ONU students holding placards with numbers.

A record-breaking fundraising campaign at Ohio Northern University will increase scholarships and financial aid for students, help the university continue to attract world-class faculty, and upgrade facilities. The University’s Forward Together campaign exceeded expectations and blew past its $100 million goal, raising more than $112.7 million. The total represents the largest fundraiser in the University’s history.

The success of the three-year campaign was celebrated at Ohio Northern’s annual Henry Solomon Lehr Dinner, held Friday, Oct. 13, recognizing the University’s strongest supporters.

“We shared a bold, compelling vision for ONU’s future, and our community responded,” said President Melissa J. Baumann, Ph.D. “Our supporters understand the quality and outstandingreturn on investment of an ONU education. Thanks to their generosity, we will be able to help more students access that education and enrich the learning experience for all of our students.”

The campaign will help fund more than 200 new and existing scholarships.

Hanley Wheeler, BSPh ’82, campaign chair, also expressed his gratitude.

“Every single person who contributed to the campaign—whether that contribution was large or small—made an impact that will reverberate for generations. They’ve secured a brighter future for so many young people.”

The campaign received more than 57,000 gifts from more than 8,000 donors. Vice President for Advancement Shannon Spencer said working on the campaign has been one of the most meaningful and rewarding experiences of her career. “We are deeply humbled by the generosity of our alumni and friends, and by the sheer number of people who supported this campaign,” she said. “We are also gratified by the ONU faculty and staff who enthusiastically got behind the Forward Together campaign. Their contributions and vision for what ONU can achieve in the future were critical in propelling the campaign to success,” said Kelly Lawrie, Ed.D., assistant vice president for advancement and campaign manager.

The Forward Together campaign supports University priorities including:

  • Scholarships to help make ONU’s student body more inclusive, provide enriching travel opportunities, and attract high-achieving scholars from every financial circumstance.
  • Teaching and Learning Excellence to make it possible to recruit and retain outstanding faculty; expand academic majors and add new ones; and fortify ONU’s programs, colleges, schools, and centers – all of which directly benefit students.
  • Facilities for the Future: Funding will enable the University to upgrade spaces for collaboration, competition, learning, performing arts, and social activities for top scholars, athletes and artists.
  • The Northern Fund provides flexible dollars to quickly respond to emerging opportunities and unexpected needs, which is of paramount importance in today’s educational landscape.