$14M gift from Ed Claugus brightens future for engineering students, faculty

Gifts include scholarships for 45 students, endowed chair in chemical and biomolecular engineering

By: Matt Schutte

Published on November 04, 2015

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Edward Claugus earned his bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from The Ohio State University in 1981 and his gift to his alma mater will ensure that his academic passion, as well as students who share it and the college that helped cultivate it, will be among the best in the world for decades to come.

The youngest of five brothers, all of whom earned degrees from Ohio State, Ed Claugus was a private investor and aviation enthusiast whose estate left more than $14 million to benefit the students, faculty and staff of the College of Engineering and the William G. Lowrie Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering.

“He had tremendous respect for Ohio State,” said Tom Claugus, noting that half of his brother’s estate went to family members and the other half went to his alma mater. “It’s great when your younger brother is an inspiration and Ed was an inspiration for me. My brother really lived his life to the fullest. I am sure he would be proud to see the scholarship recipients and the work that’s ongoing to further the mission of Ohio State. He would just be glowing to know he was supporting 45 students.”

Ohio State President Michael V. Drake noted that Ed Claugus’ most enduring legacy is likely to live within the student recipients of the scholarships he established.

“The gift from Ed Claugus is already changing lives. Forty-five engineering students in the first year alone are conducting innovative research, exploring volunteer opportunities and paying it forward in ways that would not be possible without their selection as Claugus Scholars,” Drake said. “I am excited to see how Ohio State and the world benefit from their future discoveries and generosity.”

“Supporting scholarships, academic facilities and world-class faculty, Ed’s generosity will have a widespread impact on this college and chemical and biomolecular engineering in particular, which will result in extraordinary changes in breadth and depth of the faculty,” said David B. Williams, dean of the College of Engineering. “That’s not just good for Ohio State, but for all of Ohio as we push more health care and other innovations to market ahead of the competition, and create companies and partnerships that in turn create jobs. Ed’s support and belief in Ohio State are ensuring that our students and faculty will truly make a difference through these new ventures.”

The Edward Claugus estate gift to Ohio State includes the following funds named in honor of his mother Bernice:

  • Bernice L. Claugus Endowed Fund in Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering provides operating support, including the purchase of new equipment, for the William G. Lowrie Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering as recommended by the department chair and approved by the dean of engineering.
  • Bernice L. Claugus Endowed Scholarship Fund in Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering provides scholarships to undergraduates enrolled in the College of Engineering between sophomore and senior years and majoring in chemical and biomolecular engineering. Preference given to students from Belmont County or contiguous counties in Ohio. If no students from those counties, next preference is students with demonstrated financial need. Recipients selected by the college’s scholarship committee in consultation with Student Financial Aid.
  • Bernice L. Claugus Engineering Endowed Scholarship Fund provides scholarships to undergraduates enrolled in the College of Engineering. Preference given to students from Belmont County or contiguous counties in Ohio. If no students from those counties, next preference is students with demonstrated financial need. Recipients selected by the college’s scholarship committee in consultation with Student Financial Aid.
  • Bernice L. Claugus Endowed Chair in Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering tosupport an endowed chair position in the William G. Lowrie Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering. Appointment to this position will be recommended by the college’s dean to the provost and approved by the Board of Trustees.
  • Bernice L. Claugus Engineering Innovation Fund is a discretionary fund managed by the dean and devoted to innovation.

“We are who we are because of Ohio State,” said Bruce Claugus. “I look forward to the day, and that day surely will come, when Ohio State will become known as the top engineering research university in the country. I am incredibly proud to know that my brother Ed will have played such an important role in making that happen.”


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Matt Schutte
614-247-6445 | Email

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