September 9, 2016 at 10:23 am

Alumni Establish Scholarship Endowment in Place of Wedding Gifts

Ohio University alumni Dustin Starkey ’98 and Jessie Holtz ’06 recently established a scholarship endowment in place of wedding gifts.

Jessie Holtz and Dustin Starkey

Jessie Holtz and Dustin Starkey

Starkey earned a degree in Forensic Chemistry and Holtz in Psychology from the College of Arts & Sciences at Ohio University.

Starkey and Holtz met in Columbus through the Ohio University Young Alumni of Columbus, a subchapter of the OHIO Alumni Association’s Central Ohio Alumni Network. They wed in Athens this past June. But, true to their philanthropic nature, they replaced a traditional wedding registry with a request that guests support a scholarship endowment they established, the Holtz/Starkey Endowed Scholarship for Arts and Sciences. The scholarship is open to high-achieving students enrolled in OHIO’s College of Arts & Sciences. Their gift qualified for the OHIO Match program, which matches 50 cents on every dollar donated to scholarships established under the program’s criteria.

“OHIO has given so much to us that we want others to be able to have that same experience,” said Holtz.

Starkey estimates more than $4,000 was raised through gifts by wedding guests. Even with this boost, the couple’s main goal for establishing the scholarship was to raise awareness about the importance of giving back in myriad ways, like becoming an active member of an OHIO alumni chapter or volunteering for an event during fall Homecoming or spring On The Green Weekend.

“OHIO has a very active alumni association and broad alumni network that other universities don’t have,” Starkey said. “Students should keep in mind that OHIO experiences don’t have to end with graduation.”

Starkey also supports OHIO through the Starkey Scholarship of Merit, a gift established in 2013 that supports any College of Arts & Sciences student who shows academic promise. He has served on the Association’s Board of Directors since 2012.

“I continued to give financial gifts to the University, especially as I became increasing engaged in alumni relations in the central Ohio area,” Starkey said. “It was not until I was selected for the Association’s Board of Directors in 2012 that I developed a deeper understanding of scholarships and endowments, and a stronger passion for planned giving.”

Read more about the couple in Compass.

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