As seen in Compass:
Haseleys travel the world as global educators, establish OHIO scholarship
May 11, 2016
By McKenzie Powell
L uther and Jeanne Haseley have experienced first-hand the life-changing opportunities that can flourish from higher education—and they have embraced those opportunities as a team, traveling to Botswana, Nigeria and Japan with their family. Holding their global experiences near and dear to their hearts, the couple created the Luther and Jeanne Haseley Scholarship to assist future Bobcats like themselves.
“I feel a tremendous loyalty to Ohio University to be very truthful; it’s treated me very, very well. I think this is a very small way of giving something back,” said Luther, M.A. ’57, who is an emeriti professor for the Gladys W. and David H. Patton College of Education.
The Haseleys first came to OHIO after meeting one another at Capital University in Columbus, Ohio. Following their undergraduate graduations, life changed pace with the addition of marriage, children and a new life in Athens.
Luther began working towards his master’s degree at OHIO and the two enjoyed their time as a young married couple in Appalachia – even though they spent part of it living in an all-boys dormitory.
“We got married the second year here. I was a resident assistant the first year and the second year I was the head resident. So, our first year of married life was in a boy’s dormitory, which was really kind of interesting,” Luther said.
After Luther’s graduate commencement, the couple lived and worked throughout Ohio and West Virginia, and Luther received his doctoral degree in education while teaching and working for University of Toledo’s counseling center.
Before long, they found themselves back at OHIO. Luther accepted a position working as a faculty member and the Haseleys’ lives were changed forever. Suddenly, the family was on a plane, waving goodbye to the United States.
“I was hired at OHIO and they liked me so much that they sent me to Nigeria for the first two years. So I was in Nigeria from 1965 to 1967 with my wife and three children,” Luther said. “It was our first time on a plane.”
“For all of us,” Jeanne, M. Ed. ’70, continued. “We were so inexperienced at air travel that we were having lunch with our parents at the Columbus airport and we thought we’d be able to see the plane when it came in…but the plane had come in on the other side. All the sudden we heard an announcement, ‘Last call for the Haseley family.’”
“We grabbed our suitcases and ran to the gate,” Luther finished with a laugh.
During the next two years in Nigeria, Luther worked on an OHIO project that developed teacher-training colleges in both the north and south of the country. Luther was the administrator of the project in the north and coordinated in-service activities for teachers in the field. The project developed through collaboration between Ohio University and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).
“The training centers were really kind of sophisticated. We had a language laboratory and a closed-circuit television where we could evaluate teacher techniques,” Luther said. “I mean this was really new; this was absolutely something that they never had before.”
During these two years, Jeanne homeschooled their three children and joined an organization called the YWCA. This group conducted classes in English for the wives of the Emir of Kano, the city in Northern Nigeria where they were living.
“It was the only chance for the women to have some contact with the outside world. They enjoyed their time with us and we enjoyed our time with them because we learned a lot about the customs of Nigeria and what life was like inside the palace,” Jeanne said.
Before they knew it, the Haseleys had caught the travel bug. Three years after leaving Nigeria, the family traveled to Japan and stayed for one year.
In Japan, Luther coordinated a collaborative project between the U.S. Department of Education, the Pentagon and OHIO. Through this venture, Department of Defense elementary school teachers took classes in their respective countries, including Japan, Okinawa, South Korea and the Philippines, with OHIO professors from the Department of Counseling and Higher Education in the Gladys W. and David H. Patton College of Education.
After a 15-month program, including two summer sessions, the students received a Master of Education degree from OHIO. A few years after returning from Japan, they traveled to Germany and Spain where Luther taught doctoral courses in psychology to U.S. Air Force personnel through Ball State University.
From 1983 to 1992, the family lived in Botswana. Luther was the In-Service Director for the Ministry of Education and was tasked with developing in-service education courses for teachers in remote areas of the country. This helped to enable and prepare teachers for passing the exams for teacher certification.
The OHIO team also created a two-year primary education certificate program at the University of Botswana for prospective education students. This program was one of the few University Primary Education programs in Africa at the time.
“It was a project where Botswana sent people to Ohio University to get their advanced degrees and then, when they returned to Botswana, they took the place of the Ohio University staff members who were working there,” Jeanne said.
“It was a very, very positive experience,” Luther added.
In Botswana, Jeanne helped develop a special education program for children and taught special education courses to teacher trainees at a teacher training college.
“They were a little bit ahead of the U.S. Instead of having special classes for all the kids with special needs, they wanted to integrate them into regular classrooms. So, the challenge was how to teach the special needs children while you were also teaching the other children,” Jeanne said.
Jeanne continued training teachers in special education, while the OHIO team expanded the University of Botswana by developing a four-year bachelor’s degree and master’s degree in primary education. Since then, the University of Botswana has even created a doctoral program.
When the family returned to the U.S., Luther took an early retirement, but he wasn’t finished teaching just yet. Instead, he got involved with a new initiative executed by OHIO to develop a PhD program for the University of Mexico in Mérida, Mexico.
“It was unique [because] emeriti faculty were the ones that went over and did the teaching and I was like the coordinator of that program. The students then had to come to Ohio University to do their dissertation,” Luther said. “It was really exciting because all of the students got their PhDs and then went back to the University of Mexico to teach.”
Since their time abroad, Luther and Jeanne have continued to travel as frequently as possible while also contributing a great deal of energy and dedication to the University. The couple continues to find ways to give back to OHIO programs and future Bobcats through gifts like the Luther and Jeanne Haseley Scholarship.
“I really enjoyed my time at the University. When I was teaching there I enjoyed the people I was working with and I had great relationships with the students. I think it’s a community that I feel very much at home in and this is a small way of giving back,” Luther said.
The Luther and Jeanne Haseley Scholarship will provide awards to full-time undergraduate students with demonstrated financial need who are enrolled in or have been accepted for admission at OHIO. Because of the couple’s strong ties to education, the student must also be accepted for admission to the Gladys W. and David H. Patton College of Education.
“Ohio University provided me with a lot of opportunities for increasing my effectiveness as a teacher and my intellectual stimulation by being with others who were doing the same thing,” Jeanne said. “In many cases, kids from low-income families maybe don’t have the impetus from their parents or from their home to get an education like we did and we hope this will help.”
Through the OHIO Match program, the University will also match the Haseley’s gift by contributing 50 cents to every dollar donated. The OHIO Match program has dedicated $25 million towards OHIO’s endowed scholarship program as a part of the Promise Lives Campaign, which exceeded its primary goal and raised over $500 million in gifts and commitments in 2015.
Developing Educators in Japan
The Haseleys spent a great deal of their time traveling the world, gaining new experiences and spreading their love and dedication toward education and teaching.
One of the family’s many homes was Japan, where Luther coordinated a collaborative project between the U.S. Department of Education, the Pentagon and OHIO. Through this venture, Department of Defense elementary school teachers took classes in their respective countries, including Japan, Okinawa, South Korea and the Philippines, with OHIO professors from the Department of Counseling and Higher Education in the Gladys W. and David H. Patton College of Education.
After a 15-month program, including two summer sessions, the elementary school teachers received a Master of Education degree from OHIO. Luther devoted much of his life toward developing programs like these, which created several ties between Bobcat professors and international OHIO graduate students and educators.