Panhandle State Foundation

Jun 12, 2024

Natasha Eidson

The OPSU Foundation Office is Committed to Student Success and Community Development

The Panhandle State Foundation Office has made remarkable strides in recent years thanks to the dedication and hard work of its team. Under the leadership of Chyanna Black, the Executive Director of the Foundation, the office has significantly enhanced its operations and expanded its impact on the OPSU Community.

Reflecting on her time so far at the Foundation, Executive Director Chyanna Black expressed immense gratitude and pride for what they have accomplished. “We have made so much progress in what seems like a short amount of time that it is hard to believe I’m coming up on my 2-year anniversary since joining this office,” said Black. “I am beyond grateful for the support of our Board of Directors, OPSU, and the entire community both on and off campus. We could not have been this successful without their support.”

Stephanie LeGrange, the Foundation’s Administrative Assistant, expressed excitement about the growth and accomplishments of the past two years. “It is such an exciting time to be a part of the Panhandle State Foundation team. I am so proud of the accomplishments made so far and how the Foundation Office has grown.”

Director Black praised Stephanie and credits much of the office’s success to her hard work. “I cannot thank Stephanie enough for her hard work and dedication to not only our office but the students and donors too. She goes above and beyond, and we would not be to this point without her on the team.”

Under Black’s leadership, the Foundation has streamlined several key processes to enhance efficiency and better manage resources. Notable among these improvements are the introduction of a new online application system and advanced accounting software for endowment and other fund management. These innovations have positioned the Foundation to provide even greater support to OPSU students.

One of the most significant achievements during this period was securing a generous donation of $930,000 for an agriculture scholarship. The donor, who chooses to remain anonymous, demonstrated a profound belief in OPSU’s agriculture programs and a heartfelt desire to support students. “When we get to work with donors that have the same passion for OPSU and its students, it makes all of the pieces fall together perfectly,” Black noted. Such contributions highlight the connections between the Foundation, its donors, and the students they support.

Looking ahead, the Foundation is focused on fundraising for both short and long-term projects, aiming to expand its ability to support OPSU and its students. The team is excited about reconnecting with existing donors and building new relationships to further their mission. “As a team, we are constantly looking at goals and ideas to continue to grow and be better for both our donors and the students of OPSU,” said Black.

The impact of the Foundation’s work is best illustrated by the students’ reactions. LeGrange recounted heartwarming moments of students expressing their gratitude and relief upon receiving scholarships. “There is nothing better than hearing one of the students skipping down your hallway with excitement about getting a scholarship or sitting at your desk crying because the financial burden has been lifted, and they can focus on being successful in the classroom,” she shared.

University President, Dr. Julie Dinger emphasized the importance of the Foundation’s work, “The efforts of the Panhandle State Foundation Office are vital to the success of our students and the growth of our community. Their dedication and innovation have created opportunities that change lives, and we are incredibly thankful for Ms. Black and Mrs. LeGrange’s work.”

As the Panhandle State Foundation Office continues to grow and evolve, its dedication to student success and community support remains unwavering. The past two years have laid a strong foundation for future achievements, and the team is eager to build on this momentum to help OPSU students achieve their dreams. With the support of donors and the community, the Foundation is well-positioned to make an even greater impact in the years to come.

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