Press Release

Ohio Wesleyan Receives $250,000 Donation in Honor of Retired Staff Member

December 18, 2014 – by Cole Hatcher

Retired Ohio Wesleyan employees Libuse L. ‘Libby’ and John H. Reed (from left), President Rock Jones, and alumni Richard L. Cassell and Ann Colson Cassell are shown at the 2011 dedication of the university’s Fallen Heroes Memorial. The Cassells are endowing a new scholarship to honor the Reeds, including both John Reed’s university and military service. (Photo by Kelsey Ullom ’14)

DELAWARE, Ohio – John H. Reed’s 32-year career with Ohio Wesleyan University is one for the books. Reed, still an active member of the OWU community, served as the university’s archival librarian from 1952 to 1984. His impact on campus was so great that he was made an honorary alumnus in 2004, and Reed is being honored again today for his distinguished university and military service.

Ohio Wesleyan graduates Richard L. Cassell and Ann Colson Cassell, both members of the Class of 1964, are honoring Reed by contributing $250,000 to the university to create the “Richard L. Cassell ’64 and C. Ann Colson Cassell ’64 Endowed Scholarship in honor of John H. Reed HON ’04.” Their donation is eligible for a $250,000 major-gift match, creating a $500,000 endowment to provide scholarships to deserving students.

The Cassells of Peachtree, Georgia, knew Reed during their students days, but became reacquainted with him and his wife – retired OWU English professor and honorary alumna Libuse L. “Libby” Reed – while working with Ohio Wesleyan to fund an on-campus Fallen Heroes Memorial. Dedicated in 2011, the memorial includes the names of all known alumni who have died in military battle since the Civil War.

The new scholarship fund celebrates both John and Libby Reed in recognition of the countless Ohio Wesleyan students and alumni the couple have mentored and supported during and after their combined 64 years of university service.

But the Cassells chose to name the scholarship fund in honor of John Reed as a lasting tribute of “his embodiment of the sacrifice, humbleness, and courage of all members of The Greatest Generation as well as his dedication to Ohio Wesleyan University.” During World War II, Reed served as a U.S. Army Ranger, earning recognition that included a handshake from President Dwight D. Eisenhower.

Richard Cassell also is a decorated veteran. He served as a U.S. Air Force pilot between 1966 and 1972, flying more than 400 missions in Vietnam and Laos, and earning the Distinguished Flying Cross, Purple Heart, and Vietnam Gallantry Cross. Ann Cassell also gave back to her country, serving as president of the Officers’ Wives Club and as coordinator of Family Services, working to assist new arrivals in their transition to military life.

In 1972, the couple moved to Georgia, and Richard Cassell began what would become a lifetime career as a Delta Airlines pilot. On Sept. 11, 2001, he was serving in the international chief pilot’s office and was instrumental in the diversion and safe return of all international flights and their passengers and crews to their U.S. destinations. Ann Cassell also remained active in charitable and service organizations, including 50 years of active membership with the Philanthropic Educational Organization Sisterhood at the local and state levels.

At Ohio Wesleyan, Richard Cassell majored in economics and played varsity basketball, soccer, and golf. He was a member of the Phi Kappa Psi fraternity. Ann Cassell majored in home economics and secondary education. She also was a member of the Kappa Kappa Gamma sorority. Their daughter, Kristin Cassell Jewell, is a member of the Class of 1993, and Richard Cassell’s father, Harold, earned his Ohio Wesleyan degree in 1930.

“This gift is very meaningful,” said President Rock Jones, Ph.D. “Dick and Ann Cassell have led lives of service, and their gift will help future OWU students to make their own contributions to society. It also recognizes John and Libby Reed, role models worthy of emulation. On behalf of Ohio Wesleyan, I am honored to accept the generous contribution.”

The Cassells’ gift also is given in support of Ohio Wesleyan’s Connect Today, Create Tomorrow 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 of the campaign already has yielded more than $50 million in contributions and commitments, including an anonymous $3 million gift to create the major-gift match program. The match program will augment up to 12 future contributions of $250,000 or more with a $250,000 match.

Learn more about giving to the university 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.