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Students with faculty holding $1M check

Marietta College today announced that it received a $1 million pledge from Peoples Bank to enhance and facilitate the merger between the Department of Business & Economics and the McDonough Center for Leadership and Business.

Chuck Sulerzyski, President and Chief Executive Officer for Peoples Bancorp Inc. and Peoples Bank, presented Marietta College President Bill Ruud with a ceremonial check on Tuesday, November 2nd, on the front steps of the McDonough Center. Joining them were faculty, retired faculty, staff and students from both Business & Economics and Leadership.

“The remarkable generosity of Peoples Bank and Chuck Sulerzyski will allow the College to merge these two programs more seamlessly into one that serves not-for-profit and for-profit industries,” President Ruud said. “Peoples Bank has been a long-time partner of the College and it has consistently supported our vision. Peoples Bank is a leader in our community and is always willing to invest in programs and projects that make a positive impact. With this new gift, Peoples Bank’s legacy will be imprinted on the many lives that turn to Marietta’s McDonough Center for Leadership and Business to enhance their personal career path.”

The gift comes just 11 days after Marietta College officially announced its $100 million comprehensive campaign, “This is the Time,” during the 2021 Homecoming festivities. The College is already more than two-thirds of the way toward its fundraising goal with gifts and pledges now totaling nearly $71 million.

Peoples Bank will donate $200,000 a year over the next five years to fulfill the $1 million pledge.

“Peoples Bank is a proud partner with Marietta College and we are excited to support their growth and development. Education is a pillar to our community’s success. Over the years, I have worked very closely with numerous Marietta College graduates and have witnessed their leadership skills within Peoples Bank. We are looking forward to being a part of continuous education and growth in the Mid-Ohio Valley, developing leaders for now and the future,” said Chuck Sulerzyski, Peoples Bank President and Chief Executive Officer.

The merger is designed to create a new department that better prepares students to succeed in both the non-profit and the for-profit business world. The combined departments will maintain the name McDonough Center for Leadership and Business.

“We are grateful for the generous gift from Peoples Bank. We hope to use the funds to continue to develop generations of graduates who embrace the value of giving back to their communities,” said Dr. Robert McManus, Interim Dean of the McDonough Center. “I admire and respect the way Peoples Bank has successfully grown from a community bank to one that has expanded across the U.S., but at the same time hasn’t forgotten the importance of giving back to each community that it serves.”

Currently, the B&E program offers 11 majors in Accounting, Economics, Entrepreneurship, Finance, International Business, Land & Energy Management, Management, Marketing, Public Accounting, Sport Management and Supply Chain Management. Marietta also offers a minor in Business, which is an appealing option for students in the liberal arts majors.

Most Leadership students graduate with a certificate in the program, but McDonough also offers a major in Global Leadership. Students can also minor in Leadership Studies. The Leadership Program is also known for embedding multiple service opportunities into its curriculum that translate into students completing thousands of volunteer hours in the greater Marietta community.

The College is conducting a national search for a dean of the new program and this individual will be in place before the two programs are officially one department starting on July 1, 2022.

“With this generous donation, Chuck Sulerzyski and Peoples Bank are making a bold statement of support for what will be a new-look McDonough Center for Leadership and Business,” said Dr. Janet Bland, Provost and Dean of the Faculty. “They wanted to maximize the impact of this gift on the lives of Marietta College’s students, but it also helps us show the future dean of this program that local businesses believe in our future and the direction in which we are moving.”

More information about Marietta College’s historic “This is the Time” campaign can be found at