New OWU initiative is great for local students


Ever since I read the article in the Delaware Gazette on April 24 about Ohio Wesleyan University’s new initiative, I have been extremely happy about what they are going to do.

This is part of the article I read: “Starting this fall, vandenBerg told the inauguration crowd, ‘every single student who lives or goes to school in Delaware County, who earns a 3.5 GPA or higher, and whose families make a combined $100,000 or less — every single student who fits those three criteria – can now attend Ohio Wesleyan University absolutely tuition-free.”

Wow! What a great thing for them to do! And it even begins when school starts this fall!

My first thought when I read it was that if that had happened when I was the age to start college, I would have gotten to go to Ohio Wesleyan for free. This is because I had all of the stated requirements.

First, I know that my grades would have been good enough; Second, my family didn’t have that high of an income, and third, we lived in Delaware city.

How I eventually got to attend Ohio Wesleyan came back in 1977 when I went to work there as a secretary in the Education Department. The procedure back then was if you worked full-time for the university, you could take one class each semester for as long as it took to get enough credits to graduate. I went to my “one class a semester” from the fall semester in 1977 until I graduated in May (on Mother’s Day) in 1988.

It was over a period of 12 years. Now all students who get to apply for school there can graduate in four years.

My sister, Ann Lee, was already working at the university when an opening in the Education Department came about. She told me to apply for it, but at first I didn’t want to leave the job I had with the county school office. But it was my background there that gave me the experience I needed to apply. When I met with Dr. Wetmore and Dr. Angene, for my interviews, I got the experience of seeing students from all kinds of backgrounds, as well as seeing the beautiful office I would be in. (I had been working in a basement room in the old courthouse, so OWU looked very inviting.) Dr. Angene even came to my basement office to see that I really did work there.

I have my red and black tassel hanging just over my desk here at home. It has the year ‘88 on it that always reminds me of my graduation day at OWU. I am very happy to still be in touch with a few of the students who became teachers. And I am reminded that they, too, have now retired from their teaching after putting in their 30 years.

Thanks to Ohio Wesleyan University for having this new program beginning just a few months from now!

Kay E. Conklin is a retired Delaware County recorder who served four terms. She graduated from Ohio Wesleyan University with a degree in sociology and anthropology.

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