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Hearing, Speech & Language Clinic: Serving the community

Photo of Molly and Emily and headline: Hearing, Speech & Language Clinic - Serving the Community
Raised toward our $10,000 Goal
29 Donors
Project has ended
Project ended on September 05, at 11:59 PM EDT
Project Owners

In 1971, an angel of a professor put a student on the right path.

Today, that former student is paying it forward for others. She established a new fund to support Ohio University's Hearing, Speech, and Language Clinic.

Below is a message from Molly Witker '74

Someone once said “College is a socially acceptable way of running away from home.”

In my case, that was certainly true. I ran as fast and as far from my home as I could get. The problem, though, with running away from is that I had no idea what I was running to. I was 18, lost, had no self-awareness and even less self-esteem. Once at Ohio University, I picked the wrong major, the wrong boyfriend — almost the wrong everything EXCEPT I had picked the right university. Ohio University was the smartest choice I could have made at that time in my life. 

A member of the staff of Speech and Hearing Clinic, Miss Emily Buckberry, was the angel who showed up at exactly the right time in my life. 

Emily Buckberry* was my speech therapist my sophomore year at OU. But she was so much more than that! Emily set me on the right path — never telling me what to do but showing me that I had the tools to make my own decisions. She let me see I had what it took to be successful in anything I chose.

So, I chose to switch my major to Speech Pathology. And as I near the age of 70, I look back on my success and happiness and know it was a brilliant decision. 

I hope you have had an Emily Buckberry in your life. I hope you let them know what they meant to you and the gifts they gave to you. 

I want to return the gift that Ms. Buckberry and the School of Hearing and Speech Sciences^ gave me. To this end, I worked with the University to create the Hearing, Speech and Language Clinic Enhancement Fund.

Today, I ask that you please give generously to this fund. By doing so, you will be assisting our alma mater to send out clinicians who are moving toward a marvelous life of service.

— Molly Witker '74


A Note From The Dean's Office

"Molly has such a great way of connecting with people. Throughout her career she has found many ways to do that. I am thrilled that she sees the work she did in speech language pathology as foundational for her and that she wants to support that for others. I saw her with our current students, and she wants them to have impactful experiences. I saw her talk about what our clinic does, and she wants to have an impact on our community. We are thankful for her generous support."  — Interim Dean John McCarthy


While giving levels are included on this page, gifts of all sizes are welcomed and appreciated. On the donation page, you can enter the amount you would like to contribute towards the clinic. Thank you!


Clinic Highlights

  • An average of 222 babies screened in an academic year by audiology students at O’Bleness Memorial Hospital.
  • Speech-Language Patholoy and Audiology students have earned hearing screening hours regularly in Meigs Local Schools, Federal Hocking Schools, and Athens City Schools. On average each student earns 2 to 3 hours screening students within the schools at each visit.
  • Sixty percent of those who receive services from the clinic are on Medicaid.
  • The SLP graduation rate is 98.8 within the expected timeframe; PRAXIS pass rate, required for certification, is 100%
  • SPEAK OUT! and LOUD CROWD programs are offered for those individuals with Parkinson's based upon a grant from the PARKINSON VOICE PROJECT that supports best practice training and experience for students and the Clinic's clients. Research has shown that the combination of a brief, intensive, individualized therapy program coupled with a home program and followed by participation in the LOUD CROWD supports increased intelligibility, increased communication skills and participation in family and social group setting


From left to right: Professor of CSD, Jim Montgomery; Molly's husband Don Long; Molly Witker '74; Interim Dean John McCarthy


All Gifts Matched Up To $5,000!

As a way to further honor Emily Buckberry and support current students, Molly will be matching all gifts 1:1, up to $5,000. Give $50 and it'll have the impact of $100! When fully matched, there will be $10,000 immediately available in the Hearing, Speech and Language Clinic Enhancement Fund for leadership in the Division of Communication Sciences and Disorders to use to support students.

Details About Match

As stated above, this match will double the impact of your gift — your $50 will have the impact of $100! Because the match cannot be applied automatically, when you make this $50 gift, the campaign balance will only increase by $50. Several times each week, the Office of Annual Giving will update the Molly Witker Match listing on the Donor Wall which will showcase all donors' gifts (up to $5,000) being doubled. 

Amount remaining for match is $850. (As of 9:15 p.m. on Sept 2; updated by Jim Harris.)


*Emily Buckberry was hired at Ohio University in 1970, became a tenured faculty member in 1975, and fully retired in 2009.

^The School of Hearing and Speech Sciences was one of the founding members of the newly created College of Health and Human Services in 1979 (when Molly attended, the school was in the College of Communication). When the constituent schools of the college moved into the renovated Grover Center in 2001, the school added “Language” to its name. During the academic restructuring that created the College of Health Sciences and Professions in 2010, the school was renamed Communication Sciences and Disorders and joined with Physical Therapy to form the School of Rehabilitation and Communication Sciences..

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