Selection committee members discuss scholarship applicants.
14 area students use fund to pursue their college ambitions
This year’s recipients of The Gates Foundation – Ross County Scholar’s Fund have been announced. Fourteen students received the scholarships, including seven new recipients and seven 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 12th 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, more than 150 scholarships have been awarded. The endeavor has been an unquestioned success, with many former recipients already advancing in their career fields and several scholarship recipients going on to pursue master’s degrees after earning their bachelor’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.
“Mary and I began the foundation because of our strong belief in young people, and that trust has been reinforced by the young people who have earned these scholarships over the years,” Larry Gates said.
The endeavor has been a rousing success in realizing its intended outcome – opening doors of opportunity for area individuals to pursue their dreams and turning their passions into their professions. The scholarship fund puts in motion the true value of a college education and the doors of opportunity it unlocks.
“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 do this again. We have met so many wonderful families that we may otherwise not have gotten to know.”
Gates Foundation directors include Nicole McLaughlin, Michelle Shanholtzer, Matthew Haller, Kimberly Hirsch, Nancy Harris and Valerie Miller. Jack Jeffery, communications director of the Ohio University Chillicothe campus, will join the committee in 2016.
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 is a retired executive with the Philip Morris Companies.
The donor-advised fund is administered by The Ohio University Foundation, the private fundraising arm of the university.
2015 The Gates Foundation – Ross County Scholars
The new recipients include:
Student High School University/College
Levi Lane Adena HS Ohio University
Cassidy Lynn Zane Trace HS Kent State University
Cassaundra Parker Chillicothe HS Ohio State University
Courtney Parker Chillicothe HS Ohio State University
Abbey Perry Southeastern HS Shawnee State University
Christopher Sabin Chillicothe HS Ohio University
Izabella Timmons Unioto HS University of Findlay
The renewed recipients include:
Kelsey Dunkle Ohio University-Athens
Colleen Fitzgerald Ohio University-Chillicothe
Ali McCracken Ohio University-Athens
Katie McMahon Ohio University-Athens
Sydney Minnix Ohio University-Athens
Olivia Payne Ohio University-Athens
Jillian Pontius Ohio University-Athens
More information on The Gates Foundation-Ross County Scholar's Fund is available online at www.ohio.edu/gatesscholarship/.