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Bethany Steele

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For Bethany Steele, a junior chemistry major from Pickerington, Ohio, the time she spends on the phone with alumni as an Ohio Northern Phonathon caller gives her a chance to share a first-person account of how endowed scholarships can make all the difference.

She tells them about the first college she visited during her senior year in high school, Ohio Northern. “My dad said, ‘Just don’t fall in love with the first school we visit,’” she says. “Although I promised him I wouldn’t, I couldn’t help it. We went to a couple of other schools but they just didn’t feel like the right fit.”

Despite her infatuation with ONU, there were very real financial hurdles Steele had to overcome. “My brother and I are both in college. Without scholarships I wouldn’t be able to attend ONU, and I probably would have been forced to go to another school,” she says.

Steele receives support from the Erika Jane and Andra Elaine Brubaker Memorial Scholarship. Established by Dr. Inara Mencis Brubaker, BS '59, of Bluffton, Ohio, in memory of her daughters, Erika Jane and Andra Elaine Brubaker, the award goes to worthy students in the College of Arts and Sciences pursuing a degree in chemistry. Brubaker is a life member of the Lehr Society.

The Brubaker scholarship allows Steele to focus on her studies and future. This summer, she plans to put her chemistry education to good use as a food chemist intern with Marzetti in Columbus, Ohio.

When talking to alumnus on the phone, Steele tells them of her experiences and how a scholarship has impacted her ability to stay here. “Even if they think it’s not a large sum of money, it can still help out one person. It could be the difference between someone staying here or going to another school,” she says.

 Overall though, Steele has been impressed with the generosity of donors. “It’s crazy to think that if they have the money, they’re going to apply it to something that really matters to other people.”

The Gifts That Empower — At the start of The Campaign for Ohio Northern University’s Tomorrow, Ohio Northern used 376 endowed scholarships to help make the dreams of extraordinary students come true. In the past three years alone, generous friends and alumni of the University have added 94 new scholarships to this list. This impressive outpouring brings the total number to 470. This significant increase shows just how generous Northern alumni can be.

—Katie Hozan
Junior, Communication Arts major
Homerville, Ohio