When Terry Owen and his wife, Edda, were looking for a way to give back to their alma mater, they narrowed their focus to three areas: helping students enroll at Heidelberg, ensuring they have an excellent experience when they get here and setting them on course for a productive career.
This holistic approach came to fruition earlier this year when Heidelberg named its Academic & Career Support Center in the Owens’ honor. The gesture represents the university’s gratitude for a transformational gift they provided to endow, among other programs, the center in support of the $ 75 million Academic Comprehensive Campaign for Excellence.
“We decided we would support scholarships, the AIM Hei mentoring program and the ASCS so that we catch students when they come in, help them become successful while they are here and then, have a good career,” Terry said. “We were delighted to have those three options. We never dreamed this would happen.”
Edda added, “We loved our four years here. We are so happy we could do something to give back.”
On Friday, the university officially dedicated the Owen Academic & Career Support Center. The ceremony was part of a busy weekend of activities, including Alumni Weekend and the spring Board of Trustees meeting. Both Terry and Edda are alumni from the classes of 1963 and ’62, respectively. In the fall, Terry became a trustee, and this weekend, he and his classmates celebrate the 50th reunion of their Heidelberg graduation. He is a member of his class’s Reunion Gift Committee as well.
The center engages students with services and resources to help clarify and achieve their personal goals, enhance their Heidelberg experience and build skills that will contribute to success throughout life. Through individual appointments, group sessions and faculty collaboration, students can access tutoring, disability accommodation assistance, time management and study skills coaching. Through career management advising, workshops and network-focused events, the ACSC prepares students to explore and establish connections for post-graduate goal attainment.
Assistant director Julie George represented the center at the dedication, and expressed heartfelt thanks to the Owens for their gift. She shared several examples of students who benefitted from the center’s services and are enjoying career and life success.
“I just know we will be able to reach more and more students because of your generous donation,” she said.
President Rob Huntington said the Owens’ gift “strikes gold” in supporting the core mission of Heidelberg. “That’s what’s really at heart here,” he said. “Just know how grateful we are.”