Nurturing Every Aspect of An Oiler Education: A.R. and Mary Ann Charnes
A.R. Charnes, Chair of The University of Findlay Board of Trustees and his wife Mary Ann recognize that students come to The University of Findlay not only to study their major but also to nurture other aspects of their personal development as they pursue their education.
“When students live on campus they learn how to meet and deal with people from other parts of the country and become a part of the community,” said Charnes, who earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Business from Findlay College in 1966. During the Give Voice to your Values Campaign, they created the A.R. and Mary Ann Charnes Student Life Endowment to provide room and board for students who are otherwise unable to live on campus. “Being a lifetime Oiler is about pride and responsibility. Mary Ann and I believe that through supporting The University of Findlay, we are also supporting Findlay and the surrounding area as well. I want to ensure the next generation has the same strong feelings about this University as I do,” he said.
Now, the Charnes have taken another step to make certain that students have the opportunity to grow academically and be involved on campus by making a $150,000 gift to support the new Center for Student Life and College of Business building. “The new building is a transformational part of the University’s future. It will become an essential part of the campus and greater Findlay area,” said Charnes. “Student life will be able to expand from what it is now in the Alumni Memorial Union, and the College of Business will have the teaching tools it needs to provide a high-quality education for our students.”
“Those on-campus interactions are important,” added his wife Mary Ann, “and the new facility will provide a central place for students to meet and communicate.” The two of them met while A.R. was a student at Findlay College, and they’ve been married for 51 years. Charnes attended a small high school, and he was among the first in his family to earn a college degree. Coach Jim Houdeshell helped him find a place at Findlay College on the basketball court and in the classroom. They have also created an endowment to support the men’s basketball program at UF.
Charnes credits his success to meeting people and professors at Findlay who “looked after” him. “The professors really took the time to talk to me and work with me even outside of class and that doesn’t happen on a larger campus,” he said. One of their daughters also studied education at Findlay, and they remember how being involved on campus made a difference to her. “I’m very proud of the whole group of people who work at The University of Findlay,” said Charnes. “I can see the pride they take in the educational experiences of our students.”