“When I was a kid my brother and I dressed up as Oiler football players for the Findlay College homecoming Parade,” says former U.S. Congressman Michael G. Oxley. For him, his connection with The University of Findlay began with his father, Garver Oxley who graduated from Findlay College in 1941.
In celebration of this lasting relationship with the University, Congressman Oxley and his wife Patricia recently made a gift of $500,000 to support the new Center for Student Life and the College of Business. “UF deserves my support based on remarkable recent advances,” says Oxley. He’s seen the value of creating a central location for business students at his undergraduate alma mater Miami University, which dedicated its Farmer School of Business facility in 2009. “Bringing together all of the business classes and professors will create a sense of belonging and draw top quality students to our business program,” says Oxley.
Though he earned his degree at Miami and has led a distinguished, nationally recognized career, when asked if he considers himself an Oiler, Oxley said, “No question about it. I was wearing the orange and black at 8 years old.” Over the years, Oxley has been highly connected and, in many ways, grew up with The University of Findlay. His late father, Garver Oxley, also a member of the University board of trustees, introduced him to UF. The family often attended football and basketball games on campus and Coach Jim Houdeshell would open the gym on Saturday afternoons for the younger Oxley and his friends to play basketball. He knew many of the presidents personally and received honorary degrees from Findlay College as well as The University of Findlay. “Several people I knew through UF really influenced me in my life and in my career,” says Oxley. He found a mentor in Harold “Herk” Wolf, a collegiate basketball standout in the 1950s whom he said assisted him with his political career. In 2010, Oxley became a member of The University of Findlay Board of Trustees and his connection to the University has continued to grow in the last five years.
“It’s exciting to see the changes taking place on campus. It’s not your grandfather’s University anymore. The student body has quadrupled in size,” says Oxley. He’s seen changes in faculty and leadership over the years lead to a number of positive changes. “Dr. Fell has taken the University to the next level. It has become an essential part of the community. If I had to use one word to describe the University it would be tradition, an amazing tradition that continues to grow.”