June 12, 2024

Endowment to support ag innovation, education at Vincennes University

‘If you plant a seed and you take care of that seed, it grows’

Charles “Shorty” and Ro Whittington created a faculty endowment fund at Vincennes University.

VINCENNES, Ind. — A couple from Columbus announced a new faculty endowment fund to Vincennes University, which will support agricultural innovation and education.

Ro and Charles “Shorty” Whittington created the Whittington Endowed Faculty Fund — the first of its kind at the university.

The couple are philanthropists who have supported 4-H through scholarships over the decades. The endowment will continue their legacy of giving.

“My wife and I have a real desire to build up kids to get them where they need to be,” Shorty Whittington said. “Our objective is to invest in Vincennes University faculty and help them make things better.

“We want to make things available for young people to help them grow and help get them jumpstarted. I farmed for a long time, and if you plant a seed and you take care of that seed, it grows.”

The faculty fund will address challenges in talent recruitment and retention within highly competitive fields of study — particularly agriculture.

According to Vincennes University, it is one of the largest individual donor gifts in recent years.

“This historic endowment underscores our unwavering dedication to academic excellence and innovation,” said Laura Treanor, provost at the university. “Faculty are the lifeblood of what we do, working directly with our students to produce skills and experiences that lead to life-changing outcomes.

“I and Vincennes University are immensely grateful to Ro and Shorty Whittington for their visionary philanthropy, which will have a profound and lasting impact on our faculty, university community and beyond.”

In addition to providing immediate support for faculty positions, a significant portion of their gift will be allocated towards establishing a named endowed fund to support faculty long term.

Learn more about Vincennes University at www.vinu.edu.

Erica Quinlan

Erica Quinlan

Field Editor