Keith Monda (BS, economics, 1968; MA, economics, 1971) and his wife Linda have established the Keith and Linda Monda International Experience Scholarships in the College of Arts and Sciences with a $5 million dollar gift.
The creation of the Keith and Linda Monda International Experience Scholarships will have a significant impact on students in Ohio State’s College of Arts and Sciences. Each year, in perpetuity, the need-based scholarships will enable approximately 50 arts and sciences students, who normally would not have the opportunity to travel and study abroad, to have an international experience.
“Keith and Linda have dedicated their lives to finding ways to make education and educational experiences accessible and affordable to all persons,” said Joseph Steinmetz, executive dean and vice provost, College of Arts and Sciences. “Their extraordinary generosity will ensure that a vital part of a student’s education, the experience of studying abroad, will become a reality for many of our students who do not have the means to experience education and life in another country.”
Providing the opportunity to travel and experience first-hand the variety of viewpoints, cultures and languages outside of the United States is an important goal for the College of Arts and Sciences, according to Steinmetz. To that end, the college will contribute $75,000 annually to the Mondas’ scholarships.
Darrilyn Macklin, a first-year student majoring in Chinese, is back from her first study abroad trip to China. She joined 12 other students on a month-long Global Gateway program, where they explored the rural and urban cultures in southwest China based at the Southwest University for Nationalities in Chengdu.
The average international experience costs approximately $5,000-$7,000, depending upon the duration and location of the program and the fee structure.
However, for many, the roadblock to accessing an international experience is finding the funds necessary to pay for travel, pay housing, program fees and other costs associated with living and studying in a foreign country.
The Mondas hope that by endowing the International Experience Scholarships others will come forward with support so that arts and sciences students can access international opportunities. “Linda and I are deeply committed to fostering opportunities for students to broaden their world view and deepen their understanding of global issues,” said Keith Monda. Traveling and studying abroad is a life-changing experience and we must find a way to make study abroad accessible and affordable for all."
The Mondas have a proud and distinguished record as supporters of the arts and sciences. The Mondas are solid believers in the value of a liberal arts education, which is why they created the Keith and Linda Monda Scholarship Fund, which provides a scholarship for students from Ohio studying economics. They have also made several gifts to the Arts and Sciences Students First, Students Now fund, which provides emergency funds to students who need immediate financial help. In 2008, when Keith Monda retired from Coach, Inc. as president and chief operating officer, in his honor and at his request, Coach directed a gift to the Students First Students Now initiative.
The Mondas’ passion for education is not limited to the classroom. Keith Monda is a member of The Ohio State University Foundation Board, chair of the College of Arts and Sciences Advisory Committee and campaign chair of the College of Arts and Sciences Capital Campaign. He also serves as a member of the board of trustees for the New College of Florida.