Taking the Back Roads to OWU
A Personal TouchMakes the Difference
It was by chance that Kathy Mandusic Finley '77 stumbled upon Ohio Wesleyan. Her mother was determined that Kathy have the college education that she wasn't able to, so the two embarked on college visits together. On the way back from a lackluster visit to another college, Kathy and her mother decided to take the back roads home and came upon OWU. It was late on a Friday afternoon, but they stopped in the admission office, where a staff member stayed to take them all over campus, impressing them with a personal touch. Tuition seemed daunting, but the admission staffer assured them that OWU offered scholarships to make it affordable for their family.
Once enrolled at OWU, Kathy remembers finding Professor Richard W. Smith's Appalachian History course, which she says "clicked for me." Dr. Smith would become a lifelong mentor and friend, and Kathy and her husband, Jeff, still come back each fall for the Smith Lecture. Dr. Smith and the other history department faculty helped Kathy cultivate an interest in the field that she continued into graduate school, earning a master's in history and museum studies, an M.B.A. and a Ph.D. in organizational development.
Now, Kathy puts both her history degree and her liberal arts education to use as the executive director of the Organization of American Historians, the largest professional society dedicated to the teaching and study of American history. While working in museums, Kathy authored several books and articles on the history of medicine and now uses her writing skills to pen articles and blogs in association management. She enjoys writing, and in her free time, she recently authored Is There Tuna in Heaven? The Story of Clio: A One-Eyed, Three-Legged Cat Who Healed My Wounded Soul, which is featured among the alumni authors in the OWU bookstore.
Kathy cites the writing and critical-thinking skills she honed at Ohio Wesleyan as crucial to her success. "They allow you to explore things deeper and listen to other people's opinions. You may not know all the answers but you know how to find them out," she says.
Kathy's husband, Jeff, has taken to OWU as an adopted alma mater. He connected immediately with Dr. Smith and has appreciated the one-on-one attention and varied opportunities that Ohio Wesleyan provides to its students. That's why, in addition to providing for the animal causes near and dear to their hearts, Kathy and Jeff have remembered OWU in their estate plan to establish a scholarship. "What better way to pay it back and maybe find someone out there to come to Ohio Wesleyan and give them a chance."
You, like Kathy and Jeff, can pass on the gift of an OWU education by giving back. To learnmore about how you can do the same, contact Jenny Batchelder, JD at 740-368-3043 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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