ODU Announces Conway Scholarship to Support Family-Owned Business, Inspire Entrepreneurship



Columbus, OH – Ohio Dominican University (ODU) is excited to announce the creation of The Conway Endowed Family Business Scholarship Fund to support and encourage growth and succession of family businesses in Central Ohio. 

Starting in fall 2015, ODU will award the Conway Scholarship to one first-year student every four years as long as the student meets the requirements of the scholarship. These requirements include being a member of a family who owns a business or wishes to start a family business, maintaining a 3.0 GPA, exhibiting a record of charitable work or community involvement, and demonstrating financial need as determined by the University. The scholarship can be renewed annually for a total of four years. 

The Conway Scholarship is made possible by a generous gift to ODU from the Conway Family Lead Annuity Trust. Jim Conway is the former owner of the Marion Steel Company. He and his wife, Linda, and sons, Steve and Scott, have been ardent supporters of the Conway Center for Family Business, which was founded in 1998 to provide educational programs and resources for family-owned businesses in Central Ohio. 

“We hope our gift will empower the next generation of family business leaders with the skills and education they need to grow their family’s business and transition it to the next generation,” Jim Conway said. “We welcome this opportunity to share the success of our family business so we may ease the burden of rising educational costs for students with similar passions and career goals.” 

The Conway Scholarship is the second family business-inspired scholarship to be offered at ODU. It joins the Maish Family Business Endowed Scholarship, which ODU offers to students who meet similar requirements and also is renewable for a total of four years. 

The Maish Scholarshipis made possible by gifts and ongoing support from Tom and Judy Maish. The couple founded Contract Sweepers and Equipment, Inc. in Columbus, Ohio, and sold the company in 2004. 

“When we established the Maish Scholarship, our goal was to provide assistance that offers students the opportunity to attain knowledge and skills to help them continue their family’s legacy,” Tom Maish said. “We have been extremely impressed with the students who have received our scholarship, and we hope others will follow suit so they also can experience the profound impact of their gift.” 

“The ODU community is exceedingly blessed and grateful to have supporters such as the Conway and Maish families, who provide generous financial resources to students who aspire to use their talents and gifts to serve the local and global community,” said ODU President Peter Cimbolic, Ph.D. “The success of family businesses has a direct and undeniable impact on the strength of our economy. These scholarships offer motivated students a means to pursue and realize their dream of family business ownership and successful entrepreneurship.” 

The Conway Center for Family Businessis Central Ohio’s resource for educational programs, resources and networking opportunities to support the growth and success of family-owned businesses. The Center celebrates the successes of family-owned businesses at its annual awards program and offers peer group opportunities for next-generation leaders, family business leaders and women family business owners. The organization includes more than 150 family-owned businesses that collectively employ more than 10,000 individuals in Central Ohio. 

The Conway Center has been a partner with ODU since 2000. In 2004, the organization moved onto ODU’s main campus. As a partner, the Conway Center offers a variety of valuable resources to family businesses, including nine educational programs on the ODU campus annually. It also conducts four of its seven peer groups on campus. The Conway Center also employs interns from ODU’s work-study program. 

Ohio Dominican University is a comprehensive, four-year, private, liberal arts and master’s institution, founded in 1911 in the Catholic Dominican tradition. The University has approximately 2,600 students and offers undergraduate degrees in 45 majors as well as 11 graduate degree programs. Ohio Dominican uses a student-centered approach, with a commitment to quality teaching and learning.