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$1 million gift from The Charles and Lucille King Family Foundation will enhance student learning experiences at OHIO

Published: November 15, 2021 Author: Staff reports

Ohio University is announcing three new funds focused on supporting students, thanks to a $1 million gift from The Charles and Lucille King Family Foundation. This generous gift includes endowed support that will generate income in perpetuity for these important initiatives, plus current-use money to help students now.

These funds will honor the memory of Jan Sole (1956-2007) and her late daughter, Olivia Gray Sole (1989-2004). Jan Sole graduated from OHIO’s Journalism school in 1979 and worked at WOUB as a radio producer and host of the station’s classical music program for 25 years.

The gift will fulfill three funds:

  • The Charles and Lucille King Family Foundation Scholarship in Memory of Jan and Olivia Sole ($450,000 endowed, $50,000 current use)
  • The Charles and Lucille King Family Foundation WOUB Internship Fund in Memory of Jan and Olivia Sole ($225,000 endowed, $25,000 current use)
  • The Charles and Lucille King Family Foundation Experiential Learning Fund in Memory of Jan and Olivia Sole ($225,000 endowed, $25,000 current use)

The $450,000 scholarship endowment received a $225,000 match from The OHIO Match™, creating a total endowment of $675,000 that is estimated to create $27,000 annually in scholarships for students in the Scripps College of Communication when matured.

“The Charles and Lucille King Family Foundation WOUB Internship Fund will allow University students to stay on campus over the summers to participate full-time in news gathering and production with their work airing on WOUB television and radio,” said WOUB General Manager Mark Brewer. “This is a wonderful opportunity for students and the greater community will benefit from increased local news and information during the summer months. WOUB is grateful for the resources to support tomorrow’s students while honoring the memory of Jan and Olivia Sole.”

In addition to supporting internships and professional development opportunities at WOUB, an experiential-learning unit of Ohio University’s Scripps College of Communication and home to public television and radio stations and production services, these funds make career-readiness connections accessible to all students.

This gift can provide aid for students who participate in the Scripps Semester in DC program, a collaboration between the School of Visual Communication and the E.W. Scripps School of Journalism. This program allows OHIO students to learn from industry professionals working in the nation's capital. The Semester in DC program covers topics such as journalism (including print, broadcast, and photojournalism), strategic communication, commercial photography, information graphics, data visualization, publication design, and more. 

Another immersive experience for Scripps students is the Storytelling, Technology, and Digital Media in Theme Parks. This semester-long course on the Athens campus includes one week of off-campus learning in Orlando, Florida. The program examines media design, technology, and storytelling principles used in the development of theme parks. The on-site learning experience emphasizes the integration of different forms of media in a complex, real-world environment.

Programs such as OHIO-in-LA and SXSW are also among the offerings for students to gain the experiential learning an OHIO education delivers.

“The Scripps College of Communication is deeply humbled to be caretakers of this gift that will honor the lives of Jan and Olivia Sole and enhance our students’ access to experiential learning opportunities,” said Scripps College of Communication Dean Scott Titsworth. “Combined with the King Family Foundation’s generous 2020 gift, this will have tremendous impact for years to come.”

The Charles and Lucille King Family Foundation has a long history of supporting students with an interest in media and communication. Since 1990, the Foundation has granted scholarship awards to students with a focus in film, television, and related media/communications studies.

Diana King was the daughter of the late Lucille and Charles King and grew up in the world of television. Her father founded King World Productions in 1964, which became the country’s leading distributor of television syndicated programming. She established the foundation in 1988 while fulfilling a successful career at King World Productions. During her 30-year tenure as board chair and president, the foundation awarded hundreds of scholarships to students at colleges and universities around the country, in many instances to individuals who would have been financially unable to continue their studies without this assistance.

"The foundation is committed to promoting institutions that provide educational excellence and professional development," said Eugene V. Kokot, Trustee, President and Chair of The Charles and Lucille King Family Foundation. "The Scripps College of Communication's immersive programs align with Ms. King's intention to support students pursuing careers in film, television and other media. Our objective in providing this funding is to put money into those areas that will have an immediate impact on student success."

“We are grateful to The Charles and Lucille King Family Foundation for identifying the importance of experiential learning, and we are dedicated to providing student support for these opportunities at OHIO,” said Nico Karagosian, Vice President for Advancement and President and CEO of The Ohio University Foundation.

Titsworth noted this gift speaks both to the future, and the past, of the Scripps College and the dedication of the people whose lives impact students.

“On a personal level, Jan Sole was the first person at WOUB that I met after coming to Ohio University in 2001,” he said. “John Sole has been a close friend of our family for nearly 15 years. We are grateful to the Charles and Lucille King Family Foundation for entrusting us with this opportunity to help students while also celebrating the lives of Jan and Olivia.”

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