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A Family Connected by Community: Ian & Jenny Morehead

A young man stands beside a seated women in front of a sign that says "Park National Bank"

The Newark campus has long been a fixture in our community, so much so that you can find multi-generational stories of families taking advantage of the education it affords our neighbors. This is the case with Ian Morehead and his mom, Jenny. Ian, a 2023 Newark Catholic High School graduate, will begin his sophomore year at the Newark campus, pursuing a biochemistry degree with intentions of entering the medical field.

The choice was easy for Ian, as he had already weighed the pros and cons of his decision with parents. After deciding to attend Ohio State, starting at the Newark campus was a logical decision for him. Not only has it been convenient to continue to live at home, but Ian has found the smaller class sizes and the personalized relationships he can have with professors to be unmatched benefits.

“I like how the teachers are right in front of you,” he shared, “as opposed to going to the Columbus campus where you are in a class of a couple hundred students and you have to talk to the TA instead of the actual teacher.”

Jenny Morehead's journey has closely paralleled her son's, albeit a generation earlier. As a student, Jenny transferred to Ohio State Newark after having spent two years at another institution. Originally from Granville, Jenny spent her first two collegiate summers back home, working as a teller at Park National Bank in her hometown. Enjoying her work at the bank and wanting to be home in the community she loved, she made the switch to the Newark campus. Jenny ultimately completed her business degree at the Columbus campus but would have happily continued at the Newark campus if the opportunity had existed when she was attending the university.

Ian will also eventually transfer to Columbus to pursue his coursework, but a scholarship he received to attend the Newark campus was key in his decision to remain for the start of his sophomore year. Ian is a recipient of The Park National Bank and Associates' Scholarship honoring William T. and Jane Cook McConnell, a scholarship held at the Newark Campus Development Fund. This particular scholarship brings extra significance as Jenny has continued her career at Park National Bank, currently serving as a Commercial Lender.

The Park National Bank and Associates’ Scholarship was established in 2013 as part of the Next Generation Challenge, a community fundraising campaign to raise $20 million to support scholarships at the Newark campus. Park National Bank pledged to internally raised $1 million to establish their scholarship.

“Ian probably doesn’t know this… I was asked to be the leader of our task force here at Park to raise the million dollars,” reflected Jenny. “That was pretty special that we met that goal.”

Jenny contributed to that campaign, creating the scholarship her son would one day go on to receive. Although that campaign has come and gone, Jenny and her husband continue to donate to the Newark Campus Development Fund, most recently supporting the capital campaign to build The John and Mary Alford Science and Technology Center. “I feel like Ian is getting the scholarship and we are sort of paying into it, but that is how you give back,” Jenny says. “Pay it forward is kind of the motto—even though he is receiving the scholarship, we are still paying it forward and hope it will benefit other students and our community.”

Over the years, Jenny has seen the campus grow and is amazed by the community support that has made it such a special place.  It is a benefit to have such an opportunity close to home, but also a place where students from outside the community may come, see the support from our local community and decide to stay for the great opportunities they come to learn about.

The Newark campus thrives with support from our community. It’s a sentiment Ian also picks up on. Regarding receiving his scholarship, he says, “It means a lot to me…There are so many scholarships you can receive at Newark—I didn’t realize that. It makes me see how close-knit everyone is.”