Donation from Exxon and Employees Underscores Vital Role of O&G in Funding Ohio Education
ExxonMobil, XTO Energy and its current and former employees contributed more than $852,000 to 33 Ohio colleges and universities in 2017, the company announced this week. Part of the ExxonMobil Foundations 2017 Educational Matching Gift Program, the company generously matched almost $217,000 from current and former employees on a three to one basis. This massive contribution to so many of Ohio’s academic institutions not only highlights the importance Exxon and its employees place on education, but also how intertwined oil and gas companies are with the vitality of communities across the state. The donation comes in addition to the hundreds of millions in tax revenues both already realized and yet to come from the oil and gas industry that are also pouring into Ohio schools across the state.
While the recipient colleges and universities are encouraged to use some of these funds for math and science programs, the grants are unrestricted, meaning they could be used to address areas where the schools most need it. This is good news, because while recipients include large (but equally deserving) institutions such as the University of Cincinnati and the Ohio State University, donations to smaller schools such as Cedarville University and Antioch College could help create tremendous opportunities for university programs. Here’s the complete list of the 33 schools ExxonMobil recently supported:
Bowling Green State University
Case Western Reserve University
Cleveland State University
College of Wooster
Franciscan University of Steubenville
John Carroll University
Kent State University Foundation
Notre Dame College
Ohio Northern University
Ohio State University Foundation
Ohio Wesleyan University
The Cedarville University
The University of Toledo Foundation
University of Akron
University of Cincinnati
University of Mount Union
Youngstown State University
Contributing a total of almost $50 million nationwide through the 2017 Educational Matching Gift Program, Kevin Murphy, president of the ExxonMobil Foundation, highlighted the importance of education to Exxon and its employees, stating in a press release:
“We have a long history of supporting a range of efforts to improve education in the United States. … Our employees and retirees are similarly committed to investing in quality education, as demonstrated by the impressive amount they have chosen to donate. We’re confident that our contributions as well as the generous support of our employees and retirees will help create a stronger future for today’s students.”
Such an emphasis on the key role played by employees and retirees in this program truly drives home the point that these companies are not the faceless and soulless conglomerates that anti-oil and gas activists would have you believe, but a group of hardworking men and women who are proud of what they do and their community. These are the same men and women who are the driving force behind the state’s thriving oil and natural gas development, which provides millions of dollars in vital funding to Ohio schools each year. For example, a single Ohio school district is estimated to receive over $42 million in tax revenue from just one new natural gas power plant.
Whether it’s through state and local tax revenue, or from the giving hearts of company employees, it’s clear that Ohio oil and gas development helps provide quality education for students at all grade levels.