Ohio Wesleyan is committed to providing a supportive and richly diverse culture on our campus. That is where the liberal arts can flourish and students can best grow, succeed, and achieve.
We are invested in and dedicated to providing and improving services to help support the social and educational goals of all students. Our academic programs explore global issues and cultures from diverse and interdisciplinary perspectives. Social programs celebrate diverse experiences and cultures on campus.
We welcome students from all backgrounds, from across the nation, and from around the world. We provide services to help support the social and academic goals of our students. And we offer leadership opportunities through a wide range of student organizations.
OWU values our community partners that can help us provide access and opportunity to promising students. To that end, we have created the Dr. Charles Thomas Scholarship to celebrate the courage, character, and life of former OWU student Dr. Charles Thomas (see the Inspiring Life of Dr. Charles Thomas below).
For those selected as Dr. Charles Thomas Scholars, Ohio Wesleyan will meet 100 percent of demonstrated financial need for all four years as determined by the FAFSA.
Demonstrated need will be covered through merit and need-based OWU grants, federal loans, and work-study.
Students who are affiliated with a college access program (examples below), who have applied for admission to Ohio Wesleyan, and who have filed their FAFSA are eligible to apply for the Dr. Charles Thomas Scholarship. You may apply for the scholarship by submitting:
- Dr. Charles Thomas Scholarship Application
- Scholarship Essay (included in the Dr. Charles Thomas Scholarship Application)
- A recommendation letter from your Access Program or Community-Based Organization (CBO) advisor.
- If you attend one of the Columbus City Schools, but are not affiliated with an Access Program or Community-Based Organization, you may request a recommendation from your high school counselor instead.
- When you submit your Dr. Charles Thomas Scholarship Application, the advisor/counselor you listed will automatically be contacted and will receive details on how to submit the recommendation letter on your behalf.
Examples of access programs whose participants have received scholarships:
- Collegiate Directions (MD)
- College Now Greater Cleveland (OH)
- Say Yes To College (OH)
- I Know I Can (OH)
- Law and Leadership Institute (OH)
- One Goal (IL)
- Schuler Scholars (IL)
Dr. Charles Thomas was the only Black player on OWU’s baseball team and one of the few in the Midwest in the early 1900s. Charles, nicknamed Tommy by his teammates, faced racial injustice whenever and wherever the team traveled.
During a 1903 road trip, the Ohio Wesleyan baseball team traveled to South Bend, Indiana, where Charles was denied lodging at a hotel with his white teammates. Head coach Branch Rickey was able to convince the front desk clerk to allow Charles to stay in his room.
When Coach Rickey arrived at his room, he found Charles sitting on the bed lamenting the color of his skin. As the story goes, this event and similar injustices Charles encountered remained vivid in Branch Rickey’s mind and served as his inspiration in signing Jackie Robinson to a contract with the Brooklyn Dodgers, thus breaking the profession’s color barrier, more than 40 years later.
The Ohio Wesleyan Transcript ended its 1905 baseball season review with the following line... “we can hardly hope to find a man who is as strong an all-around player as Tommy. Success to him in whatever he may do.”
Charles Thomas studied dentistry at the Ohio State University Medical School, graduating in 1908. He practiced in St. Louis before moving to Albuquerque, New Mexico, as one of the first two Black dentists in the state. He practiced there for 40 years and kept in contact with his friend and fellow alumnus Branch Rickey until he died in 1965. Dr. Thomas died in 1971 at age 91.