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Tuesday, July 6, 2004
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$1 million gift will support scholarships, entrepreneurship and economic development

ATHENS, Ohio (July 6, 2004) -- An Ohio University alumnus recently made an anonymous $1 million commitment to the College of Business as part of the Bicentennial Campaign. The gift will support scholarships for students from Scioto County, the teaching of entrepreneurship and the promotion of economic development in Appalachian Ohio.

"This is a wonderful gift from an alumnus who has been most generous to students from his hometown of New Boston," said Dean of the College of Business Glenn Corlett. "We are truly grateful for the dedication of our alumni to Ohio University and for this gentleman's deep desire to help students achieve and to improve the region's economy."

Half of the gift, $500,000, will support an endowed scholarship -- an account invested with The Ohio University Foundation from which scholarship awards will be made annually. Each year, this endowment will make approximately $25,000 available to assist students from Scioto County who pursue their higher education goals by attending Ohio University. Preference will be given to graduates of Glenwood High School and, secondarily, Portsmouth High School. Glenwood High School enrolls 176 students in grades 7-12, 39 percent of whom receive a free or reduced-price lunch -- the state average for these grade levels is 22 percent. Portsmouth High School enrolls 559 students in grades 9-12, 37 percent of whom receive a free or reduced-price lunch -- the state average for these grade levels is 17 percent. In all of Scioto County, 35 percent of households live below the poverty level.

"This scholarship fund will unlock the doors to a college education for many deserving students," said Corlett.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, earning potential increases 75 percent for those with a bachelor's degree over those with just a high school diploma. While 83 percent of Ohioans hold a high school diploma and 21 percent have at least a bachelor's degree, just 39.9 percent of Scioto County residents have high school diplomas and 10.1 percent have earned at least a bachelor's degree, according to the National Center for Education Statistics and the U.S. Census Bureau.

The additional $500,000 will support an entrepreneur/consultant-in-residence within the College of Business who will teach students and help to promote entrepreneurship in Appalachian Ohio.

"Professionals-in-residence bring the real world into Ohio University's classrooms, providing students with practical learning experiences," said Corlett. "In addition, this entrepreneur/consultant in residence will bring about real economic development by sharing valuable consulting expertise with the 29-county central Appalachian region, which is characterized by high poverty, high unemployment and low median income."

The Bicentennial Campaign, which kicked off in November 2000 and concluded on June 30, 2004, has celebrated the university's 200th anniversary and is providing money to support students and faculty, technological enhancements, innovative programs and select capital improvements. The largest fund-raising effort in the history of the institution, the Campaign exceeded its $200 million goal by nearly 10 percent, raising $219 million in support of the university.

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Media Contacts: Assistant Dean for Development in Business Mary Strother, (740) 593-2492, or Director of Development Communication Jennifer Bowie, (740) 597-2987

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