Former U.S. Congressman Michael G. Oxley and his wife, Patricia, in an altruistic decision that celebrates their close ties to The University of Findlay and their strong commitment to education, have donated $500,000 toward construction of the University’s estimated $15 million center for student life and the College of Business.
The announcement was made at the University’s Winter College program held in Naples, Florida, where Oxley was a guest speaker.
“The Oxley family has had a profoundly positive influence on The University of Findlay for two generations. Former Congressman Michael Oxley, one of this nation’s outstanding political and business leaders, and his wife, Patricia’s, gift represents a continuation of that generous legacy,” said University President Katherine Fell. “Future students will benefit from and be inspired by the Oxleys’ kindheartedness. We are very grateful for their support.”
The building that will become the home of the new center for student life and College of Business represents the next chapter in 21st century learning at The University of Findlay. The design will reflect the way students and professors interact in a dynamic learning environment. This modern facility will serve as a welcoming point that is inviting to students, faculty, alumni and members of the community.
Oxley, influenced by his undergraduate alma mater, Miami University, which dedicated its Farmer School of Business facility in 2009, said he supports the creation of a facility that will house UF’s College of Business offices and classrooms and a student center under one roof. He thinks it will “create a sense of belonging… and draw top quality students to our business program.” It will also enable a greater focus on the teaching of business ethics and corresponding practices such as the landmark 2002 Sarbanes-Oxley Act, which strengthened accounting oversight of publicly traded companies in the wake of scandals such as Enron’s collapse in 2001.
Oxley, who was a Republican U.S. House of Representatives member from 1981 to 2007, serves on The University of Findlay Board of Trustees, and the University is one of three that have bestowed upon him honorary doctoral degrees. But it is his lifelong connection to UF, and to the Findlay community, that encouraged the couple’s recent fiscal benevolence.
His campus visits began when he was a child. His father, Garver Oxley, was a star football player who graduated in 1941 from what was then Findlay College. He later coached the sport and was an avid UF football program booster who brought the family to games. The younger Oxley said he and his friends would often run around campus and shoot hoops in the gymnasium on Saturday afternoons.
While growing up, Oxley was also fortunate enough to find UF mentors such as Harold “Herk” Wolf, a collegiate basketball standout in the 1950s whom he said assisted him with his political career.
After his father died, Oxley, the Findlay law firm of Oxley, Malone, Fitzgerald and Hollister, and other donors established the Garver Oxley Memorial Scholarship to support varsity football players.
Prior to serving on Congress, Oxley had been an FBI agent and practiced law with the firm mentioned above. He now is of counsel to the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, and is of counsel to Ohio-based Baker Hostetler law firm’s Washington, D.C. office. He is also a senior advisor to the Board of Directors of NASDAQ OMX Group, Inc.
Oxley said he will always consider himself an Oiler, and proudly so.
“If I had to use one word to describe the University, it would be tradition, an amazing tradition that continues to grow,” Oxley said.