“But for Ohio State”

Les Wexner gives $100 million to Ohio State

The Ohio State University President E. Gordon Gee says Les Wexner’s $100 million gift represents “a transformative moment in the history of this University that will make an enormous difference for generations to come.”

The gift will primarily benefit The Ohio State University Medical Center, Ohio State’s Comprehensive Cancer Center – James Cancer Hospital and Solove Research Institute, and Ohio State’s Wexner Center for the Arts.

Wexner hopes his gift can change the world for the better — perhaps helping Ohio State researchers find a cure for cancer. “We can do it here. We can do it now,” he says. “There is no utility in saying maybe.”

Giving back to his alma mater has always been a priority for Wexner. He is chair of Ohio State’s Board of Trustees and helped create The Ohio State University Foundation. Previous philanthropy has included gifts to the Wexner Center for the Arts (named for his father) and the Les Wexner Football Complex at the Woody Hayes Athletic Center.

“I love Ohio State and all the good it does,” he says. “The most important institution in our community is The Ohio State University.”

Gee sees Wexner’s gift as a powerful example of paying it forward. He says “Students understand community-building, and when they see someone of his stature and his ability doing it on their behalf, it is an incredibly important message.”

Wexner also would like to see the gift inspire his fellow Buckeye alumni to pay it forward.

“I hope this gift stimulates those who have received an education here, or been touched by this remarkable institution, to think about how they, too, can give back,” he says.

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