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Leading by giving

February 08, 2017

With Ohio State's first Day of Giving approaching, university leaders reflect on the importance of philanthropy.

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As a part of Ohio State's month of #BuckeyeLove, members of the university community are being asked to support the university they love during its inaugural Day of Giving on Feb. 14-15. With that day fast approaching, Ohio State leaders and dignitaries took the time to share why they give and which areas of the institution they support.

Michael Drake

Brenda and I proudly give to many programs at Ohio State that are improving lives in our community. As one example, we support the Moms2B program in its mission to reduce Ohio’s heartbreaking infant mortality rate. When you give to the important work happening at Ohio State, you connect to a cause that is bigger than any individual. Not only are you investing in our great university, you are investing in the lives of countless Ohioans. Please mark your calendar for February 14, 2017, our first-ever Day of Giving. Join us in paying forward to make the future brighter for Ohio State students, faculty and all those we serve.

Michael V. Drake, MD

With more than 10,000 funds from which to choose, there is a program that can speak to the heart of each of us on the Day of Giving. Marilyn and I make this a family affair each year when we decide how our giving back to Ohio State matches our passion.

From study-abroad to diversity to 4-H programs, each year we find a variety of ways to help current Buckeyes. For us, however, the bedrock has been in giving to scholarships. I benefited from a variety of scholarships during my undergraduate career, and these set me up for success as I went on to my graduate work and career as an entomologist. It's because of this support that I can say today, "I'm a Buckeye and a bug guy!"

As a leader now, I see every day the impact that scholarships have on our students. It's a chance for us to shape the future by investing in some of the brightest minds around. I hope that, on the Day of Giving, you find the program that is near and dear to your heart and, like Marilyn and me, invest in the future.

Bruce A. McPheron
Executive Vice President and Provost

Archie Griffin

The Ohio State University has provided me with more opportunities than I ever could have imagined, as a student, an athlete and an alumnus. My family and I pay forward by giving to funds that support our Alumni Association and our incredible student-athletes, including the Endowment Fund for Olympic Sports that I am honored bears my name. I hope you will join me on February 14 for our university’s first-ever Day of Giving. Buckeye Nation, working together, we can create life-changing opportunities that were once only dreams. Go Bucks!

Archie Griffin
Class of 1976

Javaune Adams-Gaston

Being a Buckeye means giving back and contributing as a global citizen. That is why one of the funds I give to is Student Life’s Buck-I-SERV program (312757), offering students the opportunity to take unique service trips throughout the U.S. and abroad. This is just one of the many ways to support students in creating their own extraordinary student experience at Ohio State. Please join me on February 14, 2017, for our university’s first-ever Day of Giving. Show the true strength of Buckeye Nation – when we come together, nothing is impossible.

Javaune Adams-Gaston, PhD
Senior Vice President for Student Life

Jim Smith

My wife Polly and I support several important areas around Ohio State, including our respective colleges: Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences and Education and Human Ecology. We are very passionate about paying forward for today's outstanding students. First as students and then as alumni, Buckeyes have the imagination, the courage, and the determination to be world changers. But to start out, students need a boost from alumni. Students like Dominique Johnson, who is such an inspiration that she received the Alumni Association Scholarship twice. She is already doing great things beyond her journalism studies, including mentoring local high school students through the "I Know I Can" college preparatory program. In addition to Dominique and our other scholarship recipients, the Alumni Association is always going to be here for every student, now and after graduation.

I hope you will join us on February 14, 2017, our first ever Day of Giving, and support something at Ohio State you are passionate about. I can't wait to see so many Buckeyes give all at once–one big impact–to transform our university for the people we serve.

Jim Smith
President and CEO of The Ohio State University Alumni Association, Inc.

Sheldon M. Retchin

The Ohio State University is a place of miracles. Here, physician-scientists develop new treatments to fight cancer, use genetic technologies to explore the genesis of heart failure, and work to treat emerging pathogens that are resistant to contemporary antibiotics. Further, The Ohio State University College of Medicine is educating and training tomorrow’s health professionals. That’s why Tracy and I give to The Ohio State Fund for the College of Medicine. The fund can be used for student scholarships, medical and scientific research or to improve the medical school in a variety of other ways. I hope you will mark your calendar for February 14, 2017, our first-ever Day of Giving, and join us in supporting miracles. It will be inspirational to see the power of Buckeye Nation harnessed as a force for good in our world.

Sheldon M. Retchin, MD, MSPH
Executive Vice President of Health Sciences
Chief Executive Officer of the Ohio State Wexner Medical Center

Barbie Tootle

Over the 56 years since we enrolled as freshmen, my husband and I have made gifts to a number of different Ohio State projects and programs. Each gift was motivated by experiences we’ve had and people the university brought into our lives.

I gave to the Phyllis Bailey Endowment Fund because I greatly admire all she has done for women’s athletics (and because she taught my golf phys ed class sophomore year). Jim, a baseball historian, directs gifts to the baseball program because he loves the National Pastime and its 137-year history at Ohio State. Much of our giving has focused on student leadership development in Greek Life, Sphinx and Mortar Board Honor Societies, and the Buckeye Leadership Fellows Program.

Ohio State offers so many ways to follow your heart and give to the things that matter most: Honoring the passing of a friend, marking the retirement of a valued colleague. We give to encourage student involvement in the kinds of activities that helped us grow as undergrads.

Look around at the people you are connected to because of Ohio State. Help another generation find those relationships. Follow your heart on February 14, 2017, and join us on the Day of Giving back.

Barbie Tootle
The Ohio State University Alumni Association Board of Directors

Bernadette Mazurek Melnyk

I donate to the University’s and the College of Nursing’s wellness programs to improve health and wellness outcomes for our faculty, staff and students so that they can be healthy, happy and fully-engaged Buckeyes. It’s my passion as university chief wellness officer to help Ohio State become the healthiest campus in the world, and I know we can do it. Show your love for Buckeye Nation this Valentine’s Day, February 14th by joining in this transformative giving campaign, and give where your heart lies. I’m excited to see what dreams this groundbreaking campaign will make come true!

Bernadette Mazurek Melnyk, PhD, RN, CPNP/PMHNP, FAANP, FNAP, FAAN
Vice President for Health Promotion
University Chief Wellness Officer
Dean and Professor, College of Nursing
Professor of Pediatrics & Psychiatry, College of Medicine