Skip to main content


Recognition dinner honors scholarship recipients & donors

A man in a suit stands behind a podium speaking to an audience out of frame

On Wednesday, April 17, students from Central Ohio Technical College and Ohio State Newark gathered for the annual Scholarship and Student Leadership Dinner.

The Office of Advancement and Office of Student Life partner to host the event, which connects scholarship recipients with their scholarship donors and recognizes a number of outstanding students and campus organizations for their contributions to the campus and greater community.

Campus leadership took the opportunity to highlight special partnerships with local charitable organizations the Newark Campus Development Fund and the Licking County Foundation, both of which contribute significant scholarship dollars each year through endowed funds established by their generous donors. For the 2023-24 academic year, COTC students received $1.3 million and Ohio State Newark received $1.5 million in scholarships.

Jennifer Roberts, Executive Director of the Newark Campus Development Fund, shared the unique history of NCDF, which exists to support the joint efforts of COTC and Ohio State Newark. Beginning with an inaugural grant in 1986 totaling $38,158, NCDF most recently awarded $1,956,150 to both institutions, with $1.7 million specifically allocated for scholarships.

Dr. Bob Klingensmith, former Ohio State Newark faculty and Heath-Newark-Licking County Port Authority board member, spoke to the benefits of the STEM scholarship established by the Port Authority in 2021.

“We are investing in scholarships—not a gift or a loan—we are investing,” he shared. “We did this because every year someone retires from our campus and we need people to fill those jobs. It’s a good investment, and it will change lives.”

Inspiring personal stories were shared by Samatar Ali, a COTC scholarship recipient who spoke on mindset and perspective on failure and how he is shaping his own success, and by Cynthia Gordon, an Ohio State Newark scholarship recipient who is using past personal trauma to inform her education and experience as she pursues a degree in social work.

Congratulations to all COTC and Ohio State Newark students receiving financial aid to pursue their academic goals!

Photo cutline: Dr. Bob Klingensmith addresses the crowd and shares how the Heath-Newark-Licking County Port Authority STEM Scholarship is helping grow local talent and supporting workforce development on the Port Authority’s Central Ohio Aerospace & Technology Center campus.