Thatcher family establishes Cincinnati State scholarship

A scholarship fund is his name has been established for Middletown residents who enroll at Cincinnati State, the school announced Tuesday.

Judy Bober, Thatcher’s longtime secretary in Middletown, called the scholarship fund — with an initial gift of $60,000 — “a natural step” because bringing the campus to downtown Middletown was Thatcher’s “last goal.”

Thatcher, a well-known philanthropist and businessman, died on Jan. 28, 2010.

When asked what Thatcher’s reaction would be, Bober said: “He’d certainly be pleased, but he wouldn’t say much. He’d just smile. He’d be grateful.”

While she credited Thatcher for the scholarship, she also praised the generosity of his family, “an extension of his kindness and vision.”

Of that $60,000, $10,000 will be used in the 2012-2013 academic year to assist Middletown residents enrolling in the fall. 

Cincinnati State President O’dell M. Owens said the university has once again been “touched by the generosity of this family.”

Thatcher was an entrepreneur and industrialist who amassed a controlling interest in a number of commercial properties in downtown Middletown. Before Thatcher died he made arrangements to transfer some of those properties — including the former Cincinnati Gas & Electric building that will house the new Cincinnati State campus — to the city of Middletown at a nominal cost.

Sheree Garrett, one of Thatcher’s three daughters and the executor of his estate, said the decision to endow a scholarship fund is in keeping with her father’s wishes to spark a revitalization of Middletown’s core.

“He loved this city and he believed in education,” she said.

The family, she said, hopes the scholarship keeps their father’s “memory and dream alive” in Middletown and his “legend lives on.”

Cincinnati State Development Director Dawn Perrin noted that additional gifts in honor of Perry Thatcher are welcome, and will be added to the permanent endowment.

For more information about the Perry Thatcher-Middletown Endowed Scholarship Fund, contact Perrin at or (513) 569-1706.

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