Kemelgor Scholarship

Troy and Leslie Kemelgor celebrate OHIO Homecoming with their children (from left) Drew, Leah and Caroline.

Photo courtesy of: Troy Kemelgor

Kemelgor Scholarship

Leslie and Troy Kemelgor join Northwestern Mutual to prepare care boxes for patients at Nationwide Children's Hospital.

Photo courtesy of: Troy Kemelgor

Kemelgor Scholarship

Troy Kemelgor (left) poses with family members at the 1996 OHIO Undergraduate Commencement.

Photo courtesy of: Troy Kemelgor

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Giving back to OHIO ‘a given’ for mid-90s grads

Troy Kemelgor, BBA ’96, had a specific corporate career path in mind when he enrolled in Ohio University’s College of Business in 1992. When he was challenged by a professor to explore an area of business unfamiliar to him—the study of the business consumer—he took on the quest.  

Kemelgore began studying financial service companies that offer insurance and investment solutions. “I was encouraged to step outside my comfort zone into areas that were not on my radar,” he said. “Individuals in the College of Business thought I would be talented enough to explore Northwestern Mutual and other firms.

Kemelgor began his career as college unit director for Northwestern Mutual in Louisville, Kentucky, and rose to the number two college unit director in the national company. In 1999, he qualified to be a part of the Million Dollar Round Table and received the National Quality Award and the National Sales Achievement Award. He worked in Northwestern Mutual’s home office in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, then transferred to the Columbus, Ohio, office where he is currently managing partner.

He credits his success to the caring, top-down leadership he found at OHIO’s College of Business as well as its rigorous curriculum and influential professors.

“There’s a point in time when you reflect back and appreciate all the building blocks that helped get you to where you are in life,” Kemelgor said. “The College of Business was very instrumental in my life, and I’m proud of the rigor and results of the current young men and women that graduate (from the college).”

Paying it forward with passion   

Kemelgor and his wife Leslie, AB ’96, established the Kemelgor College of Business Endowed Scholarship, which supports fulltime undergraduate students in or accepted to the College of Business who demonstrate academic merit and financial need. Scholarship endowments lessen the financial burden of college costs and allow students to focus more on their studies.

The Kemelgors continuously support the College of Business and the OHIO community, all while raising three children, Leah, Caroline and Drew. Their decision to do so with kids still going through school was a strategic one.

“I didn’t look at donating as an ‘either/or’ proposition, I looked at it as an ‘and,’” he said. “Living in central Ohio, having the opportunity to set up a scholarship and seeing some of the benefactors of our resources was very meaningful to Leslie and me.”

Kemelgor’s passion for charity also extends to supporting children in need. He serves on the board of the Children’s Hunger Alliance in Columbus and is an active participant with Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation for Childhood Cancer.

“I like giving to organizations that focus on taking care of children who don’t have a say in their life decisions,” he said. “Part of my job is to be an advocate for those who don’t have a voice.”

Kemelgor encourages potential recipients of the Kemelgor College of Business Endowed Scholarship to dream big and take personal and emotional risks to achieve greatness.  

“I’ve always lived by the personal motto ‘why not me, why not now,’” he said. “Don’t settle for the status quo and never stop growing.”

The scholarship qualifies for the OHIO Match program, which matches 50 cents on every dollar donated to eligible scholarships established under the program’s criteria.

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. Each year, more than 25,000 alumni and friends make gifts to the Foundation to support students, faculty research and creative activity, innovative programs, select capital projects, and community partnerships.