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36th Annual OVU President's Club Banquet


Vienna, W.Va.—“From the day you first started gifting OVU with your resources,” President E. Keith Stotts assured OVU’s financial donors as well as the university faculty and staff, “your difference began.”  Throughout the evening of September 8, attendees of the 36th Annual President’s Club Banquet continued to be encouraged by this year’s theme for the signature event: “You make a difference.” 

Following a buffet dinner catered by Aladdin Foods, OVU’s vocal group, Express, inspired the audience with a melodic and rhythmic performance. Afterwards, Jack Thorn, Vice President of Advancement, along with Don Lallathin, Director of Philanthropy, joined President Stotts in presenting the night’s prestigious awards.

The first individual honored, Jeff Dimick, served as the National FAITH Initiative Leader in 2017. As a challenge to the OVU board of trustees, alumni, and friends, Jeff initiated the giving with a personal gift of $500,000. His challenge generated $1,540,992 for the university during the Initiative’s four-month timeframe. Joining Jeff on stage were some of the Honorary Leaders in the FAITH Initiative. They are as follows:

  • Anita Coultrap, Cadiz, Ohio—Honorary Leader for Leadership Gifts
  • Bob Winland, Lebanon, Tennessee—Honorary Leader for Alumni Gifts
  • Bill and Jean Baker, Beverly, Ohio—Honorary Leaders for Major Gifts

The next group of donors was recognized for their personal accumulative levels of giving to OVU.  They are these:

Larry and Bennetta Dickerson of Proctorville, Ohio, long-time and generous supporters of Christian education at OVU, were inducted into the Heritage Society for exceeding $100,000 in cumulative giving.

Mark and Audrey Dailey of Niagara Falls, New York, were inducted into the Bronze Heritage Society for their lifetime giving in excess of $200,000. Through their gifts, they endowed a student scholarship. At a later date, they will be honored with a reception and as well as the official naming of the classroom they are sponsoring.

Bill and Jean Baker were also inducted into the Silver Heritage Society and will be honored by the naming of a major facility on the campus for their cumulative giving in excess of $500,000.

As the program continued, Special Naming Recognition was awarded to Dale and Nell Yoder of Chattanooga, Tennessee. For years to come, OVU students will benefit from a TelePresence classroom, to be remodeled and equipped by the Yoders in memory of long-time OVU supporters and family members, Richard and Mabel Starr from Noble County Ohio. In the classroom,professors can conduct class to students from coast to coast. A dedication reception will occur later this year.

To honor those who gift the University with their personal talents and skills, the annual OVU Spirit of Excellence Award was begun in 2014 and is presented annually to an outstanding faculty or staff member. The 2018 recipient is Gordon Wells, who has served the in the College of Arts and Sciences for 42 years. His reputation of diligence in instructing, mentoring, and challenging students is described by those who wrote about their experiences in his classroom. As a surprise to Mr. Wells, their accolades were shared with the audience.

The final award celebrates the generosity, stewardship, dedication, and significant contributions of individuals to the University and beyond. The first recipients of the Servant Leadership Award in 2015 were Nick and Linda Johnson, for whom the award is named. The Johnsons presented the 2018 Award to Lee and Joy Jones. Dr. Joy Jones has served OVU in various capacities since 1991. Currently, she is the CFO and Provost. Prior to her service at OVU, Joy taught in Bedford Township Schools, Panama Canal County. Married now for 56 years, Joy and Lee served as partners of Pentajay Company and as mainstays in C&E Stores, Inc., she as President and Treasurer and he as General Manager. Earlier, Lee served as Captain in the U.S. Army and taught in Bedford Township Schools, Milford Schools, and Logan City Schools. He served on the Board of Directors of Mid-Western Children’s Home, where he and Joy were the first house parents. Lee was Youth Director of the Whitney Hills Church of Christ and Elder of Blackburn Hills Church of Christ. In announcing Lee and Joy as the recipients of the award, Thorn noted, “Your names are synonymous with serving. Wherever you have followed God’s lead, you have done so with servant hearts.” Several individuals provided their written memories of Joy and Lee and the many ways in which their lives have been an inspiration.

In his closing message to banquet attendees, President E. Keith Stotts introduced Anita Coultrap, a generous donor and friend to Ohio Valley University. Mrs. Coultrap recently gifted the university with $2,000, 000, challenging others to join her in making a difference. Her award reads, “With great thankfulness for Anita Coultrap, who is making a global difference through her support of Ohio Valley University.”

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Chartered in 1958, Ohio Valley University is a faith-based, residential, liberal arts college founded by members of the Church of Christ. Students of all faiths are accepted and encouraged to apply. The university offers a variety of baccalaureate and master’s degrees to students from 26 states and 25 nations. To learn more visit www.ovu.edu.