Evans Scholars and Alumni at Miami University celebrated the dedication ceremony of a brand new Scholarship House in Oxford, Ohio, on Saturday, April 2, along with Evans Scholars Foundation and university leaders and other Program friends.
More than 300 supporters attended the event. As part of a larger plan to expand the Program in both scope and size, ESF officials led a $3 million capital campaign to help fund the 24,000-square-foot facility at the corner of Church and Bishop on campus. The Scholarship House provides coeducational living accommodations for the first time, as well as an updated design for 21st century student housing.
Scholars moved into the new house in January.
Campaign co-chair Joe Desch, a Miami Evans Scholars Alum, was a featured speaker, as well as university President David Hodge, who has been a longtime project supporter.
“This House is the culmination of six years of planning, vision, and the generosity of so many people,” Desch said. “The journey might have taken longer than originally planned, but I could not imagine a better location, a more comfortable house, or a better result for us as an organization.”
WGA Chairman David Robinson, recognized the campaign’s special donors, including co-chairmen Desch and Tom Binzer.
“There is no greater gift than that of an education,” Robinson said. “Winston Churchill once said: ‘There are two types of education. One should teach us how to make a living and the other how to live.’ We like to think our Evans Scholars learn both.”
Miami Scholars chapter president Blake Ryan, a junior who caddied at Glen Oak Country Club in Glen Ellyn, Illinois, talked about how earning the Scholarship changed his life.
His mom, a single parent, encouraged him to caddie, driving him to the club each day and helping him apply for the Scholarship. Opening the envelope containing the letter that awarded him the scholarship was a life-changing and emotional moment for both of them.
“We could not be more honored to be a part of this fantastic tradition,” Ryan said. “We are truly grateful to everyone who has made this new home possible, as well as the unwavering support from all our school and Program leaders.”
Miami Alum and major donor Bill Kozek also spoke of the impact of the Evans Scholarship, and Auxiliary Bishop Joseph Binzer, a Miami Alum, blessed the House. Scholars were on hand as event hosts, providing House tours and greeting guests.
Since 1974, when the Miami chapter was founded, more than 440 Scholars have graduated from Miami University. Currently, there are 64 Scholars in school – about half from Ohio and the rest from a number of states, including Illinois, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, New York and South Carolina.