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Generosity of OHIO alumnus shines light on opportunities available at the Voinovich School

Katie Coulter
July 10, 2017

When Marty Wall, AB ’72, attended Ohio University, internships were nearly nonexistent; he never held one throughout his time at OHIO. Nowadays, students may find it difficult to secure a job after graduation without internship experience on their resume.

“Here in D.C. during the summer, there are interns everywhere,” Wall said. “I see them on the Metro, and I think of how lucky they are to be doing what they’re doing.”

Wall’s notice over the years of the annual influx of interns and desire to expose students to career opportunities in associations inspired him to create the Marty Wall Washington, D.C. Area Internship in Association Management.

“The Marty Wall Washington, DC Area Internship in Association Management affords the Voinovich School a unique opportunity to immerse a student in the career of association management in our nation’s great capital,” Mark Weinberg, founding dean of the Voinovich School, said. “We are extremely grateful for Marty’s dedication to the field, but also the tremendous value he has brought to Ohio University through this gift.”

Each year, this internship stipend is awarded to one student who has an eight-week long internship with a nonprofit association in the D.C. area.

In addition to his internship, Wall has committed to four separate endowments through his will that will benefit OHIO’s Voinovich School of Leadership and Public Affairs, Alden Library and Department of Political Science. He wanted to touch on all of his interests through these donations.

“It was evident upon first meeting Marty that he exhibits a deep passion and true love for Ohio University,” Jay Meyers, assistant director of development, said. “[His] gifts to OHIO … will leave a significant and lasting impact for generations of students to come.”

Wall, through his donations, wants to shine a light on promising career paths and programs that college students may not initially consider. His 37-year career in association management ended in 2015 when he retired from the Association of Schools and Colleges of Optometry where he served as the executive director for 24 years.

Wall established the Marty Wall Visiting Professorship in Non-Profit/Association Management and Leadership with the hopes of drawing more students’ attention to this profession.

“I’ve had a great career, and hopefully this professorship will have an impact on students who haven’t thought about options like this,” Wall said.

Because of this gift, the Voinovich School will be able to host one or more visiting professors who are experienced in nonprofit and association management and leadership.

During Wall’s time at OHIO, he connected especially well with one of his professors in the Department of Political Science, Professor Raymond Gusteson. Professor Gusteson’s previously established library fund, the Raymond Gusteson Library Endowment, is used to purchase political and legal books and other materials for Alden Library.

Later, Wall began to make modest donations to the library endowment because of the special bond he felt with Professor Gusteson. More recently, Wall committed a more substantial contribution to this fund for the future.

Wall’s idea to create the Marty Wall Library Endowment Fund sparked from Professor Gusteson’s original endowment. Wall’s own endowment will specifically benefit the students of the Voinovich School. It will be used to purchase books and online resources on the topics of association and nonprofit management and leadership.

Wall’s will also includes a donation to the Department of Political Science. During his time at OHIO, he studied government, which has since been renamed political science. Wall’s passion for government and politics, which included five years in federal service at the beginning of his career, encouraged him to create the Marty Wall Scholarship in Political Science, and he hopes it will entice more students to study the subject.

“It’s an area that a lot of people may not think about contributing to because it’s not its own college,” Wall said.

Ohio University’s impact on Wall is unmistakable, but Wall’s generosity will surely have an equally meaningful impact on OHIO and its students.

Originally posted in Compass.