Keith Monda's give-back period

November 24, 2010

“Part of my success is due to the excellent foundation Ohio State gave me, and I want to make sure that the university keeps doing for others what it did for me.," says Keith Monda, Ohio State alumnus and reitred president of Coach, Inc.

While some might consider their retirement a time to settle down, Keith Monda and his wife decided to branch out.

“Linda and I call this our ‘give-back period,’” says Keith, a double Buckeye with bachelor’s and master’s degrees in economics who retired in 2008 as president of Coach, Inc. “We’ve been incredibly blessed and want to do our own little bit to address the difficult issues in the world.”

Interested specifically in education, conservation and children, the Mondas found that personal involvement with a worthy organization is the best way to locate opportunities to make a difference. In 2006, Keith became a member of the Arts and Sciences Advisory Council at The Ohio State University.

“Ohio State is special to me,” says Keith, who, with Linda, splits his time between Sarasota and New York City. “Part of my success is due to the excellent foundation Ohio State gave me, and I want to make sure that the university keeps doing for others what it did for me. Becoming a member of the Arts and Sciences Advisory Council was the first step to supporting the institution.”

Since then, Keith has joined the board of The Ohio State University Foundation, where he shares his expertise on the marketing committee; he is also chairing the Arts and Sciences campaign committee.

The Mondas are solid believers in the value of a liberal arts education, which is why they created the Keith and Linda Monda Scholarship Fund, which provides a scholarship for students from Ohio studying economics. They have also made several gifts to the Arts and Sciences Students First, Students Now Fund, which provides emergency funds to students who need immediate financial help. As Keith discovered, a liberal arts education prepares students for work in many fields—even business.

“Ohio State gave me the disciplined, analytical thinking skills to solve complex business problems,” he says. “If you learn how to think about things in the proper manner, you will use those skills throughout your career.”

The Mondas have discovered opportunities to make an impact in other areas, too. In September they helped the College of Education and Human Ecology secure $46 million in federal money to expand Reading Recovery, an early intervention literacy program for first-graders. The college learned Aug. 6 that it would receive the grant—if it could raise $9.1 million by Sept. 8. When the deadline arrived, the Mondas and 16 other supporters, including several corporations and foundations, had pledged a total of $10.2 million.

For Keith, supporting people and programs at Ohio State is one the best ways to give back.

“One of the things President Gee is trying to do that I admire and believe in is the democratization of higher education. I think it’s critical to the long-term success of the U.S. to make sure everyone has access to it, and Ohio State really is serving as a model. To help Ohio State keep that going is important."

REASONS TO SAY “THANK YOU!”

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“BEING AT OHIO STATE WITH MY WIFE MADE GRADUATE SCHOOL INSPIRING FOR BOTH OF US.”

—Dennis and Libby Holt ’73 and ’72