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Published: Friday, 6/15/2007

ONU alum from Lima leaves $3M to university

ADA, Ohio - An Ohio Northern University alumnus who helped start a prominent accounting firm in Lima, Ohio has left $3 million to the university.

Eugene A. Beeler, who died in October at the age of 84, was a 1949 graduate of ONU, a certified public accountant, and a founding partner in Howard & Beeler in Lima, a firm now known as Lentol Violet Kienitz & Co.

Mary Wilkin, an ONU spokesman, said Mr. Beeler created an endowment fund in 1996 at ONU in honor of his parents and sister. Part of his bequest would benefit the fund that provides scholarships to students.

The rest of his gift would be directed to the university's endowment fund, which benefits the general fund, and to the James F. Dicke College of Business Administration at Ohio Northern.

"So he's looking after the university, the college of business administration, and the students with his gift," she said.

ONU President Kendall Baker said in a statement Mr. Beeler's donation "will allow the university to continue to provide current and future students the necessary tools to excel."

Although not the largest donation ONU has ever received, Ms. Wilkin said Mr. Beeler's bequest is among the larger ones.

Last year, ONU alumnus Clayton Mathile and his wife pledged $5 million plus another $5 million in matching funds to build a new science education and research building on campus.

Mr. Mathile, who owned and ran the successful Iams pet food company, challenged the campus to raise $5 million to support the project, which is now in the planning phase.

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