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November 20, 2012 : Late Ohio University Lancaster Professor Creates Scholarship Fund for Part-Time Students
Lancaster – Dr. Carol Christy was known as a professor who had a zest for life and a passion for her Ohio University Lancaster Campus students.Her death in June, 2012 did not squelch either of those things. Christy made a bequest within her will of more than $200,000 to establish the Carol A. Christy Scholarship Fund.


"She used to lecture sometimes sitting Buddha-like on her desk.What you saw was what you got.There was nothing fake about her," said Ohio University Lancaster Emeritus Associate History Professor Dr. Ed Fitzgibbon. "She loved teaching and loved her students. She was so enthusiastic."


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Christy's scholarship is for part-time students at the Lancaster Campus who are at least 25-years-old and have work or family responsibilities in addition to their college studies.


"She had a great deal of affinity for students who had to work their way through school with jobs and a family to worry about," said Arie Janssens, Christy's husband. "She had empathy for those students."


"I think most of us who have taught here for a while really appreciate those kinds of students, the adult students. The part-time, adult students are a joy to teach and I know she just enjoyed it too," said Fitzgibbon. "I'm sure any financial help they can get would be appreciated and I'm sure that's what she had in mind."


Christy was a political science professor and died after a six-year battle with Multiple System Atrophy. She was 68 years old.  She was hired at Ohio University Lancaster in 1970 as an instructor. She attained the rank of full professor in 1988. Christy retired in April, 2000 and became an emeritus professor in 2001.


"She was the first full professor on this campus and the first one to publish a book," said Fitzgibbon. "Early in the history of the campus there was more emphasis placed on community service and campus service and teaching. So, scholarship got lost in the mix. But the fact that she could do all three made others think they could do it too." 


Christy taught classes in Women, Law and Politics, Issues in American Politics, Issues in American Foreign Policy, International Relations, American Government, Politics of Western Europe and Soviet Politics. She authored a book and a number of academic articles in the area of women's participation in politics around the world.


"She was a very strong advocate for women's rights and very committed," said Fitzgibbon.


"Carol had a very active and very sharp mind. She had beautiful eyes and had a beautiful laugh," said Janssens. "She was interested in and believed in teaching, nature, opera, people and public service."


"Dr. Christy is a perfect example of the impact that a planned gift can make," said Ohio University Lancaster Development Director Mandi Custer. "She has ensured her legacy at Ohio University Lancaster and the students will benefit for years to come."


The gift supports 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 $411 million in support of these priorities. The Campaign ends in June, 2015. On the Lancaster Campus, the goal is to raise $3.5 million in order to expand educational opportunities that spur business growth in Fairfield County. The campus already has secured $2 million in support toward the Campaign.


Ohio University's Lancaster Campus and Pickerington Center are a critical gateway to education and opportunity for students and the community. A variety of bachelor's and associate's degree programs can be completed at the Lancaster Campus and/or Pickerington Center, along with four master's degree programs at the Pickerington Center. The Lancaster campus has experienced tremendous progress since its founding in 1956 and continues to provide a premiere university education within a small-college setting at an affordable price.


To learn more about The Promise Lives Campaign or to make a donation, visit or contact Mandi Custer at or 740-654-6711 ext. 234.