Philanthropy

Under Friday night lights, homecoming crowd cheers on kickoff of BGSU fundraising campaign

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Under the lights Friday night, President Mary Ellen Mazey summoned up her former cheerleader self to whip up support for Bowling Green State University’s comprehensive campaign, “Changing Lives for the World.” Always a booster of the university she leads, Mazey turned her enthusiasm up a notch addressing a Homecoming Weekend crowd gathered to mark the kickoff of the public portion of the $200 million campaign. Mazey said given the good start she envisions the campaign topping the official goal, maybe raising as much as $250 million. Since the campaign was announced in spring, 2014, the university has raised $110 million in “leadership giving.” Now the university is ready to get the public engaged in the effort. The money will be used for facilities, scholarships as well as named professorships and academic programs. Mazey noted that BGSU is one of the very few colleges in Ohio that doesn’t have a named college. She’d like to see two by the time the campaign wraps up in 2020. Mazey said she and many others in attendance benefited from scholarships when they were students, and now it is time to return the favor. Two students who have benefited from those scholarships testified to their importance. Meg Burrell, former student representative on the Board of Trustees, talked about how she fell in love with BGSU. She arrived for her tour during “the worst weather,” but the tour went great.  It was her first one, and she felt this augured well for the rest. Yet 14 tours later, “I had not found another BGSU.” Receiving Presidential Leadership Scholar made her…

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BGSU student Kyle Jumper-Smith organizes Project Feed Thy Neighbor in Detroit

From BGSU OFFICE OF MARKETING  COMMUNICATIONS Hailed as an economic boon for a struggling city, the rapidly progressing revitalization and gentrification of Detroit neighborhoods has had the unintended consequence of leaving many longtime residents feeling left behind and without ready access to food stores and other essential businesses. But Bowling Green State University  junior Kyle Jumper-Smith has not forgotten about his hometown. Inspired by those who have given generously to him, this summer he organized the second Project Feed Thy Neighbor for his neighborhood, the Cass Corridor. It was a day of empowerment providing food, fellowship and positivity. This year’s event fed 422 people through the help of many donors and 76 volunteers who manned grills, served food, greeted attendees and managed the lines. “It wasn’t just about giving out food but also about uplifting people,” said Jumper-Smith, an inclusive early childhood educationmajor and former Student Leadership Assistant (SLA) in the Center for Leadership . “We challenged our volunteers to reach out to talk with people about what was going on and give each person a positive message of empowerment and a hug. We wanted to create a loving space. “This was a great experience to see the BGSU community collaborate with other students from other institutions and promote positivity and love in a community that is being abandoned due to new business ventures,” he said. “We also had people from Michigan State University, Kentucky State University, Grand Valley State University, Morehouse College and my alma mater, Lewis Cass Technical High School.” He dedicated the event to his late grandmother. “She would have wanted me to do something like this,” he said. “I’m…


Young Africans leaders congregate at BGSU to learn from Ohio & each other

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News The future of Africa is at Bowling Green State University. The university is hosting 25 organizers and activists as part of the Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders. The institute hosts 1,000 fellows at institutions across the country. (http://bgindependentmedia.org/bgsu-hosting-young-african-leaders/) A conversation with nine of fellows included men and women from Mauritania and Niger in the northern end of the continent to Zimbabwe near the southern tip. The issues they were concerned with were similarly broad, from helping those caught up in the sex industry, education, and environmentalism. And they said they were finding ways of addressing those issues here in the Northwest Ohio meeting with civic leaders and during outings as close to home as the farmers market and as distant as Columbus and Detroit. Tuesday they toured the Bureau of Criminal Investigation lab and crime scene building. Jon Sprague, the director of the Governor’s Center for the Future of Forensic Science at BGSU, also spoke about the opioid crisis. Yet their greatest source of support and knowledge, they said, was each other. “I think the best art of this program was my colleagues,” said Chibuzor Azuuike, of Nigeria. “Africa has to move forward .So meeting people who are of like-mind, who are very passionate about making an impact back at home, is important. I’ve learned a lot from them, and we hope to partner on projects.” Loice Kapondo, of Zimbabwe, said in the week they’ve been at BGSU “we’ve been sharing stories formally and informally. … Their strategies are easy to adapt to my country because of the similarities.” While Africa is…


