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Wednesday, September 24, 2003
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1804 Grants top $12.8 million since fund's inception

ATHENS, Ohio (Sept. 24, 2003) -- The Ohio University Foundation awarded $386,755 from the 1804 Fund to 20 new research and educational initiatives -- making the total awards granted since the fund's inception more than $12.8 million. Projects receiving awards during the 2003 funding cycle range from the purchase of a Nanosecond Pulsed Laser for research in the chemical sciences to a Navajo Weavers Oral History Project.

This year, seven proposals received a total of $222,000 in funding in the faculty research and graduate studies category, which is administered by the Office of the Vice President for Research. Projects that promote research and scholarly activities, multidisciplinary work and innovations in graduate education were selected.

"This year's 1804 competition was the most competitive in the last five years," said Vice President for Research Jack Bantle. "Those funded represent an excellent group of proposals. As is the goal of the 1804 program, the successful proposals mixed research, creativity and student success together into a powerful combination that will benefit Ohio University for years to come."

David Descutner
David Descutner
The 1804 Fund made $164,755 in awards to 13 projects in the undergraduate-learning category, which is administered by University College. This category supports projects that promote curricular innovations, programs and activities that enhance the undergraduate educational experience. Collaborative projects that focus on innovations in technology for learning, teaching excellence and writing excellence receive preference.

"The 1804 Fund for Undergraduate Learning this year provided support for proposals from an impressive variety of colleges and units," said University College Dean David Descutner. "The proposals ranged from imaginative approaches to enhance student engagement all the way to methods for infusing service learning in the engineering curriculum and for using technology within student-centered science instruction."

The 1804 Fund was endowed in 1979 by a visionary gift of more than $6.1 million. In its 24 years, the 1804 Fund has made awards totaling more than twice that amount "to enhance the quality of University programs and life" through its support of faculty research and graduate studies as well as undergraduate learning.

Leonard Raley
Leonard Raley
"The 1804 Fund is a shining example of the difference endowment dollars make in the life of Ohio University," said Executive Director of the Ohio University Foundation Leonard Raley. "Over time, donors watch their endowments grow and make a greater impact on the University and its students than they ever imagined possible."

The 1804 Fund's influence is evident in the more than 500 projects and programs it has supported over the years, many with seed money. The School of Physical Therapy, provided with start-up funds in 1982, now offers the first professional doctoral program in physical therapy in the state of Ohio. The Contemporary History Institute, funded in 1988, today performs a unique function in American higher education by analyzing the contemporary period in world affairs -- World War II to the present -- from an interdisciplinary historical perspective. More recently, the Office of Nationally Competitive Awards (ONCA) was launched with an 1804 Fund grant in 1999. ONCA helps talented students compete for awards such as the Rhodes, Fulbright, Truman, Goldwater and British Marshall. Since its inception, 31 students have received these and other prestigious awards.

"The goal of the Foundation is to improve the quality of Ohio University. The University has always been on the cutting edge of education because it's willing to take chances with new ideas," said Foundation Board Chair Charlotte Coleman Eufinger. "The importance of the 1804 Fund is to take the University to places that it has not been to before -- to fund new ideas that would otherwise have no room to take root in the confines of normal department budgets. The end result that we hope for is to have these programs become the new norm."

A gift made nearly a quarter of a century ago continues to influence the University's core mission of maintaining, strengthening and enhancing a learning-centered community.

Faculty and staff interested in applying for the 2004 award cycle must have a preliminary discussion with the Vice President for Research or Dean of University College by March 15. Proposals are due April 15. More information is available online at www.ohiou.edu/research/1804.html or www.ohiou.edu/univcollege/fund/.

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Contact: Jennifer Bowie, Director of Development Communication, (740) 597-2987 or bowiej@ohio.edu

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