Skip to: Main Content Search Main Navigation Audience Navigation
Apply Online Spring
Visit Campus
Request More Information
Ohio University Lancaster Campus Theatre
Information about Events being held on Campus
Class Cancellation Notification Plan
Ohio University Lancaster Campus Athletics
June 01, 2019 : Lancaster Campus Faculty Member Establishes Scholarship for Local Area Students


Excerpt from a recent OHIO Today article - Lillian Zarzar, BSJ ’70, has seen the transformative nature of an Ohio University education from two unique perspectives—first as an undergraduate on OHIO’s zarzarAthens campus and now as a faculty member on the Lancaster campus.

Those experiences have inspired this OHIO alumna and adjunct professor of communication studies to extend the support she gives to students inside the classroom to the funding that helps get them there and sees them through to graduation.

The Lillian Zarzar Communication Studies Scholarship benefits full-time undergraduates who demonstrate financial need and academic merit on Ohio University’s Lancaster campus, with preference given to students majoring in communication studies.

Zarzar established the scholarship through The OHIO Match, an undergraduate scholarship investment program through which Ohio University has pledged up to $25 million to strength its endowed scholarship program. P

“This is my way of leaving a legacy,” Zarzar said of the scholarship. “It’s my way of giving back to the University and also giving an opportunity for others to have their chance to live their dreams.”

Zarzar credits her OHIO student experience with allowing her to grow as a person and laying the foundation for her professional success.

“The years I spent at OU were very significant in my life,” Zarzar said. “I was there during some of the most exciting and tumultuous years of the University and the country at that time. … It gave me an opportunity to grow as a person, and I felt that I belonged there.”

As an undergraduate, Zarzar served on several committees and as president of the Bryan Hall Council and vice president of what was then College Green’s centralized hall council. She recalled Friday night MIA (Movies in the Auditorium); the time former-OHIO-student-turned-Hollywood-actor Paul Newman visited campus; and her favorite tree, a sycamore tree on the walkway between Ellis Hall and Alden Library that she would hug every time she passed it.

She also vividly remembers the moments leading up to and after the closing of campus in May 1970 when increasingly violent clashes between students and National Guardsmen erupted following the fatal shootings at Kent State University.

A resident assistant in Scott Quad, at the time OHIO’s only co-ed residence hall, Zarzar recalled students climbing the walls to get into the building in the midst of riots and the work she and her colleagues had to do to close down the hall after students left campus.

“We were running around closing doors and locking everything and not knowing what to do and getting information about making sure that students were safe,” Zarzar said. “Those riots were something. It was just an amazing, amazing time.”

Zarzar was sitting at a roundtable discussion in May of 2011 with a group of women from the National Association of Women Business Owners when she mentioned the possibility of teaching at Ohio University. While at the Demartini Institute in September 2011, Zarzar received the call that, due to an emergency, a course in public speaking needed an instructor. She flew back from Houston the next day, and Zarzar started teaching at the campus that fall.

“OU Lancaster has been very good to me in terms of offering me an opportunity to teach and do what I love,” she said.