Brown Bag Food founder, Amy Holland, honored as Hometown Hero

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Thursday was a good day for the Brown Bag Food Project, an endeavor that is usually the group doing good. At a Bowling Green Chamber of Commerce Business After Hours social, Brown Bag received two checks generated by the ACT BG’s recent Amazing Race fundraiser. The check from ACT BG was for just over $4,800, and the Modern Woodman matched $2,500 of those funds. Then Nathan Eberly, a member of the Brown Bag board and a Modern Woodman rep, surprised Brown Bag founder Amy Holland with a Hometown Hero award. “All this is because of what you do,” Eberly said. Her work inspired him to join the effort. The honor came with a $100 check for the charity of her choice, and there was little doubt what that would be. As usual Holland had little to say. She lets her actions speak for her. She got into action starting Brown Bag in early 2016. She learned that some of her fellow workers at Walmart were having trouble feeding themselves and their families some because they were out on medical leave. She took it upon herself to buy a few bags of food and deliver it to them. That has grown into a project that provides parcels of food to more than 300 people a month. Holland said that’s 60-70 families. The parcels have a value of about $60. The idea is to provide emergency food assistance to tide people over for five days, though often the parcels can last as long as a week, until they can seek assistance elsewhere. The food is given…


William Easterly touts the power of poor people, not experts, to address poverty

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News William Easterly believes that poor people are the key to ending poverty. He doesn’t have to look far to find a prime example in his father, Nathan William  Easterly, retired Bowling Green State University professor of biology. His father, Easterly said, came from southern West Virginia. He was 3 years old when his father died. It was the middle of the Great Depression. “It was really a heroic effort by him, his mother and his family for him to be able to climb out of that and become a professor at BGSU,” Easterly said “It was much easier for me as a professor’s kid to become a professor. That was the easy part. The hardest part was done by my father. And I’m enormously grateful to BGSU for making that possible for my father.” Easterly followed his father’s academic path, though, in economics, not biology. He chose the field because it brought together his passion for mathematics and social justice. “He got a PhD; I got a PhD,” the younger Easterly said. “He became a professor; I became a professor. He’s my role model. I really admire enormously what my father accomplished in his career. He had much further to go then I did.” His father was present Sunday, when BGSU bestowed an honorary doctorate on his son in recognition of accomplishments as one of the world’s most read, most cited and most recognized economists. Part of him still remains in Bowling Green. He stayed in town as long as he could until opportunities elsewhere forced him to leave. That included doctoral studies at…


Mike Kuhlin puts a face on philanthropy in class taught by BGSU president

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News The students in Matching Faces with Places are all in their first year at Bowling Green State University. The teacher for the class wants them to start thinking now of their life after graduation, when she hopes their BGSU education will be serving them well. At that point the professor, President Mary Ellen Mazey, hopes they will remember the university and give back. In the class, co-taught with Lisa Mattiace, the president’s chief of staff, the students meet models for that kind philanthropy. At a recent class they were seated in a second-floor classroom in the Michael and Sara Kuhlin Center, and their guest speaker was Mike Kuhlin, for whom the building was named. It was, he told the students, Mazey who insisted the building name use “Michael.” And it was Mazey’s inspiration that led to the donation that put his and his late wife’s name on the state-of-the-art home of the School of Media and Communications in what had been South Hall, widely considered one of the dumpiest buildings on campus. That was before a $24 million makeover. Kuhlin, a 1968 graduate in journalism, said for many years, he’d not had much contact with the university. After working for a few years for the university in the placement office and doing graduate work in higher education administration, he went to work for Ohio Bell, and continued with the company through a series of mergers. He ended up retiring as Ameritech’s director of corporate communications. Over many of those years, he told the students, he questioned the direction of his alma mater. As in…