Leading By Example: Meet George and Mimi Ross
George and Mimi Ross, Ohio Wesleyan Class of 1963, lead by example, adhering to the belief that they have a double duty - "to care for our own lives as well as for those who follow," George says.
Through the couple's strong leadership, commitment to supporting Ohio Wesleyan and their unwavering dedication to increasing their classmates' engagement with OWU, George and Mimi have demonstrated the many ways alumni can support OWU.
As fundraising chairs of the Class of 1963 (along with Marilyn Meek Webster and Virginia Overdorf), the couple helped bring everyone closer together, thanks in part to endless meetings, phone calls and emails during the past five years. The Class of 1963 met its fundraising goal by Alumni Weekend '13, resulting in a 50th anniversary gift that strengthened the Ohio Wesleyan Fund by $779,233 and added much-needed activity and green space in the center of campus, now known as the 1963 Commons. It is an important component in the continuum of Jaywalk renewal projects.
"We wanted our classmates to consider a gift that not only would be meaningful to the University, but also would help to grow OWU's endowment - something that everyone can support at any level," George says.
Mimi mentions their desire to be one of several OWU 50th reunion classes to make a significant difference for students and alumni. Their goals included setting a traditional Ohio Wesleyan Fund goal, making a class gift designation and increasing emphasis on planned giving.
"We helped to nearly double membership in TheTower Society to 25 members during a five-year period, at a total value of more than $7 million," George says.
"We hope to set an example for others about the importance of supporting future generations," Mimi adds.
The Rosses inspired a 40 percent increase in the number of classmates who made planned giving provisions, valued at $1.475 million. Cumulative five-year giving, including gifts and pledges, peaked at more than $7.5 million.
Through their days as OWU students, marriage in 1964, raising two sons and still today, George and Mimi have upheld the tradition of giving back.
"We've always supported an OWU liberal arts education and its transformative value for students," George says.
"OWU is family to us," Mimi says. "Once you join,you are a part of that family forever."
If you would like to make a gift in honor of your OWU family, please contact Office of Gift Planning at (740) 368-3078.
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