Park National Bank announces million dollar scholarship gift to COTC and Ohio State Newark Next Generation Challenge Scholarship Campaign

July 20, 2011

July 20, 2011—Newark, OH—The Park National Bank and its associates have stepped forward together with a $1 million dollar commitment to support the Next Generation Challenge Scholarship Campaign. Through the generosity of Granville philanthropists J. Gilbert and Louella H. Reese, the Next Generation Challenge will match dollar-for-dollar all gifts and multi-year pledges up to $10 million made before June 30, 2012, to raise endowed funds to support scholarships benefiting students attending The Ohio State University at Newark and Central Ohio Technical College in perpetuity.

Park National Chairman C. Daniel DeLawder and President David L. Trautman announced the gift during a monthly all-associate meeting held today at Newark’s Midland Theatre.

“Generations of Park National associates have instilled in our organization’s culture a sense of community responsibility. We sincerely believe in sharing resources, investing in others, and frankly, just doing the right thing,” DeLawder said. “We are proud to be a part of this extraordinary scholarship campaign, because we fully appreciate the value of the education our local campus provides.”

Trautman said, “We hope our commitment inspires other local professionals and groups to seize this special opportunity and pay-it-forward in the same kind of way.”

The endowed scholarship that will result from the magnanimous support of the associates and the bank will be established to recognize long-time Park National Bank leader William T. McConnell and his late wife, Jane C. McConnell. Jane dedicated much of her life to serving COTC and was an emeritus trustee of the college. Mr. McConnell currently serves as chairman of the Next Generation Challenge Campaign.
William McConnell was recognized as the 2010 Pioneer in Banking presented by the Ohio Bankers League. He joined Park National Bank in 1960, was named its president in 1979, and chairman in 1993. He served as CEO from 1983 to 1999. McConnell was elected chairman and CEO of the Park National Corporation in 1994 and continues to serve Park as chairman of the executive committee.

“I thank The Park National Bank and its associates for this wonderfully generous gift,” said Ohio State Newark Dean and Director William L. MacDonald, Ph.D. “Park National is to be commended for its long history of supporting the local community.”

In 1966, under the leadership of John W. Alford, chairman, The Park National Bank led the initial fundraising campaign to construct the campus’s first building, Founders Hall, with the largest single gift of $50,000. The strong partnership between The Park National Bank and the Newark campus that was originally forged decades ago has continued throughout the years.

To encourage employee participation in today’s Next Generation Challenge, The Park National Bank facilitated an internal campaign and offered associates payroll deduction participation. This model reaches back to the campus’s first fundraising campaign where many local employers offered payroll deduction. In 1966, more than 7,000 citizens contributed over $1 million toward the cost of purchasing 155 acres of land and constructing Founders Hall.

“The investment that The Park National Bank and its associates are making will not only directly impact the lives of generations of future students and their families, but will also transform the very heart of the community,” said COTC President Bonnie L. Coe, Ph.D. “Higher education plays a critical role in the economic development of not only our community and region, but of the state of Ohio.”

The Park National Bank is the leading financial institution in Licking County and the largest community bank in central Ohio. Founded in 1908, it provides deposit, loan, and trust and investment services for families and businesses. Park consistently earns high marks and awards for its service, community leadership, and financial performance. Park operates 18 full-service offices in Licking and Franklin counties. The Park National Bank is a part of Park National Corporation (NYSE Amex: PRK), also headquartered in Newark, Ohio.

Gifts for the Next Generation Challenge can be made to the Newark Campus Development Fund (NCDF), a permanent, locally controlled endowment that provides funding for innovative projects and scholarships at COTC and Ohio State Newark as well as to COTC and Ohio State Newark directly.