Investing in Ohio Wesleyan, Today and Tomorrow

Meet the Bassetts

Kay Hobart Bassett and John Bassett

Kay Hobart Bassett '63 and John Bassett '63 want to ensure that students benefit from an OWU education today and in the future.

Like many Ohio Wesleyan alumni, John Bassett '63 and Kay Hobart Bassett '63 share happy memories of their years at Ohio Wesleyan and of their many experiences after OWU, including their wedding in 1964. They recall the vibrancy of OWU's liberal arts campus, strong friendships, and especially the memorable professors whose voices linger long after they've gone.

Growing up in Washington, D.C., John was one of nine from his high school to enroll at Ohio Wesleyan. He majored in history and would later return to OWU to receive an M.A. degree in English in 1966. Kay moved with her family before high school to Long Island. Her route to Ohio Wesleyan was less direct than John's. After completing freshman year at Hood College, she transferred to Ohio Wesleyan as a political science major. Among her favorite professors was Art Peterson, director of the Arneson Institute for Practical Politics. After John and Kay were married, they returned to OWU for John's graduate work, and Kay worked as an assistant to Dr. Peterson.

Great OWU teachers—Ben Spencer, Charles Weis, Robert Wilson, Alfred Ferguson, Gene White, David Jennings, and John Chase—set the bar high for those who would follow. John's interest in history led him to another teaching legend: history professor Richard Smith.

"We try to attend the Smith Lecture Series on campus as often as we can," notes John, whose busy career has included college presidencies at Clark and Heritage Universities and a position as dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at Case Western Reserve. He retired from Heritage last year.

"We've moved around a lot over the years," says Kay, who received an MBA in 1982. She's been a retail buyer for a department store in Rochester, and she worked for two decades in information technology. In Cleveland, she was offered a position as a contractor for NASA, where she managed desktop computing. She credits her liberal arts background for helping her to think critically and to better understand world issues and cultures. Says John, "The two emphases need to be combined better, not separated."

The Bassetts believe in the value of a liberal arts education and understand the importance of investing in Ohio Wesleyan for today's students and for future generations. That's why they give to the Annual Fund and are members of The Tower Society.

Annual fund gifts "Allow OWU to pay the bills," says John. Regarding their future gift through The Tower Society, Kay says, "Gift annuities made sense."

John believes it is important for alumni to ask themselves how much faith and confidence they have in OWU. "Kay and I are betting on the future, and we are pleased with what we see today."

John and Kay Bassett are advancing OWU's exceptional liberal arts tradition today, and well into the future. To learn how you can follow their example, contact Jenny Batchelder, JD at 740-368-3043 or

Contact Info


University Advancement Office
Mowry Alumni Center
61 S. Sandusky Street
Delaware, OH 43015
P 740-368-3078
F 740-368-3328


Jenny Batchelder, JD
Director of Gift Planning
P  740-368-3043
F  740-368-3328