Ohio State: A great adventure

November 24, 2010

The Sipps' first gift to Ohio State was a $3.00 contribution to the University Fund in 1959. They have given to the university every year since.

Jim Sipp '59, business, and Barbara Sipp '59, nursing, have undertaken many adventures in their lives; from Africa to Antarctica, they have set foot on every continent on the planet. Next to their children and grandchildren, they feel one of their greatest adventures has been their relationship with Ohio State of 50 plus years.

"We have worked hard and been very fortunate in life," said Barbara, a retired nurse. "It gives us a great deal of happiness to give back. When we were in school, Jim was able to work and go to school full-time, and that's just not possible anymore. We want to do what we can to support students who need our assistance."

The Sipps, who are also members of the President's Club, the Sphinx Steering Committee, and are co-chairing the College of Nursing's Campaign Committee, started their support of Ohio State with a gift of $3.00 to the University Fund in 1959, and they have contributed to the university every year since.

"We have a wide range of giving and volunteer interests, and that has allowed us to gain a great deal of knowledge about Ohio State needs, activities, academic areas, scholarships, and students," said Jim, who retired as senior director and vice president from White Castle System, Inc. "We are really looking forward to putting this experience to use on the campaign committee for nursing."

Their four children – all Ohio State graduates – have served as an inspiration to their parents to set up numerous scholarships, several of which are named in their honor. "Our kids had our support, but we know that every family is not able to do that," said Barbara. "It is a joy and a complete satisfaction to be able to help our students get an education."

The Sipps also draw inspiration from one of the greats at Ohio State, Woody Hayes. "He told us to 'pay it forward,' and it was inspiring," said Jim. "Add to that our children, grandchildren, and the remarkable travel we have done, we have many points of inspiration on the importance of making a lasting contribution to our world," added Barbara. "We want to make sure that Ohio State students have the adventure of their lives, too."