Vienna, W.Va.—Edward and Anita Coultrap have been heavily invested in Ohio Valley University for over three decades. Since Ed’s death in 2010, Anita has continued to take a personal interest in all that goes on at OVU. Most recently, she has invited friends and alumni to meet her $2,000,000 challenge, with the urgent reminder and theme of the project: The Future Begins Now. Anita is challenging two groups of donors. First, she is asking for 10 donors to each make a special gift of $100,000, together totaling $1,000,000, one half the amount of her gift. Second, in order to match her $2,000,000, she requests gifts of any size, which will also total $1,000,000. These generous gifts are to be over and above what the donors normally give. Her hope is that everyone steps up to her challenge and her example of extreme generosity.
Born and raised in Cadiz, Harrison County, Ohio, Anita attended local schools and became a member of the local Church of Christ. The only child of Ralph and Mary Black, Anita graduated from Ohio State University with her bachelor’s degree in education and then from University of Dayton with her master’s in education. Anita married Ed Coultrap, who, like his parents, became an entrepreneur in Harrison County, Ohio, and a major real estate investor. Anita’s in-laws are known for opening the first Walmart-type store anywhere, “The World’s Most Unusual Store,” where customers could purchase literally anything from lunch counter sandwiches to large appliances. An interesting side-note on Anita’s family is her relationship to Walter Bankes, a broadly known pioneer preacher of the Ohio Valley. Bankes is Anita’s maternal grandfather.
After college, Anita was called to teach math in Wintersville, Ohio, and retired from there after 33 years. Anita and Ed never had children of their own. Her students were her children. Despite her passion for teaching, toward the end of her tenure in the classroom, Anita saw damaging changes in the public school systems and turned her focus toward higher education—Christian higher education—which she now sees as the best hope for countering the myriad problems in today’s public schools. Throughout the decades, Ed and Anita remained faithfully involved in OVU, aiding, among other things, the establishment of the OVU Bookstore. Anita’s passion for students has never wavered; now, she says, OVU is her mission.
As Anita puts forth her challenge to friends and alumni to match her $2,000,000 gift, her mission is clear: $4,000,000 used to reach and teach those who may hear God’s message through no other means. Recently, OVU President Keith Stotts said to Anita, “You are transforming the lives of countless people in the Ohio Valley and worldwide.” Indeed she is.
Take up her challenge and embrace her mission: The Future Begins Now.