Some of the Gates Scholars recently gathered on campus with Mr. And Mrs. Gates. From left are Larry Gates, Casey Oates, Mary Gates, Olivia Payne and Daytona Grimm.
11 area students use fund to pursue their college ambitions
The doors of opportunity to attend college and pursue their ambitions remain open for Ross County high school students, thanks to a local scholarship fund that is marking a decade of success.
This year’s recipients of The Gates Foundation – Ross County Scholar’s Fund have been announced. Eleven students received the scholarships, including three new recipients and eight continuing students.
In 2004, Chillicothe native Larry A. Gates and his wife, Mary, established the scholarship fund to pave the way to a college education for students graduating from Ross County high schools. This is the 10th class to benefit from the scholarship fund, which will eventually total approximately $10 million.
The scholarships are intended to help offset the cost of an undergraduate college education not covered by financial aid and/or scholarships.
Since the scholarship fund’s inception, 130 scholarships have been awarded. The endeavor has been an unquestioned success, with several scholarship recipients going on to earn master’s degrees.
It has been a labor of love for the scholarship fund’s founders, with success measured on criteria that go beyond the numbers.
“At this point, it is not uncommon to receive invitations to weddings, etc. from scholarship winners who have graduated,” Larry Gates said. “We also hear from parents whose kids have graduated, and they are all seemingly doing well. We find all of this to be most gratifying.”
As one scholarship recipient wrote in a note to Mr. and Mrs. Gates, “I am working hard to become the first person in my family to earn a college degree. I can’t wait to see what the future brings, and once I again I owe everything that’s come to you.”
“When we receive these notes, it is wonderful to hear how well the students are doing, and when you meet the parents, you can see why the students are of such high quality,” he said.
“When I read the applications and see how well they have done in school, I am in awe of what they have accomplished,” Mary Gates remarked.
The focus remains on the students and helping them find their footing in the college careers.
“It is all about the students. We wanted to do something to give a boost to these young people, who are very deserving,” Larry Gates said. “Some things in life, you look back on them and wonder if you would do it again. Without a doubt we would again do this. It has been a wonderful success.”
Gates Foundation directors include Nicole McLaughlin, Michelle Shanholtzer, Matthew Haller, Kimberly
“The committee we put together 10 years ago is still intact, and that is a tribute to the dedication of these individuals,” Larry Gates said. “It is impressive how seriously they take this responsibility as well as their dedication to helping young people succeed.”
Selection criteria for the scholarship include potential to succeed in college as determined by high school grades and college entrance scores, letters of reference and financial need. The scholarships are renewable for up to an additional three years for those who continue to qualify. Students may attend the college or university of their choices.
Mr. Gates retired as senior vice president of human resources and administration for Philip Morris Companies in 1998. In that position, he was responsible for worldwide human resources for the multinational corporation employing 160,000 individuals in 180 major markets around the world. He graduated from Chillicothe High School in 1956, Northeastern State University in 1964 and joined Philip Morris in 1967.
The donor-advised fund is administered by The Ohio University Foundation, the private fundraising arm of the university.
2013 The Gates Foundation – Ross County Scholars
The new recipients include:
Student .... High School .... University/College
Daytona Grimm .... Chillicothe HS .... Ohio University-Chillicothe
Olivia Payne .... Chillicothe HS .... Ohio University-Athens
William Stetzer .... Chillicothe HS .... Ohio State University-Lima
The renewed recipients include:
Student University .... College/University
Katelyn Andersen .... Ohio University-Athens
Brandon Cox .... Ohio University-Athens
Kelsey Dunkle .... Marshall University
Colleen Fitzgerald .... Ohio University-Athens
Andrea McLean .... Franciscan University of Steubenville
Casey Oates .... Ohio University-Chillicothe
Emilee Ortman .... Miami (Ohio) University
Tyler VanBuskirk .... Wright State University
More information on The Gates Foundation-Ross County Scholar's Fund is available online at www.ohio.edu/gatesscholarship/.