HUNTINGTON — They say it takes a village to raise a child — but to raise a student at Huntington University, it takes an entire community. For 75 years, the HU Foundation
has enabled local business and community leaders to provide students the opportunity for education and growth.
Ralph Johnson, a retired businessman in Huntington, was a local gas and oil distributor and convenience store operator. He later became a board member of the Foundation and set up the Johnson Family Scholarship. Every year, the Johnsons are able to support a handful of local students attending HU through that scholarship.
Today, the Johnson children continue the family business. Ralph’s daughter Darlene Stanley owns and operates Johnson’s Junction convenience stores, and his son Ryan owns Johnson’s Petroleum.
“This is something that Dad had always stressed to us kids growing up,” Darlene said. “It is important to be involved and give back to the community that has given to us.”
Jim Wilson is also a board member that has contributed to the Foundation’s success throughout the years. A real estate owner/broker in Huntington County, Wilson currently owns and manages Wilson Realty and Development Inc. along with his wife Gloria.
In 1997, Wilson was honored by the university during its Centennial Celebration and was inducted into the HU Athletics Hall of Fame. He taught and coached at HU, having been named Mid-Central Conference Coach of the Year 11 times for coaching baseball.
Wilson has served the Foundation for more than 20 years. He believes he has been blessed to witness and participate in the generosity of the Huntington community in that time.
“It’s all about the students,” he said.
The Huntington University Foundation was created in 1938 by Jacob L. Brenn, Fred A. Loew and local business leaders.
The Foundation has served HU in generating financial resources; raising awareness of the university; assisting in the recruitment of students from the county; enhancing the educational experience of students; facilitating opportunities for students to remain in the area after graduation; and overall service to the university and community.
To celebrate its 75th anniversary, the Foundation is planning special events throughout the year, including the monthly breakfast series and a Gala celebration during the annual dinner in September.
For more information about the Huntington University Foundation or to give, visit www.huntington.edu/foundation