Law Students

Alumnus Gives Money for Scholarship Fund to ONU
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W. Kent Carper

Summary: A former student of Ohio Northern University law school has given a substantial gift to the school to establish a scholarship opportunity for West Virginia students.

An Ohio Northern University law school alumnus enjoyed his experience at the school so much that he has provided a generous scholarship fund for the school. Charleston, West Virginia attorney W. Kent Carper gave the gift to the school to ensure West Virginia students have a good chance of attending the law school.


The W. Kent Carper Law Scholarship will be awarded to first-year law students during their second semester. Students from West Virginia will be given preference as well as students that are first responders, working in public safety or who have family members working in those fields.

In the announcement from Ohio Northern University, Carper said, “I was inspired to create this scholarship fund by my educational experience at Ohio Northern. In my professional career, I owe everything I have been able to accomplish to ONU. I have competed against attorneys from every Ivy League school you can think of, and I have been able to match up against them, largely due to what I learned at ONU.”

Carper attended ONU in the 70s, graduating in 1979. He received his bachelor’s degree from West Virginia State University.

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Carper enjoyed his time at ONU. “My wife, Deborah, and I often talk about how our days at ONU were some of the best times of our lives. We raised two young children there, and we appreciate that it was a wonderful place to study and raise children. We have very fond memories of our time there.”

Carper built a reputation for himself in Charleston as a public servant and attorney. He is a founding partner of Hill, Peterson, Carper, Bee & Deitzler PLLC, which has been recognized by “The Forum” as a top 25 civil plaintiff firm in the country. The law firm represented residents of the Mid-Ohio Valley who sued DuPont Co. and the spin-off company Chemours. They successfully sued for $670 million for being exposed to the chemical C8, which made them sick.

Carper is also very active in his community, previously serving as a Kanawha County president and as a long-time commissioner. He was the Charleston police chief and director of the Department of Public Safety as well as assistant prosecuting attorney of Kanawha County and a state auditor’s office deputy.

As a member of the Kanawha County and West Virginia bar associations and the West Virginia Association for Justice, Carper has focused his legal practice on personal injury litigation. Carper only left the area for a short time for military service. He was an aircraft technician for the West Virginia Air National Guard. “I have only left West Virginia twice for any length of time, and that was for military service, primarily in Texas…” Carper said in the announcement.

Carper decided to give his gift in order to serve others. He said, “The time seemed right to pay it forward and help a future ONU law student from this region. This is something that is important to me.”

ONU Vice President for Advancement Shannon Spencer said, “This generous gift by Kent Carper exemplifies his passion for making an impact in the lives of others. It will help to ensure that future students from West Virginia can have the same high-quality academic experience that prepared Kent so well for his professional pursuits. We are appreciative of the generosity of Kent and his wife, Deborah, in endowing this scholarship fund.”

Do you think most law school graduates enjoyed their time in law school? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below.

To learn more other gifts law schools have received, read these articles:



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