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OWjL Camp for Gifted Students Gets Contribution to Create Scholarship Fund

June 28, 2007

For 26 years, talented and gifted students from nine central Ohio counties have been flocking to Ohio Wesleyan University each summer to take part in OWjL camp. Pronounced “owl,” the camp’s acronym stands for Ohio Wesleyan/Junior League of Columbus, which founded the unique program.

Bettie Keating of Grandview Heights, now a sustaining member of the Junior League, was one of the people who spent two years researching the need for a camp for gifted students and then helping to make it a reality. Keating continues to be actively involved in OWjL, serving on the camp’s advisory board and volunteering every summer to assist with the three-week program. OWjL serves students from Delaware, Fairfield, Franklin, Licking, Madison, Marion, Morrow, Pickaway, and Union counties.

In recognition of her vision and dedication, Keating’s family and friends, led by her husband, Bill, contributed $8,000 to the OWjL program on June 22 to create “The Bettie Keating Endowed Scholarship Fund.” The “challenge gift” encourages other individuals and organizations to contribute to the OWjL program.

The Keating scholarship fund will help sixth- through eighth-grade students cover the costs of attending one of the three, weeklong sessions of OWjL camp. Students stay overnight at Ohio Wesleyan during the camp, which focuses on hands-on educational experiences in the creative arts and humanities as well as in science, mathematics, computers, and logic.

This year’s curriculum included classes such as “Down and Dirty: The Art and Technique of Claymation,” “Murder in the Chem Lab,” and “So You Want to be a Doctor?” Since its founding, more than 9,000 students have attended OWjL camp.

Susan Paxton, executive director of OWjL, says the Keating gift will allow even more children to experience the program.

“This gift is wonderful,” Paxton says. “It’s even more special because it honors such a visionary woman. Talented and gifted programs aren’t always available to students. Also, gifted students do not always find a supportive group of friends during the vulnerable middle school years when it is not necessarily ‘cool’ to be smart. OWjL camp lets them know it’s OK to be intelligent. For some, it’s a life-changing experience.”

More information is available at the OWjL Web site. Contributions to the camp may be sent to: OWjL program, Ohio Wesleyan University, 61 S. Sandusky St., Delaware, Ohio 43015.

Founded in 1842, Ohio Wesleyan University is one of the nation’s leading liberal arts colleges, dedicated to preparing students for a lifetime of learning, service, and leadership. Located in Delaware, Ohio, 20 miles north of the state capital, Ohio Wesleyan is a coeducational, residential, privately supported undergraduate institution. The university is ranked consistently by U.S. News & World Report as one of the nation’s top 100 liberal arts colleges and is featured in the book “Colleges That Change Lives.” The faculty includes more than 135 educators, all of whom actively teach and hold either doctoral degrees or the highest recognized professional degrees in their fields. Approximately 1,850 students representing 44 states and 45 countries attend Ohio Wesleyan. More information is available at www.owu.edu.