Six first-year students were selected to be the inaugural group of Max M. Fisher Scholars after a $2.5 million gift to Ohio State’s Fisher College of Business was given.
The money from the Max M. and Marjorie S. Fisher Foundation supports first-year students through scholarship assistance for at least their initial year in Fisher.
According to the foundation’s website, Max Fisher earned a business degree from OSU shortly before going to work for Keystone Oil in 1930. He formed the foundation in 1955 with the mission to “enrich humanity by strengthening and empowering children and families in need.”
Students who receive the scholarship will participate in “honors-like experiences that integrate academic rigor with experience-based learning and service to the community,” according to April 4 meeting minutes from the OSU Board of Trustees.
The minutes also said recipients are to be chosen by a scholarship committee within Fisher, in consultation with Student Financial Aid.
Emily Rouse, a first-year in accounting, was one of the six to receive the award this year. She said she was one of the 50 FisherDirect students emailed to apply over the summer. First-year students who are admitted straight to Fisher are automatically part of FisherDirect, which is an initiative that aims to engage students in various curricular and co-curricular while at Fisher, according to its website.
“I decided to apply simply because I had no reason not to. I try to help my parents with the financial burden of my college tuition whenever I can,” Rouse said.
Each student was awarded a $2,500 scholarship for their first year, with the ability to renew the award their second year, as long as they maintain a 3.0 GPA, Rouse said.
Katharine Garrett, a first-year in accounting and one of the scholarship recipients, said she decided to apply because she thought “the scholarship would be a great opportunity to get connected to the Fisher College of Business as a freshman, and even before arriving on campus.”
For Garrett, it wasn’t just a scholarship offer but a way to meet faculty, staff and other students in the program. The selected recipients get the opportunity to meet others in the program when they gather periodically “to learn more about Fisher and participate in professional activities,” Garrett said.
According to a Fisher College of Business release, overall the Fisher family has given nearly $8 million in scholarships to the college.
“My father (Max M. Fisher) felt that buildings were just enabling devices, and it’s what goes on inside that brings out the best in students and empowers them to impact their communities,” said Phillip Wm. Fisher, vice-chair of the Max M. & Marjorie S. Fisher Foundation Board of Trustees, in the release.
The application process had students compile a list and description of three notable personal achievements and an essay answering the questions, “What are your short-term goals as an undergraduate student in the Fisher College of Business, and how will you be an active participant in your Fisher experience?” Garrett said.
Hunter Johnson, a first-year in finance who aso received a scholarship, said he plans to use the scholarship and opportunity as a tool to achieve his career goals.
“I would like to one day work as an analyst for a finance firm,” Johnson said. “And this is a good opportunity and a way to get my name out there.”
Other students want to use the money they saved on tuition for experiences outside the classroom.
“I hope to use this money I saved my parents to study abroad for a semester or a few weeks,” Rouse said.
Students who received the award were Johnson, Garrett, Rouse, Devin Chen, Aarin Henning and Joe Kline.