A gift made to Ohio Northern University this summer reminds us of how vital endowments are to sustaining a university’s core mission – providing the best educational experience possible for students.
Family members of former Ohio Northern University professor and women’s athletics pioneer Dr. Helen Spar Ludwig presented a $508,000 gift to support the scholarship fund that bears her name. The money came from Helen’s son, James, who passed away in April 2015 and requested the remaining value from the 2010 sale of his farm near Dola be directed to ONU. That was finalized in June.
Such income from endowments is the reason many area students will be able to head back to college in a few weeks.
Generally speaking, the strongest and most stable institutions have strong endowments. Not only do students benefit from the scholarships and fellowships they provide, but endowments often support research initiatives and programs that might not otherwise have had a chance to exist.
The Helen A. Ludwig Scholarship is given annually to students in ONU’s Department of Human Performance and Sport Sciences who display scholastic achievement, leadership and personal character.
Helen Ludwig was a professor in the physical education department from 1963-84 and is considered to be one of the developers of women’s athletics at ONU. She also served as a coach, assistant athletic director and academic director of the physical education department, and she received regional and national recognition for her leadership.
ONU President Daniel A. DiBiasio couldn’t say enough about the family’s contribution.
“The Ludwig name is held in the highest regard at Ohio Northern, and this gift is further evidence of the family’s devotion to education,” said DiBiasio. “It is fitting that the Helen Ludwig Scholarship will now be able to help even more students, because she helped so many throughout her illustrious career at Northern.”
Jim Ludwig attended ONU in the late 1960s. The U.S. Air Force veteran did not graduate from ONU, but supported the university all of his life and was especially proud of his mother’s accomplishments in bringing about gender equity in athletics.
Our region is blessed with five universities or colleges within 10 to 30 minutes of easy driving from downtown Lima. Besides Ohio Northern, we have the University of Northwestern Ohio, Bluffton University, OSU-Lima and Rhodes State College.
Each of these schools depends on contributions to support their priorities as well as helping them attract and retain top faculty. Any gift, big or small, is appreciated. It is also a powerful way to invest and give back to your community.