Mondas commit $5 million to create study abroad scholarships in College of Arts and Sciences

November 29, 2011

Keith and Linda Monda

Ohio State alumnus and Foundation director Keith Monda and his wife, Linda, have committed $5 million to The Ohio State University College of Arts and Sciences to create the Keith and Linda Monda International Experience Scholarships. Within five years, their new endowment will be providing 50 arts and sciences students every year with funds for an international experience as part of their degree program. The gift is in support of Ohio State's comprehensive fundraising campaign which is expected to launch publicly in the next year.

Mr. Monda, who retired in 2008 as president of Coach, Inc., earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in economics at Ohio State and attributes his success in business to his strong arts and sciences education. “Ohio State gave me the disciplined, analytical thinking skills to solve complex business problems,” he said. “If you learn how to think about things in the proper manner, you will use those skills throughout your career.”

Providing the opportunity to travel and experience first-hand the variety of viewpoints, cultures, and languages outside of the United States is an important goal for the College of Arts and Sciences, according to the college's executive dean and vice provost Joe Steinmetz. To that end, the college will contribute $75,000 annually to the Mondas’ scholarships.

Keith and Linda have dedicated their lives to finding ways to make education and educational experiences accessible and affordable to all persons,” said Steinmetz. “Their extraordinary generosity will ensure that a vital part of a student’s education, the experience of studying abroad, will become a reality for many of our students who do not have the means to experience education and life in another country.”

Ohio State has focused on globalizing its curriculum to better prepare students and is in the top 20 nationally for the number of students studying abroad, according to the national Institute of International Education. In all, 1,945 Ohio State students participated in a study abroad experience during the 2009-2010 school year. The average international experience costs $5,000-$7,000, however, a cost that for many poses a hurdle. The Monda scholarships are expected to average $6,000 to pay for travel, housing, program fees, and other costs associated with living and studying in a foreign country for students who demonstrate need.

“I am deeply grateful to the Mondas,” said Ohio State President E. Gordon Gee. “Their strategic vision and uncommon generosity will make tangible and lasting differences in the lives of countless students.”

For more information, visit the College of Arts and Sciences web site.

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