Press Release

Ohio Wesleyan Receives $250,000 Alumni Gift for Student Scholarships

December 11, 2014 – by Cole Hatcher

Mark Hubbart and Virginia O’Grady Shipps, both members of the Ohio Wesleyan Class of 1970, are making a $250,000 gift commitment to benefit the Hubbart/Shipps Family Legacy Scholarship Endowment. The gift is eligible for a $250,000 major-gift match, enhancing the scholarship fund by $500,000. (Photo by Mark Schmitter ’12)

DELAWARE, Ohio – Four generations of the Hubbart and Shipps families have helped to keep Ohio Wesleyan University sailing smoothly forward, not only as graduates but also as volunteers, parents, board members, and even vice presidents. To date, approximately 30 members of the extended Hubbart and Shipps families have graduated from Ohio Wesleyan.

In honor of their families, Mark Hubbart and Virginia O’Grady Shipps, both members of the Ohio Wesleyan Class of 1970, are making a five-year $250,000 gift commitment to benefit the Hubbart/Shipps Family Legacy Scholarship Endowment. The couple’s gift also comes in anticipation of their 50th class reunion. The funds will be used to support scholarships for future legacy students – those with OWU alumni among their parents, grandparents, or siblings.

“Ginny and I are proud to continue and enhance our family’s giving traditions,” Mark Shipps said. “We feel this is the right time and opportunity, and we hope others are inspired to do the same.” The gift from the Dublin, Ohio, couple also is eligible for a $250,000 OWU major-gift match, increasing the value of their latest contribution to $500,000.

“With the Hubbart and Shipps family histories so intrinsically tied to Ohio Wesleyan, Mark often says that OWU is in his and Ginny’s DNA,” said President Rock Jones, Ph.D. “If that’s true, then Ohio Wesleyan is a stronger and more vital organization because of this innate bond. These families are the very definition of legacy, and we are honored by this and all of their gifts of time, talent, and treasure to support Ohio Wesleyan and its students.”

The Hubbart and Shipps ties to Ohio Wesleyan include both grandfathers of Mark Shipps – Henry Clyde Hubbart, a former head of the OWU Department of History and author of “Ohio Wesleyan’s First Hundred Years,” and Herman M. “Rusty” Shipps, Class of 1913, a former vice president for university relations credited with establishing OWU’s development program. Mark Shipps’ father, Frazier P. Shipps, Class of 1937, joined the university’s Board of Trustees in 1966 and served throughout his life.

As for Mark Shipps, he followed in the footsteps of both his father and paternal grandfather, serving as a university trustee from 1999 to 2006, when he stepped down to become OWU’s vice president for university relations. He served in that role, and later as a special assistant to the president, until he retired in 2013. Even today, however, he remains actively involved with his alma mater, helping to coordinate community involvement in the May 2014 NCAA Division III men’s and women’s outdoor track & field championships and working to reinvigorate the community Bishop Backers organization. In recognition of his countless contributions to Ohio Wesleyan, Mark Shipps was awarded the OWU Alumni Award in 1997.

Ginny O’Grady Shipps received the Alumni Award in 2000, honoring her “enthusiasm and ever-positive attitude” in supporting the university as well as her service as a member of the Alumni Board of Directors between 1989 and 1994. She also has helped to raise scholarship funds for northeast Ohio students through her work on the annual OWU Snow Ball, and she is a current director of the university’s Columbus Monnett Club, which supports local students with scholarship and emergency funds.

Both of Mark and Ginny Shipps’ children also are Ohio Wesleyan graduates, with David F. Shipps graduating in 1999 and Elizabeth Shipps Yeater in 2001.

The Shipps’ latest gift comes in support of Ohio Wesleyan’s “Connect Today, Create Tomorrow” capital campaign, launched in July with the key objectives of enhancing access and affordability for students through scholarship endowment; recognizing and rewarding faculty excellence and innovation; and improving the physical campus. The leadership phase already has yielded more than $50 million in contributions and commitments, including an anonymous $3 million gift to create the major-gift match program. Learn more about giving to Ohio Wesleyan at owu.edu/waystogive.


Founded in 1842, Ohio Wesleyan University is one of the nation’s premier liberal arts universities. Located in Delaware, Ohio, the private university offers 86 undergraduate majors and competes in 23 NCAA Division III varsity sports. Ohio Wesleyan combines a challenging, internationally focused curriculum with off-campus learning and leadership opportunities to connect classroom theory with real-world experience. OWU’s 1,750 students represent 46 U.S. states and territories and 43 countries. Ohio Wesleyan is featured in the book “Colleges That Change Lives,” listed on the latest President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll with Distinction, and included in the U.S. News & World Report and Princeton Review “best colleges” lists. Learn more at www.owu.edu.