Community, Leadership and Legacy
The Annual Scholarship Breakfast is an opportunity for Central Ohio Technical College (COTC) and The Ohio State University at Newark students to meet and thank the donors who have helped make their educational journeys a little easier. This year’s event was extraordinary. It celebrated 721 scholarship recipients and was the first time that the total combined annual scholarship dollars available to students exceeded $2 million.
COTC President John M. Berry, PhD, noted the support of the Licking County Foundation, which provided $118,000 in scholarships just this year to COTC and Ohio State Newark students. Berry was also proud to thank the Coshocton Foundation, which provided more than $61,000 in scholarships just this year to support the Coshocton Promise which fills the tuition gap for eligible students after all other aid options have been exhausted. To date, $260,000 of guaranteed tuition and fees have benefitted 148 students thanks to the Coshocton Promise and the support of the Coshocton Foundation.
COTC emergency medical services and paramedic student Donald Walsh spoke about what led him to the field and what receiving the KBW scholarship means for his future. As a high school student, he enjoyed being on Utica High School’s football team, but because of the effects of concussions sustained as a player such as memory loss and seizures, he was forced to quit the sport. During his junior year of high school, Walsh had a seizure at school that sent him to the hospital. The paramedics, Kyle and Amber, who cared for him during the ambulance ride were his inspiration to be in the field.
“Kyle calmly explained to me what had happened and where we were going. Amber kindly showed me everything that she was doing to keep me relaxed and calm,” said Walsh. “I’d like to thank Ariel Corporation and Ariel Foundation. It means a lot to know there are people out in the world willing to assist future generations in their pursuit of knowledge. I can do what I love and learn to save lives thanks to the help of this scholarship.”
Ohio State Newark Dean/Director William L. MacDonald, PhD, noted that the Newark Campus Development Fund provided more than $1.4 million in scholarships to Ohio State Newark and COTC students this year. He also gave thanks for the support for the John and Mary Alford Center for Science and Technology, which is scheduled to be completed in spring 2021. Lastly, he conveyed the excitement of celebrating The Ohio State University’s sesquicentennial. MacDonald announced that 10 Ohio State Newark students were chosen to represent the campus as Sesquicentennial Student Scholars. The scholarship program awarded $2,500 scholarships to 150 students while also involving them in opportunities to build the skills and fortitude essential to becoming engaged citizens through leadership development and ambassador opportunities.
Ohio State Newark Sesquicentennial Scholar Lacey Heath spoke about what the program means to her. “Being a Sesquicentennial Scholar is the opportunity of a lifetime that I am so proud to be a part of,” she said. “Assisting Ohio State in celebrating its 150th year was not something that I ever thought I would be involved in let alone be an ambassador for it.”
Ohio State Newark alumna Brittany Fairburn shared how her experience at the Scholarship Breakfast in 2014 led her directly to where she is today. She attended the event as the recipient of the William A. Kilpatrick Outstanding Student Scholarship, and being seated with William’s brother Stephen led her to make a connection with Dan DeLawder, former CEO and President of Park National Bank. As someone who planned to specialize in finance, this scenario was ideal, and she gathered her courage to talk to DeLawder. Subsequent contact with him led to an internship and the position she now holds at Park National Bank as a trust administrator and administrative manager. Fairburn told students in attendance, “Based on my experiences, I’ve learned two main things that I want to share with you this morning. First, always take advantage of opportunities like this breakfast to network. Secondly, make sure to give back to your community.”
This year’s event was also extraordinary because of the announcement of a new scholarship: the J. Gilbert Reese Next Generation Community Leadership Award. The award is in memory of J. Gilbert Reese - an incredible community supporter and leader whose efforts to support the campus and education will forever influence all those who come to COTC and Ohio State Newark. Mr. Reese is considered one of the founders of the Newark campus. His impact on the campus began in 1957 when he and friends Howard LeFevre and Al Milliken advocated for a permanent state-owned building to house Ohio State Newark. Throughout his lifetime, Mr. Reese and his wife, Louella, continually helped lead fundraising efforts to develop the campus and guide the creation of COTC. In 2010, the Reeses called the community to action with the Next Generation Challenge campaign, the campaign that truly defines their incredible legacy. The Challenge resulted in the raising of $21 million in scholarship funds to benefit COTC and Ohio State Newark students. Mr. Reese passed away at the age of 93 last November, and in an effort to recognize his legacy COTC, Ohio State Newark and the Newark Campus Development Fund established this new leadership award that was given out for the first time at this year’s Scholarship Breakfast. The first COTC recipient was engineering technology student Adam Taylor and the first Ohio State Newark recipient was psychology student Ashley Moore.
Photo caption: L to R: COTC President John M. Berry, COTC student Adam Taylor, Sarah Reese-Wallace, Ohio State Newark student Ashley Moore, Ohio State Newark Dean/Director William L. MacDonald.
Central Ohio Technical College and The Ohio State University at Newark have forged an outstanding array of educational opportunities for the central Ohio region and beyond. This partnership is viewed as a model for higher education in the state of Ohio. At Central Ohio Technical College, students gain hands-on, applicable experience to begin working in the field, or to transfer those credits toward a bachelor's degree program. The Ohio State University at Newark offers an academic environment that’s challenging but supportive with world-renowned professors and access to Ohio State’s more than 200 majors.