The timing of a $500,000 gift to Ohio State ATI says more about its anonymous donor than a name could.
The gift, made during the spring, helps provide ATI students, faculty, and staff with a competitive advantage in engineering technologies, and it significantly boosts an existing fund that aids students with financial crises. This resource is even more crucial during the hardships of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“It is absolutely remarkable that during this pandemic, we had a donor who had the foresight to make this gift during this very difficult time,” said Kris Boone, ATI director. “When I talked to the donor about that, to say how pleased I was, especially during this time, the response was, ‘This is when they need it, so why not now?’ Just the humility and humbleness, that is special.”
The donation creates three new current-use funds:
“I think it speaks also to the sustained commitment of our faculty and staff to student success because the donor had the confidence in our faculty and staff to be able to support these students,” Boone said.
The donation transforms the Department of Engineering Technology at ATI, the associate-degree-granting academic unit on CFAES’ Wooster campus.
“The bulk of this gift is supportive of our engineering technologies. That is a tremendous career field,” Boone said. “We have been wanting to attract more students to this area because it’s a great career path. This gift will help us to be able to do that. In addition, it will help us ramp up workforce development training.”
The gift also contributes to an existing ATI Student Emergency Aid Fund (#316927), which provides help for large, unforeseen expenses on a case-by-case basis.
With over 60% of its annual enrollment consisting of first-generation college students, and many from varied economic backgrounds, ATI has a vulnerable population, Boone said.
“We want to be able to help with those expenses that can throw off their entire academic career,” she said. “The donor saw that need and felt like some money should go there.”