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Pass to the plate

Ohio Wesleyan Expands Dr. Charles Thomas Scholarship Program and Extends Application Deadline

By Cole Hatcher

Charles Thomas

DELAWARE, Ohio – Ohio Wesleyan University is expanding its Dr. Charles Thomas Scholarship Program to help meet the full financial need of eligible low-income students. OWU will offer at least 20 Charles Thomas Scholarships this fall to new students who apply to the university and for the scholarship by March 21.

The Dr. Charles Thomas Scholarship Program was established in 2020 to honor one of the first black students to play college baseball. Thomas’ experience and grace as a Wesleyan athlete from Ohio in the early 1900s inspired Branch Rickey, then head baseball coach, to collaborate with Jackie Robinson in the 1940s to break the color barrier. of Major League Baseball.

“Charles Thomas was resilient, determined and successful, eventually becoming a doctor of dental surgery,” said Stefanie Niles, Ed.D. vice-president of registrations and communications. “Today, we want to help a new generation of students achieve their goals. Expanding our Dr. Charles Thomas Scholarship is an important part of our efforts to increase opportunities for students to attend Ohio Wesleyan.

For incoming students selected as Charles Thomas Scholars, Ohio Wesleyan will meet 100% of their demonstrated financial need during their four years at the university. Their need will be determined by the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and will be covered by merit- and need-based OWU grants, federal grants and loans, and co-op study.

The Dr. Charles Thomas Scholarship also recognizes the work of Ohio Wesleyan community partners to help the university provide access and opportunities to promising students. Students must be affiliated with a college access program, such as College Directions, I Know I Can, or One Goal.

Thomas spent his career as a dentist and remained a lifelong baseball enthusiast. As a young man, he played for several “black baseball teams”, including the Columbus Black Tourists. He died in 1971 at the age of 91.

Information on Ohio Wesleyan nominations is available at owu.edu/apply. Information about the Dr. Charles Thomas Fellowship can be found at owu.edu/CharlesThomasScholarship.


Founded in 1842, Ohio Wesleyan University is one of the nation’s leading liberal arts universities. Located in Delaware, Ohio, the private university offers more than 70 undergraduate majors and competes in 24 NCAA Division III college sports. Thanks to its signature program, The OWU connection, Ohio Wesleyan teaches students to integrate knowledge across disciplines, build a diverse and holistic perspective, and apply knowledge in real-world settings. Ohio Wesleyan is featured in the book “Colleges That Change Lives” and included in the US News & World Report and Princeton Review “Best Colleges” lists. Connect with OWU expert interview sources at owu.edu/experts or learn more about owu.edu.

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