Ohio State College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences Receives Record $7 million gift

Pictured, left to right: Chris Delisio, chief advancement officer for CFAES; Faye Coughenou, a friend of the late Delma Roush

Funding from Gallia County hotelier Roush will support CFAES students

Columbus, Ohio—A $7 million estate gift from the late Delma Roush will establish the Delma L. Roush Scholarship Fund in support of students in Ohio State’s College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences (CFAES). The gift is a record donation to the college.                                

The Roush fund, endowed in perpetuity, will provide annual, renewable support to graduate or undergraduate students from Gallia, Meigs or Jackson counties. Eligible students must have finished in the top third of their high school class and must maintain a 3.0 grade point average while enrolled in the college, which includes Ohio State’s Agricultural Technical Institute.

“This significant gift from one of Ohio’s own will greatly enhance the ability of the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences to advance Ohio State’s land-grant mission,” said President Michael V. Drake. “We are thankful for the confidence Ms. Roush placed in our university as a global leader and for her considerable investment in our students.”

Though Roush did not attend the university, she wanted to encourage people to come to Ohio State, study agriculture and be able to begin their careers with as little debt as possible.

“This milestone gift will help generations of students from Southeastern Ohio continue their education at our university,” said Bruce McPheron, vice president for agricultural administration and dean of the college. “We are grateful that Ms. Roush saw the value in our mission to lead innovation in food, agriculture and the environment. We are proud to play a part in her legacy.”

Beginning this academic year, her generous gift is already transforming lives in Southeastern Ohio; Within five years, more than a dozen scholarships are projected to be awarded annually to students from this mostly rural, economically challenged region where financial barriers to higher education often exist.

As a part of the university’s $2.5 billion “But For Ohio State” fundraising campaign, CFAES has a $150 million overall goal, of which $15 million is earmarked for increasing student scholarship support. With the recent addition of the Roush gift, $13.9 million of the scholarship goal has been met.

Born in Addison Township, Ohio, Roush is described by friends as having been a shrewd businesswoman and mentor who avoided the spotlight to quietly make a difference in people’s lives. Longtime friend Faye Coughenou recalled, “She once told my daughter, ‘You don’t have to be seen to accomplish what you want to accomplish.’”

Roush owned and operated the Holiday Inn of Gallipolis for 18 years before selling the hotel in 1991. Prior to that, she worked as a secretary and treasurer for two Gallipolis furniture upholstery shops and manufacturers, Raymond Hoy & Company and French Colony Industries.

Matthew Marx
For more information, contact: 

Matthew Marx
614-292-8840 office

Chris Delisio