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Campaign raising funds for campus

In 1985, the first building for the Ohio University Southern campus in Ironton was constructed; 28 years later the university has grown in size and opportunity for the students who walk its halls.

Continuing the promise made almost three decades ago, OUS has joined with Ohio University and the other regional branches for “The Promise Lives” campaign. The fundraising campaign is designed to market the universities to show how valuable they are to the communities.

“Each individual school has its own specifics of what they are trying to raise,” Matt Ward, OUS director of development, said. “The amount is based on what we are trying to do, our goals, where we want to take the program. We thought our goal was a hard goal, but one that could be reached.”

Ward said OUS has a good head start on meeting its goal of $3.5 million. In the first 12 months of the five-year campaign the school raised close to $1 million. He said the amount raised shows a dedication to the community in that, even when people may not have a lot, they give to a good cause.

“It’s a tough economy, it’s a tough time, it’s tough for everyone. But these funds are needed,” Ward said. “They are needed to help out the students, to raise our academic programs to the level they need to be.”

Ward said the first year ended on a high note after Jodi Rowe-Collins, on behalf of the Citizen’s Deposit Bank, agreed to endow a $15,000 scholarship for the campaign.

Scholarships for both traditional and non-traditional students are perhaps the most important area funds can be utilized to help students said Ward. Continuing his focus on rough economic times, he said helping a student afford their education is a worthwhile pursuit.

“The Promise Lives Campaign incorporates funds for a variety of things,” Ward said. “Some donors simply donate money and say we can use it where we need it, while others set up scholarships of their own with requirements such as GPA or major. In the end it is always up to the donor.”

Besides scholarships, Ward said funds raised through the campaign will go toward equipment for various departments within the universities campus as well as the Ohio Horse Park.

Donating is not limited to those with thousands of dollars to spare, said Ward. All contributions are welcome no matter the amount.

“Every little bit helps,” Ward said. “If you believe education can change the community, if educating displaced workers can improve the economy it is definitely a worthwhile thing to do.”

The first year of the campaign passed without much fanfare, but Ward said things are picking up and there are many events scheduled throughout the year to get the community involved.