O.A.R. accepts the Ohio Scholarship Challenge at Ohio State

July 8, 2013

New scholarship benefits Youngstown-area students and brings education full circle for the band.

O.A.R. credits The Ohio State University with helping them achieve the success they enjoy today. Four high school friends from Rockville, Maryland—Marc Roberge, Chris Culos, Benj Gershman, and Richard On—chose Ohio State to further their education and music career. They met fellow Buckeye, Jerry DePizzo, and began making their mark in the music industry soon after, touring the country and selling countless records. As a tribute to their incredible collegiate experience, the platinum-selling group has established a $50,000 undergraduate scholarship to benefit prospective students from DePizzo’s hometown of Youngstown.

“People from all over the world travel to Ohio State to get an education and we knew if we were successful at Ohio State, we could be successful all over the country,” DePizzo said. “It personally means a great deal to be able to team up with the university and help the community where I grew up.”

In 2006, O.A.R. launched The Heard the World Fund, a philanthropic fund to benefit youth, education, and sustainable programs in the United States and abroad. Through the fund, the band is contributing to the Ohio Scholarship Challenge, an Ohio State fundraising initiative announced in January with a goal of raising $100 million for general scholarships. The first O.A.R. Heard the World Scholarship recipients will begin studying at Ohio State in autumn 2013. The scholarships will follow students’ academic journey regardless of the major they choose or which Ohio State campus they attend. As with all scholarships, students must maintain satisfactory academic progress and remain in good standing with the university.

“We started The Heard the World Scholarship Fund because we felt fortunate to have had the resources to get a great education and wanted to be able to provide other students that opportunity,” Gershman said. “As students, we were fortunate to perform at Ohio State and throughout the Ohio region which helped us to become the band we are today.”

Members of O.A.R. invite you to accept the Ohio Scholarship Challenge and join them in changing lives and communities through education. Friends and alumni of Ohio State can support high school students in every Ohio county through The Ohio State University’s Ohio Scholarship Challenge by visiting giveto.osu.edu/challenge

What is the Ohio Scholarship Challenge?
Launched in February 2013, the Challenge is a fundraising initiative to raise $100 million in general scholarship dollars for Ohio State students in any major, at any campus. A defining part of the But for Ohio State Campaign, the success of the Challenge is vital to the university's overall effort to raise $500 million in private scholarship funds. Through the Ohio Scholarship Challenge, you can help promising undergraduate students afford Ohio State and give more students access to a life-changing array of academic opportunities. 

About O.A.R.
O.A.R., the "grassroots phenomenon" that transformed into one of rock's preeminent live acts, is on the road through August for their 2013 ‘Sounds of Summer’ Tour (dates: http://www.ofarevolution.com/on-tour). The band is currently at work on the follow up to their widely praised 2011 release, 'King' - a "sunburned dub stew of reggae, surf, and jazz-rock rhythms" (EW) by "a self-assured band at the height of its creative powers" (M Magazine). For information on O.A.R., log onto ofarevolution.com or contact Rebecca Shapiro (rshapiro@shorefire.com) or Jon Bleicher (jbleicher@shorefire.com) at Shore Fire Media (718) 522–7171.

About The Heard the World Fund
The Heard the World Fund was established in 2006 by the band O.A.R. to provide resources for underfunded educational and youth programs in the U.S. and abroad. A portion of every O.A.R. concert ticket sold goes directly to the fund and in December 2012, the band held their second ever Heard the World Benefit Concert. Through the fund, O.A.R. was able to pay 72 students’ 2008/2009 school year tuition, in partnership with The Children’s Scholarship Fund, and they recently donated $75,000 worth of computers and related equipment to the Liberty School District in Youngstown, OH.

About The Ohio State University
Founded in 1870, The Ohio State University is a world-class public research university and the leading comprehensive teaching and research institution in the state of Ohio. With more than 63,000 students (including 56,000 in Columbus), the Wexner Medical Center, 14 colleges, 80 centers, and 175 majors, the university offers its students tremendous breadth and depth of opportunity in the liberal arts, the sciences, and the professions.