Kurt ’86 and Karen Ohliger have long believed in the power of a Le Moyne education to shape lives – and entire communities. A partner in the accounting firm of Dermody, Burke and Brown, CPAs, Kurt gives back to his alma mater as a member of the College’s board of trustees, Madden School of Business advisory board, and accounting advisory board. He and Karen have long supported Le Moyne’s commitment to providing its students with a rigorous, values-centered Jesuit education. They are regular fixtures at events like Reunion Weekend, Founders’ Day and the Madden Lecture Series.
As a family, the Ohligers knew they wanted to provide the College with a gift that would aid students for generations to come, but how? Then, during visits to campus, Kurt and Karen began to learn more about Le Moyne’s Honors Program. Through numerous conversations with people across campus, including Matthew Fee, Ph.D., director of the Honors Program, and Kate Costello-Sullivan, Ph.D., dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, they discovered that students enrolled in the program don’t just learn and discuss ideas, they also create new knowledge as young scholars. The more the couple learned about the program, the clearer it became to them that they wanted to make a lasting contribution to it.
The Ohligers recently made a generous gift to the College to create a new home for the Honors Program. Both Kurt and Karen recognized that at the core of Le Moyne’s Honors Program is a sense of intellectual community. With their donation, they wanted to create a space that is commensurate with the level of education the students receive. They wanted to provide the students with a place where members of the program can gather, learn and collaborate with one another.
The new honors suite on the fourth floor of Reilly Hall does just that. The heart of the suite is a large, open space designed to promote cooperation among students and faculty members, complete with a couch and chairs, a kitchenette and computer stations. It is connected to the director’s office and to a smart classroom dedicated to honors courses. The space was specifically designed to build community among students in the honors program. Since the suite opened this fall, it has been full of students, working on laptops, studying and simply having conversations with each other and their professors, just as the Ohligers envisioned.
“We supported the Honors Program because we want to provide students with the opportunity to learn and grow in a community of scholars,” the Ohligers said. “It is an investment in these students and their future.”
The Ohliger family's gift to the Honors Program is part of the College's $100 million Always Forward campaign, which was publicly announced in June of 2018.
Honors at Le Moyne,