Two successful businessmen who also teach at Marion Technical College are creating
a new scholarship fund. Thomas White and Robb Koons are investing in Marion Tech’s students.
“This is a personalized experience. Students can open up about their struggles. I
love the culture of the academic setting,” said Robb. “We believe in what we are doing
as community faculty and in the college.”
“We’ve experienced the doors that open when you have an education. We want to open
those doors for others. It’s also investing in our community because many MTC graduates
stay local,” Tom said. “It’s a win for everyone.”
“There are financial barriers for our students even with our affordable tuition. These
scholarships really help,” said Mike Stuckey, director of the Marion Technical College
Online Opportunities Opened Doors
Both Robb and Tom grew up in Marion and graduated from River Valley High School. White
joined the National Guard as a military police officer shortly before Sept. 11. After
serving, this veteran served as a civilian police officer for a decade.
Robb began college pursuing a degree in education and paused school to pursue a career
“I wanted a change, so I went back to school for business,” Robb said. “Now I’m a
training and development officer and I love it!
“We both benefitted from online schooling,” Tom said.
Both Tom and Robb took online college classes as part of their bachelor’s degree programs.
Robb holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration. Tom has a bachelor’s degree
in organizational development. Both will complete master’s degree in business administration
(MBA) in May of this year.
Mike White, Associate Dean of Technical Programs, said Marion Tech has consistently
offered online classes to fit into student’s schedules, as well as some degrees that can be completed fully
“When COVID-19 hit, we didn’t have to scramble to move to an online format the way
local high schools and some colleges did,” Mike White said. “It’s just another way
we work to offer classes in a convenient way to meet students’ needs and schedules.
It’s in our mission – to provide personal pathways to success.”
Diversity of Experience in Each Class
Marion Tech students range in age from teenagers to grandparents. The average age is 27. Tom said the mix makes classes interesting as students learn from each other.
“It’s diverse – you see high school students interacting with senior citizens. Teens
with no work experience can learn from those of us with decades of work experience.
You have to be able to work with people from a variety of ages, interests, and backgrounds,
so this prepares them for the workforce,” Tom said.
Tom and Robb love being able to work remotely from Marion as well being able to teach
online classes. Tom is a Human Resources Business Partner for the Harbor Freight Corporate
Offices. Robb is a Training and Development Officer for FC Bank. Robb also serves
on many local boards, including the Marion County Board of Elections, the Marion County
Historical Society and the Advisory Board of the Popcorn Festival.
Real-World Professional Experience
Tom and Robb bring their professional experience into Marion Tech classes to keep
it current to the latest business trends. Tom brings his coworkers in to answer questions
about specialized human resource roles. Robb uses some of the college’s online strategies
in his virtual training sessions in his full-time job and vice versa.
New Fund Supports Second-Year Business Students
The new Koons-White Scholarship Fund will focus on helping second-year business students in underserved populations get to graduation, as there are more scholarships aimed
at first-year students.
“Thank you so much for this donation. It means so much to us and to our students,”
“This speaks to their belief in our students and their ability to succeed,” said Sue
Jacob, a member of the Marion Tech Foundation Board of Directors. “They also know the wonderful return on investment graduates receive with new career
paths or promotions.”
“It’s exciting to be a part of an organization that it is adding bachelor’s degrees,”
Tom added, mentioning the new giving page. Marion Tech was the first community college in Ohio to offer that degree.
To make a donation, go to the Marion Tech giving page and designate the Koons-White Scholarship Fund.