Giving rising stars a shot
The Ross County Alumni Club awarded 20 scholarships this year to first-year and continuing students.
The goal was to provide financial assistance to an incoming freshman and help Ohio State recruit top local students. Yet the single $400 merit scholarship the Ross County Alumni Club awarded 24 years ago has blossomed into a much larger program.
Today, the southern Ohio club supports two multi-recipient scholarships that have benefitted 170 students to the tune of a combined $103,734. That’s an average of seven scholarships per year. Although, thanks to a strong applicant pool and some great fundraising events, the club set a new record in 2014 by awarding 20 scholarships between the two funds.
“Our goal is to invest in our youths’ future,” said Bill Schuller ’65, who helped start the fund for first-year students when he was club president in 1991. Ten years later, the club began awarding scholarships to upperclassmen, too.
Here’s what students are saying about the impact these scholarships have had on their time at Ohio State:
Raising funds for the two programs has taken many forms over the years. Silent auctions have been a mainstay, and an annual raffle for football tickets has also been a boon. In addition, the club has relied heavily on the generosity of fellow alumni. One such alumnus was Robert Jones who, with his wife, Betty, donated nearly $12,000 in 1996 to fully endow the first-year scholarship, which was named in their honor.
Some of this year’s recipients share the difference the scholarship has made for them:
“As a first generation student, it was important to have financial support along the way so as to not give up on the dream of graduating from college.” Caleb Olson, who earned a business degree in May
“The availability of the scholarship helped sway my decision toward Ohio State.” Beau Bilek, a radiologic science major now finishing his first year, who used part of his award to study abroad
“The Ross County Alumni Club scholarship has helped me tremendously. Without it, I do not believe I would have been as successful as I have been, nor would I have had such a fulfilling experience at Ohio State.” Laura Chenoweth, a medical dietetics major who graduated in May and will begin her studies in the College of Optometry this fall
“I was born and raised a Buckeye, and this scholarship helped me make that dream a reality.” Gabby Goshorn, who is finishing his first year as a theater major
"The help from this scholarship enabled me to rest easy knowing that my sophomore year financial worries were covered." Joanne Newman Jones, who is finishing her second year in industrial design
“My entire family is thankful for this scholarship.” Emily Irvin, a senior honors student with a double major in health sciences and fine arts whose younger sister Allison also is a Ross County scholarship recipient