NEWARK, Ohio, July 6, 2017 — Employees at Park National Bank in Newark are celebrating the end of an endeavor that they know will have a lasting impact on central Ohio. In 2011 Park National Bank and its associates made a $1 million commitment to support the Next Generation Challenge Scholarship Campaign. The Next Generation Challenge campaign raised endowed funds to support scholarships benefiting students attending The Ohio State University at Newark and Central Ohio Technical College (COTC). Many Park employees contributed through payroll deduction and chose to spread out their payments over six years. The end of the pledge period was June 30, 2017.
"It's truly amazing the impact that Park National Bank and its employees have had on our students and community," said Ohio State Newark Dean/Director William L. MacDonald. "I can't thank them enough for the amazing contribution they made to the Next Generation Scholarship Campaign."
"It is a privilege to work with people like the people I get to work with every day," said President and CEO of Park National Corporation and Park National Bank David L. Trautman. "It's a privilege to see their professionalism, their talent, their skill, their community spirit and their willingness to think beyond themselves."
Granville philanthropists J. Gilbert and Louella H. Reese matched dollar-for-dollar all gifts and multi-year pledges up to $10 million made during the campaign. Eighty Park associates committed $339,572, and the Park National Foundation supplemented with a $660,428 commitment to bring their total gift amount to $1 million. The endowed scholarship that resulted was established to recognize long-time Park National leader William T. McConnell and his late wife, Jane C. McConnell. Jane dedicated much of her life to serving COTC and was an emeritus trustee of the college. Bill served as chairman of the Next Generation Challenge Campaign.
Over the years, the amount awarded has multiplied as pledge payments were received and the endowment grew. Therefore, more and more students continue to benefit from the scholarship. In 2014-15, $4,450 was awarded to two students. In 2015-16, $5,900 was awarded to six students. This past academic year, $18,900 was awarded to 16 students and next academic year it is projected that $29,300 will be awarded.
"The pride that I feel is that it's something that is important to all of us," said Park National Vice President of Commercial Cash Management Angie Treadway. Treadway is a COTC graduate. "Being able to give back in this type of way is just very rewarding. It's something that we thrive on doing, and I know that we will continue to do as we move into the future."
"I want to express my deepest appreciation and admiration for the leadership of the Park National Bank system, and also each and every individual employee who has had such an impact – not just on the education of the students at Central Ohio Technical College but also on their very lives and more importantly on their futures," said COTC President Bonnie L. Coe, Ph.D.
Central Ohio Technical College and The Ohio State University at Newark have forged an outstanding array of educational opportunities for the central Ohio region and beyond. This partnership is viewed as a model for higher education in the state of Ohio. At Central Ohio Technical College, students gain hands-on, applicable experience to begin working in the field, or to transfer those credits toward a bachelor's degree program. The Ohio State University at Newark offers an academic environment that's challenging but supportive with world-renowned professors and access to Ohio State's more than 200 majors.