Endowed scholarship


Knowlton Scholarship aids first-year student from Wooster

Ian Mount feels called to help others and, with the help of an endowed scholarship from Bluffton University, he feels closer to fulfilling that calling than ever before.

The first-generation college student from Wooster, Ohio, is the third recipient of the Austin E. Knowlton Memorial Scholarship, a renewable four-year scholarship that is awarded to a first-year student each year.

“It was really a complete surprise, and I was so thankful to get the scholarship,” said Mount, who wants to study chemistry or biology. “I just felt so blessed. I remember leaving the financial aid office (after receiving the award) and smiling for the rest of the day.”

Established by the Cincinnati-based Austin E. Knowlton Foundation, the scholarship gives special consideration to residents of Logan County, Ohio. Knowlton, a renowned architect who died in 2003, was raised in Bellefontaine, the Logan County seat. If there is no recipient from Logan County, Bluffton awards the scholarship to another Ohio resident, with preference for a student interested in a math or related major.

“Every year, many Bluffton students benefit from endowed scholarship support,” said Dr. Hans Houshower, vice president for advancement. “In this case, the university is grateful for the Knowlton Foundation’s vision and very significant support, which provides the level of support needed to endow a four-year award for a new Bluffton student each year. The role this private foundation plays in funding higher education in Ohio is outstanding.”

After graduating from Bluffton, Mount is thinking about pursuing a master’s degree in a science-related field. “I want to use science to help people,” he said.

At Bluffton, the Wooster High School graduate is a member of the chapel planning committee, a trombone player in the Jazz Ensemble and the Concert Band, and a participant in SERVE, a campus service organization. He also helps lead worship at Bluffton’s weekly chapel service, and next year he hopes to become a residence hall chaplain.

Knowlton, who founded the Knowlton Construction Co. in Bellefontaine in 1937 and designed more than 600 buildings, was widely recognized for his philanthropic leadership, including a special interest in supporting education. The Ohio State University School of Architecture is named in his honor, and the foundation that he established provided funding for the Knowlton Library in Logan County. The Knowlton Foundation continues to carry on his interest in supporting higher education.


Chay Reigle, public relations office