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150 Students awarded scholarships to honor Ohio State sesquicentennial

A celebration of The Ohio State University that is 150 years in the making includes a new scholarship program designed to develop current students into future leaders.

Ohio State awarded 150 sesquicentennial scholarships to students across the university for the 2019-20 academic year in honor of the sesquicentennial. The Sesquicentennial Student Scholar Leadership Program is one part of the university’s sesquicentennial celebration and demonstrates a commitment to increasing access and affordability while recognizing students’ academic and non-academic accomplishments and diverse interests.

“The Ohio State University has transformed lives for nearly a century and a half. I look forward to celebrating this historic occasion with members of our new scholarship program and the rest of the Buckeye community,” said President Michael V. Drake. “These student leaders will help lay the foundation for the next 150 years of excellence and impact.”

Mary Buehler, a third-year student majoring in agribusiness and applied economics, was awarded one of the scholarships. She said the sesquicentennial is a celebration of all that is great about being a Buckeye.

“It’s neat to see that Ohio State is flourishing, and it makes me realize that we’re not just here for four years. It’s a community of Buckeyes past and present, and that to me is what this sesquicentennial is celebrating,” Buehler said. “It’s all the past Buckeyes and the accomplishments they’ve had and all the accomplishments that we’re going to see moving forward.”

Scholars receive $2,500 for the first year of the program, and the scholarships are renewable for up to six additional semesters or completion of their current degree program, whichever comes first.

Scholarship recipients represent all campuses, colleges and undergraduate, graduate and professional student populations.

Melanie Russell, a second-year student in the College of Medicine, said she is honored to be awarded one of the scholarships. She’s had a connection with Ohio State since she was a child growing up in Cleveland.

“Whenever I’m asked [why I chose Ohio State], the answer I give is, ‘I think the Buckeyes chose me,’” she said.

Russell holds an undergraduate degree from Ohio State and started in the university’s Young Scholars Program in middle school.

“When I think about Ohio State, I think about philanthropy, I think about wanting to better the community,” she said. “It’s not only wanting to better myself, but create something that other people are going to benefit from.”

Jesse McAndrew, a second-year business management major, is a student on the Newark campus.

“When I ended up looking into the scholarship, I was like, ‘this is a really cool opportunity,’” he said. “Not only is it just one of 150 students at Ohio State, you’re going to be learning leadership, attending college conferences and being a spokesperson.”

Beyond financial support, sesquicentennial scholars will receive leadership training and professional development support, and serve as sesquicentennial ambassadors at programs and events.

“I’m looking forward to the leadership-building seminars and just going to meet new people. That’s probably my favorite part of this and the thing I’m most excited for,” McAndrew said.

It was a sentiment Russell agreed with.

“I was really intrigued about the leadership component of the program,” she said. “I think that the physician that I aspire to be is a culturally competent physician who gracefully gives back to her community. How can I do that without appropriate leadership skills?”

“So that really caught my attention. What better place to learn about leadership than in one of the greatest leadership institutions?”

The scholars program, and the learning opportunities that go with it, support the charge and motto of Ohio State.

“For nearly 150 years, Ohio State has diligently pursued its mission of ‘education for citizenship.’ This program builds on that tradition by creating new opportunities for students to develop their leadership skills,” said Executive Vice President and Provost Bruce A. McPheron. 

To learn more about The Ohio State University Sesquicentennial and see the full list of student scholars, click here.