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CSU Receives $1 Million Gift to Support Financially At-Risk Students

FowlersSeminal gift will augment food pantry and emergency grant fund for students in need

A new $1 million gift from noted Cleveland philanthropists Char and Chuck Fowler will support the vital work of the University’s Lift Up Vikes! Program, which supplies students with food and the additional support services they require. The gift will also expand the activities of the Program, establishing a student resource center and creating an emergency grant fund for individuals facing unforeseen circumstances that impact their ability to remain enrolled in school.

“The overall health and well-being of our students is our number one priority, and this gift will go directly to support students in need of immediate help,” notes CSU President Harlan Sands. “We are incredibly grateful to the Fowlers for their generosity, and their understanding of the critical need to address food insecurity and financial stability for many of our students.”

The resource center will connect students with on and off-campus resources that will assist them in overcoming financial emergencies, meeting basic needs, providing personal finance education and creating comprehensive, sustainable plans for individual students’ success. The center will be located in CSU’s expanded food pantry, which thanks to this gift, will now be centrally located with greatly expanded capacity to serve at-risk students.

“Cleveland State graduates are the future of Northeast Ohio,” says Char Fowler. “We are honored to partner with the University in removing some of the obstacles to success that prevent students from earning a degree. Our greatest joy is hearing the words ‘you made a difference.’”

Char and Chuck Fowler are leading community advocates and philanthropists who support a wide variety of local organizations working in medical research, the arts, education and community development. Chuck Fowler is a director of the industrial mineral company Covia Holdings Corp. Char Fowler is president of the Char and Chuck Fowler Family Foundation and is a member of the board of directors for BorderLight: Festival of International Theatre, the Cleveland International Film Festival, Cleveland Museum of Art, Near West Theater, Rainbow Babies & Children's Foundation and Teen Cancer America.