Ohio University’s AECOM Center for Sports Administration announced a gift commitment made by Eaton, power management company and leader in high-output LED lighting solutions for sports and entertainment venues worldwide.
The commitment, to be distributed over a three-year period, will establish the Charles R. Higgins Sports Administration Scholarship. The endowment is structured so that other alumni and donors may also contribute to the fund, which will initially provide nearly $2,000 in scholarships each year. Those scholarships will be awarded to talented graduate students in perpetuity. Charles “Doc” Higgins was one of the program’s earliest leaders from 1977 to 1994 and created the now-celebrated OHIO Master of Sports Administration alumni directory. The gift will also support program enhancements for students enrolled in the sports administration program at Ohio University.
“The AECOM Center at Ohio University connects students and faculty to industry in a meaningful way,” said James Kahler, executive director of the center. “This gift will allow us to continue to recruit promising students and deliver the best student experience in sports business education.”
In recent years, Ohio University’s sports administration program has drawn the attention of employers and industry leaders in professional sports, intercollegiate athletics, and corporate sports organizations due to the program’s academic quality and vast network of successful alumni. In 2016, AECOM, a fully integrated global infrastructure firm, provided a naming gift to the Center for Sports Administration to provide curricular, experiential, and research opportunities to OHIO students.
“Ohio University’s faculty, students, and alumni make a difference in the sports business world every day,” said Mike Lorenz, president, Eaton’s Ephesus Lighting business. “This gift is a way for us to support this world-class program and to invest in the future of sports administration professionals.”
Eaton has long held ties to colleges and universities throughout the United States. Not only does the company equip Ohio University’s Convocation Center, which houses the Ohio Bobcats basketball, volleyball, and wrestling teams, but also lights numerous indoor and outdoor sports and entertainment venues at such prestigious schools as Duke, Cornell, and Vanderbilt universities with its Ephesus LED sports lighting system. Beyond colleges, Eaton’s Ephesus lighting products illuminate dozens of professional sports arenas and stadiums including the next three Super Bowl venues in Minnesota, Atlanta, and Miami.
“We’re very grateful for this important gift,” said Hugh Sherman, dean of Ohio University’s College of Business. “For more than 50 years, this program has attracted the best students, faculty, and industry partners in sports business. We’re proud of this rich tradition and appreciate support from generous collaborators like Eaton.”