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Engineering students thrive thanks to Ober family’s generous gift

Alumnus Roger Ober credits much of his life’s success to his education, and with a recent gift to his alma mater, he’s ensuring future Buckeyes are afforded the same opportunities he had.

The Ober household may be divided over football allegiances, but they’re all on the same team when it comes to supporting future generations of engineers (from left: Matthew, Roger, Carol and Eric Ober). The engineering graduate, along with his wife, Carol, recently donated a generous gift to the College of Engineering to endow the Roger, Carol, Eric and Matthew Ober Scholarship Fund. The scholarship will support undergraduate students between their sophomore and senior years.

“The Roger, Carol, Eric and Matthew Ober Scholarship will change engineering students' lives for the better for years to come,” said John C. Woods, assistant vice president of gift planning at Ohio State. “It is a loving tribute to their family that also serves to strengthen their Ohio State legacy by serving as a gateway to an education for our ambitious Buckeyes.”

Roger graduated from Ohio State in 1966 with a bachelor’s in engineering physics and joined Tau Beta Pi engineering honor society. He then went on to pursue his master’s in nuclear engineering at University of Michigan, where he and Carol met. He spent the next four years working an industry job, but decided the corporate world wasn’t for him, so he returned to school a third time. Inspired by his love for animals and an entrepreneurial spirit, Roger obtained his degree in veterinary medicine from Michigan State. After graduation, he went on to establish his own successful practice, Alpha Veterinary Clinic in Beavercreek, Ohio.

Since then, giving back has become a way of life. Roger regularly volunteers with local ministries, and he and Carol have gone on numerous church mission trips to help rebuild homes destroyed by natural disasters. During his years in practice, Roger often donated to local youth baseball and soccer programs—rows of team photos lined the walls of his clinic, serving as a testament to his generosity to the community and young people. Now retired, he knew he wanted to give back to the next generation in an even more meaningful way.

“Roger is such a loyal Ohio State fan—that’s where his heart is and he wanted to contribute,” said Carol. “He’s had a lot of education throughout his life, and education is very important to him. And even though his life’s work has been as a veterinarian, he was an engineer first. He wanted to make sure others could follow in that legacy.”

The Ober’s endowment is part of the Ohio Scholarship Challenge in which the university will match distribution payments on any newly endowed scholarship of $100,000 or more. The gift will support seven students with partial scholarships this academic year. Next year, additional students will receive tuition assistance as a result of the Ohio Scholarship Challenge match.

The scholarships are portable if the recipients change campuses, transferable if they change major, and renewable for up to eight semesters, even if the semesters are non-consecutive, as long as the student remains in good standing with the university.

Roger said he hopes the scholarship recipients will continue their education beyond undergrad, much like he did.

“They have to work hard, it doesn’t come easy,” he added. “Our hope with this scholarship is for these students to be committed to their education and their future careers.”

by Meggie Biss, College of Engineering Communications, biss.11@osu.edu

Tags: Alumni, Giving