During a celebration at the Ross Art Museum, Rock Jones leads a toast to Tom and Susan Palmer (left) on the creation of The Thomas W. Palmer ’69 and Susan Palmer Global Scholars Program. Joining in the toast are Global Scholars Program faculty (from left) Mary Anne Lewis Cusato, Jeremy Baskes, and Nathan Rowley. (Photo by Paul Vernon)

Palmers’ $2 million gift solidifies Global Scholars Program

Ohio Wesleyan Trustee Tom Palmer ’69 and his wife, Susan, have created a $2 million endowment for the OWU Global Scholars Program, which will provide international opportunities for students for years to come.

The program was created three years ago through a short-term grant as part of OWU’s Global Studies Institute. The institute brings together faculty and students from the natural sciences, social sciences, humanities, and fine arts to explore issues from all academic disciplines and work toward realworld solutions. Each fall, a dozen or more incoming students are invited to become Global Scholars in recognition of their passion for international issues and potential for high academic achievement.

As juniors or seniors, Global Scholars receive a $4,000 university grant to pursue an approved international research or study project of their choice. As seniors, they also complete a faculty-supervised thesis or capstone project. In addition, they are required to take four semesters of foreign language. Students who successfully complete the Global Scholars Program graduate with a Global Studies Institute certificate noted on their transcript.

“Susan and Tom Palmer’s incredibly generous endowment ensures that the Global Scholars Program will exist to benefit future generations of Ohio Wesleyan students, many of whom would not be able to study abroad if it were not for the associated stipends,” says Jeremy Baskes, program director and professor of history. “Ohio Wesleyan, and specifically the Global Scholars Program, is exceedingly lucky to have such committed and caring benefactors.”

“We welcome this opportunity to support the initiative and creativity of faculty and students engaged in the Global Scholars Program,” said the Palmers in announcing the gift. “This program not only enables experiences of global connection for those directly involved but also for others in sharing interaction. In this, OWU continues to differentiate itself as a university dynamic in affording distinctive learning opportunities.”

OWU President Rock Jones notes, “As the world becomes increasingly interconnected, Ohio Wesleyan wants to ensure that our graduates are prepared to be active and engaged global citizens and leaders. Tom and Susan’s support helps us to achieve this important mission. We look forward to witnessing the positive impact the Palmer Global Scholars have on the world.”

A current at-large member of the OWU Board of Trustees, Tom Palmer has practiced law for more than 45 years with Marshall & Melhorn, LLC, in Toledo, Ohio. At Ohio Wesleyan, he majored in economics and was a member of the Phi Delta Theta Fraternity. Susan Palmer is a former educator and development director for the Toledo Museum of Art, where she still serves on the Board of Trustees.

The gift is part of OWU’s Connect Today, Create Tomorrow comprehensive campaign, which has raised more than $200 million.

Return to the Spring 2020 OWU Magazine