Private support for Ohio University tops $40 million for second consecutive year

Published: September 9, 2021 Author: Kirsten Thomas, BSJ '23

For the second consecutive year, Ohio University alumni, friends, faculty, staff, and students have generously given more than $40 million in support of the University, investing in the future of OHIO students and the institution itself.

In fiscal year 2021 (July 1, 2020, through June 30, 2021), 14,186 donors, including more than 8,400 OHIO graduates, made gifts totaling $40,859,282 to The Ohio University Foundation, surpassing the Division of University Advancement’s $30 million goal. 

“Since its founding in 1804, Ohio University has been rooted in a mission of service – to our students, our communities and our state. Thanks to everyone who has believed in and contributed to that mission, we have built a more than 200-year history of transforming lives through education,” said Ohio University President Hugh Sherman. “On behalf of our community today and for generations to come, I thank all those who have chosen to make Ohio University a part of their legacy and who partner with us in delivering one of the best integrated student learning experiences in the country.”

Fiscal year 2021 saw not only individuals but corporations and foundations invest in the success and futures of Ohio University students. 

Schlumberger Technology Corporation provided OHIO’s Department of Geological Sciences with access to its industry-leading Petrel* E&P software platform, a gift-in-kind valued at more than $8.8 million. The gift is allowing Ohio University students to train on the same software used worldwide in the oil and gas industry, providing Bobcats a competitive edge in a growing field. 

And, last November, The Ohio University Foundation announced a $1,687,5000 commitment from the Menard Family in support of Ohio University’s George Washington Forum on American Ideas, Politics, and Institutions. The funding is adding a History of Capitalism focus to the Forum, which is now known as the Menard Family George Washington Forum, while also supporting a new professorship in economic history and enhancing programming, including student fellowships. 

In a collective show of support for Ohio University’s long-standing commitment to accessibility and affordability, fiscal year 2021 also was marked by donors partnering with the University to fund student scholarships.

In June 2020, the Ohio University Board of Trustees approved the Current-Use Scholarship Program, through which the University provided $1 in matching funds for every $1 in donor gifts and pledge payments to accounts that met established program criteria. The one-year program, designed to double the impact of donors’ generosity while providing immediate financial assistance to undergraduate students throughout the University, resulted in more than $512,000 in support of student scholarships.

Fiscal year 2021 also marked the seventh year of The OHIO Match™, an undergraduate scholarship investment program through which Ohio University has pledged up to $25 million to strengthen its endowed scholarship program. Through the program, launched in July 2013, the University is providing $0.50 for every dollar committed to eligible scholarship endowments. In fiscal year 2021, donors committed more than $941,000 to endowed OHIO Match accounts. To date, more than 13,000 donors have provided nearly $18,545,000 in gifts and commitments to the program, which has resulted in 240-plus new named scholarships. The OHIO Match runs through June 30, 2024.

That spirit of coming together in support of students and Ohio University’s mission was reflected again during OHIO’s second Giving Day, which set a record for both the number of donations and the total dollars raised. OHIO Giving Day 2021, held April 21, saw 1,819 Ohio University supporters worldwide give $479,639 to scholarships, programs and initiatives that benefitted every college on the Athens Campus as well as the University’s regional and extension campuses.

“The spirit of generosity and love for this University and the life-changing experience it provides are unmatched and unwavering,” said Nico Karagosian, vice president for University Advancement and President and CEO of The Ohio University Foundation. “The remarkable support our donors – measured in every gift of every size – speaks to the faith they have in this institution. Thank you to all our friends and donors for showing the world that this is a community that supports and uplifts one another.” 

For fiscal year 2022, University Advancement is focusing its fundraising efforts on supporting students and the student experience, faculty and programs, and strategic spaces and places on OHIO’s campuses. 

“The dedication of our alumni, donors, partners, and friends is evident from the level of support we received during this challenging year,” said Perry Sook ’80, chair of The Ohio University Foundation Board of Trustees. “Their ongoing commitment ensures the University’s growth and secures OHIO’s promise to provide an outstanding educational experience for our students.”

Gifts can be made to OHIO at give.ohio.edu and checks may be made payable to The Ohio University Foundation, P.O. Box 869, Athens, OH 45701. Questions about making a gift can be directed to The Ohio University Foundation at 800-592-3863 or giving@ohio.edu.