who joined the OHIO faculty right after finishing his doctoral degree in 2008.
“Roger played a big role in helping me learn how to be a good faculty member,” Fodor said. “He served as a great example, gave me lots of advice and wasn’t shy to tell me when I could do something in a better way.”
Fodor opted to support the scholarship fund through payroll deduction. “I plan to give to the scholarship fund for the rest of my time at Ohio University, which I hope will be until my retirement,” he said.
The financial need component of the scholarship would have been especially important to Shelor, his wife said.
“Roger was raised in a small town in southwestern Virginia in a farming family that did not have a lot,” Barbara Shelor said. “But they believed in the importance of education. I know that if Roger were asked [about financial need], it would be something he would feel was very important.”
Unfortunately, Shelor passed away before anyone could tell him about the planned scholarship fund.
“They were going to tell him when he became unable to teach and decided to retire,” Barbara Shelor said. “But he never retired. He just kept working.”
At Shelor’s memorial service, Gabriel and Barbara Shelor both expressed regret that he never knew of his colleagues’ gift.
“His daughter said, ‘He knows now,’” Gabriel said. “I’m sure he does.”
Ohio University's current capital campaign, The Promise Lives Campaign, has raised more than $413 million toward its goal of $450 million by June 2015 in support of students, faculty, programs, facilities and community partnerships.
Click here to learn more about The Promise Lives campaign.
Click here to learn more about the College of Business’s campaign priorities.
To give to the Roger Shelor Memorial Scholarship Fund, contact Tom Hoffman, senior director of development for the College of Business, at email@example.com or call (740) 597-2643.