News from Ohio State University

President Johnson and Veronica Meinhard $1 million donation to create new endowed scholarships

The Ohio State University President Kristina M. Johnson and her wife, Veronica Meinhard, have donated $1 million to the university. The gift included two endowed scholarships that focus on student-athletes and first-generation students.

University Trustee Brent R. Porteus called attention to the gift in the trustees’ audit, finance and investment committee meeting Thursday.

“President Kristina Johnson and her wife, Ms. Veronica Meinhard, are actually leading by example, as they often do, and have committed an incredible $1 million to support the Scarlet & Gray Advantage program,” he said. “As President Johnson recognizes, this program will create pathways for students to earn their degrees debt-free. Together, she and Ms. Meinhard are demonstrating how the power of philanthropy, through their tireless advocacy and their generosity, creates vibrant futures for generations of Buckeyes.”

The Kristina M. Johnson Endowed Scholarship Fund will be used to supplement the grant-in-aid costs of undergraduate student-athletes who are members of the Ohio State women’s field hockey team and the women’s lacrosse team. Johnson played both sports while attending Stanford.

The Veronica Meinhard Endowed Scholarship Fund will be used to provide one or more scholarships per year to undergraduate students who are first-generation college students.

In addition to the scholarships, $750,000 of the gift will match donor contributions to the Scarlet & Gray Advantage endowed matching gift program.

Last year, Johnson announced the Scarlet & Gray Advantage program, which will empower Ohio State undergraduates to earn their bachelor’s degree, debt-free. The program will provide students with enhanced access to scholarships, work opportunities, and learning experiences focused on financial coaching and career development.

The Scarlet & Gray Advantage program will scale up over 10 years, starting with a small pilot of about 125 new first-year students in autumn 2022.

Johnson and Meinhard’s endowments are part of the university’s plan to raise at least $800 million within a decade to expand undergraduate scholarships. Ohio State and lead donors have created a matching program that will double up to $50 million in private donations that establish new endowments or support existing ones for scholarships.