A campaign to pave the way for student success
“One person won’t change the world, but together, we can, and we will,” said Billy Watterson ’96, CEO of Watterson Brands, University of Findlay Board of Trustees member, and co-chair of the University’s comprehensive campaign, “Together We Will.”
The goal of the University’s campaign is for people to “come together and share resources to ensure that future generations of students have the best technology, great experiences,” and allow the University to grow and continue to be a leader in private higher education. Watterson explained the Together We Will campaign will help to “provide the resources necessary for those students to get out into the world and be productive – to do great things – and also doing it through a lens of caring for people.”
Marcia Sloan Latta, Ed.D., vice president for University Advancement, noted that gifts of any size to any designation are encouraged. From supporting specific areas of academics and infrastructure updates, to providing students opportunities to have hands-on learning experiences within their fields, Watterson noted there is an area of impact that will provide donors the opportunity to get “front and center with your heart and your values and put them to work.”
Annual Scholarships and Financial Aid
Annual scholarships and financial aid; experiential, service, and research opportunities; program growth and new course offerings; new buildings and updates to technology: donor funds affect students, and University of Findlay’s campus as a whole, in a countless number of ways. Through the Together We Will campaign, the University hopes to raise funds which will help to develop graduates who serve and lead with purpose, passion, and skill.
Diana Montague, Ph.D., professor of communication, explained gifts to the University provide opportunities that create a sense of community and place by helping students focus on their purpose and passions. “We live in a world so full of distractions and can become overwhelmed with information. This campaign can really help give our students the chance to step back, look around them, and evaluate what’s of value and what’s really important to them,” she said, noting that students who receive scholarships have more opportunity to focus on their studies and campus.
The abundance of hands-on learning options available to students, thanks to generous donors and dedicated faculty and staff such as Montague, create a lasting impact by providing them real-world experience that gives them a head-start on their future careers as well as offering the perfect opportunity to network with industry professionals and philanthropists. “The more experiential learning we can give our students, beyond classroom learning, those are often the most impactful and the most memorable lessons,” Montague said.
Building the campus experience, as she says, makes a degree from UF even more valuable. “By giving back, it makes your own degree more valuable as it helps create opportunities for future generations of Oilers.”
University of Findlay senior, De’Angelo Garner, has felt first-hand the impact of donor and community support throughout his academic career. With his much anticipated graduation quickly approaching in May 2023, Garner first became interested in UF because of the variety of unique degree offerings in the College of Health Professions, including his selected major of Echocardiography.
A college education isn’t something that everyone gets to experience. “I really think scholarships play a big role in helping students go to college,” Garner said. These extra funds can have a huge impact as “most students have a hard time paying for college” between the costs of tuition, materials, and basic living expenses. Receiving scholarships – academic, athletic, endowed, or other – helps reduce costs, and stress, for students and parents alike. Having received scholarships himself, Garner noted that in his case, they helped him work toward his goal of becoming a sonographer by allowing him to continue his education.
Scholarships are just one of the many ways that donor gifts affect students at UF. Across campus, building renovations, technological upgrades, and new offerings have made OilerNation all the better for students. “A really big change that I’ve seen has been in the cadaver lab,” he said, which has been expanded and renovated to include state-of-the-art equipment. New cutting-edge technology, such as the MediView augmented reality system currently being used in the Sonography Program, are crucial to student learning and program growth. Garner explained having new technologies, equipment, and updated spaces available to students heightens their learning experience and provides a glimpse of what their future professions will look like.
“I would like to express my gratitude and thanks for those who give back to UF so students like me can continue their education and to pursue their dreams and careers; and for making things possible that wouldn’t have been without their support,” said De’Angelo.