Press Release

Ohio Wesleyan Receives $3 Million Donation to Create Major-Gift Match Program

November 3, 2014 – by Cole Hatcher

Ohio Wesleyan University is creating a new major-gift match program using a $3 million contribution from an anonymous alumni couple. (Photo by Taimur Elahi ’15)

DELAWARE, Ohio – Ohio Wesleyan University has received a $3 million gift from an anonymous alumni couple that will be used to create a major-gift match program. The new program will augment future donors’ contributions of $250,000 or more with a $250,000 match.

“This is a very exciting gift for us,” said Colleen C. Garland, vice president for university advancement. “The opportunity to match new gifts provides a great incentive for other donors to make significant contributions. We are fortunate to have this kind of selfless and strategic giving in support of our new capital campaign.”

Garland said the major-gift match program will apply to contributions of $250,000 or more designated for any endowment or capital project considered a priority in the university’s “Connect Today, Create Tomorrow” fundraising campaign. The matching funds will be used for the same purposes as their qualifying gifts.

The match program will enable, for example, a donor who contributes $500,000 to endow a student scholarship to create a $750,000 endowment instead, Garland said. The match program will help the university generate 12 new outright gifts and pledges of at least $250,000 tied to strategic campaign objectives.

These objectives include investing in Ohio Wesleyan students by expanding both financial aid and hands-on, theory-into-practice learning opportunities; investing in faculty by supporting continued teaching innovation and increasing the number of endowed faculty chairs; and investing in the OWU campus as a learning laboratory by creating innovative classroom spaces, providing first-rate athletic and recreational facilities, and continuing to expand and enhance residential-campus living facilities.

The leadership phase of Ohio Wesleyan’s seven-year “Connect Today, Create Tomorrow” campaign began in July and already has resulted in more than $50 million in gifts and commitments, Garland said.

The campaign is being chaired by two couples: Kevin J. and Nancy C. McGinty of Pepper Pike, Ohio, and John F. and Kathryn Bradford Milligan of Hillsborough, California. Kevin McGinty is a 1970 Ohio Wesleyan graduate, and both Milligans are graduates of the Class of 1983.

“This gift is much like an Ohio Wesleyan education,” Kevin and Nancy McGinty said. “It is an investment that will pay important dividends for years to come. We are grateful to the generous donors for their vision and commitment to Ohio Wesleyan and its students.”

John and Kathie Milligan added: “Now is the time to step up and support Ohio Wesleyan. There are so many exciting things happening with both the curriculum and the campus. By giving to the ‘Connect Today, Create Tomorrow’ campaign, alumni can help to propel this positive momentum forward.”

President Rock Jones, Ph.D., said he, too, is excited by the university’s progress, including an ongoing $8 million project to reopen Merrick Hall and a $10 million combined project to renovate Edwards Gymnasium and create the new, state-of-the-art Simpson Querrey Fitness Center. Both projects are scheduled for completion in fall 2015.

“Now more than ever, the world needs young people who are prepared to address the complex issues impacting our global society,” Jones said. “Ohio Wesleyan is committed to educating such leaders with a strong liberal arts experience that teaches them to think creatively from multiple academic disciplines, to communicate effectively with diverse audiences, and to work collaboratively for the betterment of all people.

“Gifts such as this $3 million contribution, and the new major-gift match program it creates, are critical to our efforts to achieve our educational mission,” Jones said.

Learn more about The OWU Connection curricular initiative at owu.edu/connection and 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.