"Winter at Ohio University" by Betsy Ross Koller. Many of Koller's works portray a whimsical and joyful outlook and feature rural Midwestern scenes.

Illustration by: Betsy Ross Koller


Betsy Ross Koller stands with her painting, "Winter at Ohio University," the second installment in a four-part series of paintings featuring the Athens Campus.

Photo courtesy of: University Advancement

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Honorary alumna unveils newest painting in OHIO series

A new painting by Betsy Ross Koller titled “Winter at Ohio University” was unveiled at an intimate gathering in the President’s Dining Room on July 14.

In attendance were Ohio University President Roderick J. and Mrs. Deborah McDavis; Vice President for University Advancement J. Bryan and Mrs. Karen Benchoff; Paul and Betsy Ross Koller; Executive Director of Development for Gift Planning & Principal Gifts Kelli Kotowski and her husband John Kotowski, associate vice president Emeritus of Facilities.

“Winter at Ohio University” is the second in a four-part series, with each painting depicting a season on the College Green. Prints of the work will be available to the public for purchase at The Bobcat Store in the coming months, with proceeds to benefit the Appalachian Scholars Program.

“We are delighted about the second installment in this series of paintings from Betsy Ross Koller, which feature Ohio University throughout the year,” said President Roderick J. McDavis. “We’re fortunate to have such an internationally renowned artist as an alumna and friend of the University. Her work is something that all Athens residents, OHIO students and alumni can identify with, and it will be instrumental in raising support for Appalachian Scholars.”

The Appalachian Scholars program provides scholarship support to students from any of Ohio’s Appalachian counties who demonstrate financial need, prove to be academically excellent, and who showcase a strong desire to succeed. Scholars also engage in OHIO’s Links program, receive free tutoring sessions, participate in a residential learning community and a summer pre-matriculation program, and receive technology and research training.

Betsy Ross Koller is an accomplished contemporary American artist and southeast Ohio native. She paints in the 18th century naïve art style, also known as the 'Grandma Moses' style. Koller attended Ohio University from 1961 through 1963; this fall she will be named the Honorary Alumna of the Year during the Alumni Awards Gala at Homecoming.

Koller’s four-part painting series is part of OHIO’s The Promise Lives Campaign, which reached its goal of raising $450 million in support of students, faculty, programs, outreach and facilities in April—14 months ahead of the June 30, 2015 deadline. Having secured more than $464.4 million, the Campaign will continue through June 2015 and focus on increasing scholarship gifts.