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Thursday, December 11, 2003
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Fact Sheet


  • Chillicothe native Larry A. Gates and his wife, Mary, are establishing The Gates Foundation ? Ross County Scholar's Fund to help Ross County students achieve a college education. Students must be graduates of Ross County high schools and may attend the college or university of their choice.
  • The scholarship fund will eventually total approximately $10 million.
  • Type of endowment. The gift shall be a donor advised fund administered by the Ohio University Foundation, the private fund-raising arm of the university. Annually, at least 5 percent (based on The Ohio University Foundation's current spending policy) of the market value of the fund will be used for scholarships.


  • Chillicothe native Larry A. Gates retired in 1998 as senior vice president for human resources and administration with Philip Morris Companies. In that position, he was responsible for worldwide human resources for a multinational corporation employing 160,000 individuals in 180 major markets worldwide. He graduated from Northeastern State (Okla.) University in 1964 and from Chillicothe High School in 1956.


  • Purpose of the gift. The endowment will have a significant influence on educational attainment in Ross County by helping to offset the cost for high school graduates wishing to attend college. The scholarships will open a world of opportunity by assisting Ross County students to achieve a college education, thereby increasing their opportunities for future success and improving the quality of life in Ross County.
  • Impact of scholarship fund. 2000 U.S. Census Bureau figures show that the earning potential for an individual with a bachelor's degree is 75 percent higher than an individual holding just a high school diploma.
  • Ross County educational numbers. While 83 percent of Ohioans have earned a high school diploma and 21 percent a bachelor's degree, 44 percent of Ross County residents hold a high school diploma and 8 percent a bachelor's degree (Source: The National Center for Education and the U.S. Census Bureau).
  • Ohio University impact. Of the 2,000 students enrolled at Ohio University-Chillicothe, 1,170 are Ross County residents. Additionally, 280 Ross County residents are enrolled at Ohio University's main campus in Athens.


  • The scholarships are intended to help offset the cost of an undergraduate college education not covered by financial aid and/or scholarships. The scholarships are renewable for up to four years as long as the recipient makes satisfactory progress toward a degree.
  • The first scholarships, totaling $30,000, will be awarded in the spring of 2004 for graduating high school students who will begin their college careers in the fall.
  • Committee members. The initial directors of the fund include Larry Gates, his daughters, Nicole McLaughlin and Michelle Bertagnoli, Ross County residents Matthew Haller and Kimberly Hirsch, Ohio University Office of Student Financial Aid Associate Director of Scholarships and Client Services Valerie Miller and Ohio University-Chillicothe interim Associate Dean Mike Lafreniere.
  • Application process. Applications are due by April 1, and the committee will make its selections by May 1.
  • Selection criteria. Scholarship recipients will be chosen based on:
    • Graduation from a high school in Ross County. Recipients must have attended the school from which they graduate for at least their full senior year.
    • Demonstrated financial need as determined by the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) information provided to universities.
    • At least two letters of reference from high school guidance counselors and/or teachers.
    • The potential to succeed in college as determined by high school grades and college entrance scores.


  • Chartered in 1804, Ohio University is the oldest institution of higher education in the Northwest Territory and celebrates its bicentennial this academic year. The university enrolls more than 29,000 students on the Athens campus and five regional campuses. The university offers bachelor's and master's degree programs, 20 doctoral degrees and a doctoral in osteopathic medicine.


  • As the fund-raising arm of the university, The Ohio University Foundation is the repository for private gifts through annual gift programs, capital and special campaigns, and planned or deferred gifts. The foundation is an active partner in the university's mission of education, research and service and works aggressively toward those ends.

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Media Contact: Media Specialist Jack Jeffery -- Office: (740) 597-1793; Pager: (740) 290-4479

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