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Ohio Wesleyan receives grant to create local scholarship from Knowlton Foundation

Ohio Wesleyan has received a $100,000 grant from the Austin E. Knowlton Foundation. Ohio Wesleyan University will work with Knowlton’s Cincinnati-based foundation to build strong futures for Logan County students interested in mathematics or related fields through the university’s new Austin E. Knowlton Foundation Endowed Scholarship.

A trained architect, Austin E. “Dutch” Knowlton (pictured) spent his life designing and constructing more than 600 buildings, including hospitals, libraries, and educational facilities on every major university and college campus in the State of Ohio. Today, his nonprofit foundation continues to serve as an architect of dreams, endowing scholarships for students from his beloved Logan County, Ohio, where he grew up and attended high school.

“Dutch Knowlton holds a place of honor in the Ohio Wesleyan family,” said President Rock Jones, Ph.D. “During his lifetime, Dutch helped to build several residential and educational facilities on our campus, including the Smith Hall and Hayes Hall student residences and our magnificent Chappelear Drama Center. He also contributed generously to the university, endowing a scholarship to aid students diagnosed with learning disabilities and providing funds to support building and campus maintenance.”

Knowlton’s Delaware ties also included serving as a trustee of the Little Brown Jug Society and raising Saddlebred horses at his home, Emerald Farms in southern Delaware County. In addition to his success with Knowlton Construction Company, he helped to found the Cincinnati Bengals in 1967 and served as the National Football League team’s chairman for 20 years. He also was a shareholder in Major League Baseball’s Cincinnati Reds in the 1970s and was instrumental in building Riverfront Stadium. A 1927 graduate of Bellefontaine High School in Logan County and a member of The Ohio State University Class of 1931, Knowlton earned a Bachelor of Science degree in architectural engineering. He died in 2003 at age 93.

At Ohio Wesleyan, the Austin E. Knowlton Foundation Endowed Scholarship will be awarded annually beginning in 2013, with preference given to a Logan County freshman applicant. As long as the recipient remains in good academic standing at the university, the scholarship will continue for four years. If no Logan County applicant meets the scholarship’s criteria, the funds will be used to support a freshman from anywhere in Ohio with an interest in mathematics or related fields.

Just as Knowlton had strong ties to Delaware, Ohio Wesleyan has equally strong ties to Logan County, President Jones said. Currently, six Logan County residents attend the university, and geology professor Keith Mann has spent several years researching ancient seas that once covered Ohio by examining limestone samples collected near Bellefontaine.

“This is an exciting moment for Ohio Wesleyan and a life-changing opportunity for Logan County students,” Jones said. “We are grateful to Dutch Knowlton for his vision and to his foundation for endowing this new student scholarship. We look forward to strengthening and expanding our ties with the foundation in the future.”

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