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Friday, Aug 23, 2019

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Promise Lives Campaign

Ohio University Trustee David Wolfort addresses the more than 225 guests at The Promise Lives Campaign celebration, marking the more than $500 million raised in support of OHIO.

Photographer: Jim Downard

Promise Lives Campaign

Ohio University President Roderick J. McDavis has his picture taken with senior mechanical engineering student Kameron Starr. Kameron went to the podium earlier in the evening to introduce his scholarship benefactor, Charles R. Stuckey.

Photographer: Jim Downard

Promise Lives Campaign

Chair of OHIO’s Board of Trustees Sandy Anderson visits with master of fine arts student Yaphet Jackman, whose original poem premiered on video during the gala event.

Photographer: Jim Downard

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Ohio University celebrates The Promise Lives Campaign topping over $500 million


The books are closed on Ohio University’s The Promise Lives Campaign – an effort that began in 2007 with a goal to raise $450 million in support of students, faculty, programs, outreach and facilities. On Friday, Sept. 11, more than 225 members of the University community – students, faculty, alumni, donors and friends – gathered in Baker University Center to celebrate exceeding that Campaign goal by more than $50 million.

 “Ohio University has a rich heritage and a legacy of providing excellence in higher education. In 1804 Manasseh Cutler founded a university in the wilderness. Today, we secured a half-a-billion-dollars in support of his vision that ‘schools and the means of education should forever be encouraged,’” said Ohio University President Roderick J. McDavis. “This Campaign has been all about the future for our students and for our faculty. The bottom line has been, and continues to be, providing the nation’s best transformative learning community.”

The Campaign, which officially ended on June 30, 2015, secured $500,127,012 in gifts and commitments from 81,215 people and organizations. Some 47,760 alumni made gifts and commitments totaling $285.26 million.

Campaign gifts are supporting initiatives and needs across the University, including: $173.3 million for academic divisions and programs; $11.4 million for University Libraries; $27.2 million for Intercollegiate Athletics; $102.1 million for capital projects (outside of Athletics); $78.9 million for faculty, research and creative activity; and $73.8 million for scholarships and student aid.

During the Campaign, the University celebrated transformational eight- and nine-figure gifts from: the Scripps Howard Foundation, which named of the Scripps College of Communication; Dr. Violet L. Patton, which named The Gladys W. and David H. Patton College of Education and the Violet L. Patton Center for Arts Education; the Osteopathic Heritage Foundation, which named the Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine; and the estate of Fritz J. and Dolores H. Russ, which supports the Russ College of Engineering and Technology.

“I stand here at the end of The Promise Lives Campaign with half-a-billion reasons to say thank you for half-a-billion promises kept to Ohio University,” said Vice President for University Advancement and President and CEO of The Ohio University Foundation J. Bryan Benchoff. “As we look back over OHIO’s history of philanthropy, we find the stories of the people who got us to where we are today. From the presidents who have led OHIO, to the volunteers who championed her campaigns, to the donors who invested in her future, to the students, faculty, staff, and others whose lives have been forever changed by private giving to our University.”

Much of the money raised will add to the University’s endowment – a pool of carefully invested funds that provide for the University annually and in perpetuity. All told, $220,710,844 was committed to the endowment during the Campaign. The endowments that support OHIO are valued at more than $515 million and have made more than $15 million in funds available to the University for expenditure in fiscal year 2016.

“Since the Campaign was launched, The Ohio University Foundation has made available – from endowment spending allocations and current-use gifts – more than $273 million dollars for expenditure by the University,” said Perry Sook, a 1980 alumnus of the Scripps College and Chair of the Foundation Board of Trustees. “That means significant support for students and for faculty. It means more scholarships, more research awards, more innovative programs, more student engagement, and more state-of-the-art equipment and facilities. It means that the Foundation is there in the discoveries, in the activities, and in the learning that happens here at Ohio University everyday.”

During the Campaign Celebration, the University inducted 57 individuals and couples as inaugural members of the Cutler Herrold Society, a new donor recognition society honoring OHIO’s most generous benefactors. The society is named in honor of the University’s founder, Manasseh Cutler, and Christopher and Daniel Herrold – two brothers who forgave the debt for the lumber used to build Cutler Hall. This was Ohio University’s first private gift, and it was made nearly 200 years ago in 1816. A total of 12 member individuals and couples were present for the induction.

The Promise Lives Campaign celebration marked the end of the University’s fourth successful, comprehensive capital campaign: the 1804 Fund Campaign, which secured $22.6 million; the Third Century Campaign, which secured $132 million; the Bicentennial Campaign, which secured $221 million; and The Promise Lives Campaign, which secured $500 million.

Click here to see photos from the event.

The Ohio University Foundation is the repository for all private gifts through annual giving programs, capital, and special campaigns and planned or deferred gifts. The Foundation is an institutionally related, non-profit, tax-exempt, 501c(3) organization.