COLUMBUS, Ohio—Congratulations to Pat Brundige, whose impactful donations to the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences (CFAES) were recognized recently with The Ohio State University’s highest award for philanthropy.
Brundige, the biggest individual benefactor in CFAES’ history, received the Everett D. Reese Medal, the university’s highest honor in recognition of exceptional service in private philanthropy.
Her “see a need, fill a need” philosophy has led her to make numerous donations to Ohio State University Extension, particularly Ohio 4-H youth development. Over the years, she has given to the Nationwide & Ohio Farm Bureau 4-H Center, the state 4-H research endowment fund, and camp scholarships for Ohio Military Kids.
In 2019, the Kunz-Brundige Franklin County Extension Building opened, made possible through gifts totaling $11 million from Brundige—$5 million for the building and a $6 million estate gift for future programming. The building is the first in the transformation of CFAES’ Waterman Agricultural and Natural Resources Laboratory on Ohio State’s Columbus campus. Waterman is the university’s hub for teaching, research, and community engagement around food, health, agricultural production, and environmental sustainability.
OSU Extension is CFAES’ outreach arm in all 88 Ohio counties. Through Brundige’s gift, the Franklin County office of OSU Extension is better able to serve the community through educational programs and events for youth and adults, all from a centralized location.
“Being able to dedicate the Franklin County Extension building at Waterman in memory of my parents, Fredrick and Kathryn Kunz, was a great honor,” Brundige said. “My hope is that by investing in the building and the 4-H program, I will help make the best better and enhance outreach statewide.”
In addition to her transformative gift, Brundige has been a strong supporter of the college over the years, creating two endowment funds and one current-use fund.
The Thomas P. and Patricia L. Brundige Food Science and Technology Program Fund, named for her late husband, has provided scholarships since 1999 to undergraduate and graduate students in the Department of Food Science and Technology.
The Patricia Kunz Brundige Youth Development Fund, created in 2012, supports seed grants for research in positive youth development through OSU Extension.
A current-use fund established in 2018 supports programming and furnishings at the Kunz-Brundige building.
Brundige was honored Oct. 17 during the Ohio State Foundation Board’s Celebration of Excellence, held among family and close friends at the Kunz-Brundige building.
“You’ve just had such an incredible impact on so many lives. I want to join everyone else tonight, Pat, and offer you congratulations on this very well-deserved honor,” said Cathann A. Kress, CFAES dean and Ohio State vice president for agricultural administration.
“As I’ve come to know you over the years, as I’ve watched the impact that you’ve had, I just am so struck, Pat, by the fact that you live that commitment to the mission every single day,” Executive Vice President and Provost Bruce McPheron said.
Emily Kruse, firstname.lastname@example.org, 614-247-7606