Saturday, Aug 24, 2019

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LaWanna McKinley White

Ebony Bobcat Network President LaWanna McKinley White graduated from Ohio University's Patton College of Education in 1965.

Photographer: Michael Malone

Black Alumni Reunion 2016

More than 350 Bobcats voted to select “Straight Outta OHIO” as the Black Alumni Reunion 2016 theme.

Graphic courtesy of: the OHIO Alumni Association

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Ebony Bobcats to pay it forward to Urban Scholars during Black Alumni Reunion 2016

In 2004, OHIO President Roderick J. McDavis initiated a legacy of giving when he announced the launch of Ohio University’s Urban Scholars Program, a need-based scholarship program that benefits graduates of Ohio’s urban school districts.

The program, administered by the Office for Multicultural Student Access and Retention (OMSAR), provides scholarships and professional development support to students from underrepresented groups with demonstrated financial need, academic achievement, and the desire and motivation to succeed.

In 2010, the Ebony Bobcat Network (EBN), in support of Urban Scholars, established the Ebony Bobcat Network Urban Scholars Endowment. According to the Office of Annual Giving, EBN has raised approximately $130,000 for the scholarship, and more than 380 individual donors have made over 780 gifts to the endowment.

EBN’s tradition of giving is extending beyond its Ohio roots this year. Networks are beginning to colonize in Washington DC and Chicago according to EBN President LaWanna McKinley White, who graduated from OHIO’s Patton College of Education in 1965.

“Many EBN members know what it’s like to be a first generation college student from an urban area,” said McKinley White. “The success stories we hear from the Urban Scholars recipients reinvigorate us to give.”

McKinley White hopes between $5,000-6,000 will be raised for the endowment in celebration of Black Alumni Reunion 2016 (#OHIOBAR2016) September 15-18. The Black Alumni Reunion tradition has more than three decades of history and draws more than 500 alumni and friends to Athens every three years.

The weekend-long reunion will combine the old school and the new school with the theme “Straight Outta OHIO.” The Black Alumni tradition provides alumni with opportunities to recognize the difference OHIO has made in their lives, and to give back to the University.

“BAR in a greater sense inspires alumni to stop and remember the wonderful experiences they had at OHIO,” McKinley White said. “There’s something unique about being a Bobcat, particularly an Ebony Bobcat.”

To make a gift to the EBN Urban Scholarship, contact The Ohio University Foundation at 800-592-FUND or giving@ohio.edu. Checks may be made payable to

The Ohio University Foundation (be sure to write “EBN Urban” in the notes section) and sent to the Foundation at P.O. Box 869, Athens, Ohio 45701. Gifts also can be made online at www.ohio.edu/give.