During her senior year of high school in Brown County, Ohio, Madelyn (Rhoades) Hines ’66 was one of 42 students in her graduating class. Mattie’s science teacher saw her potential and accompanied her and a male classmate to Miami University for a tour. While her classmate chose to go elsewhere for his education, Mattie chose Miami.
After graduating with a degree in business, Mattie began her career working at a racetrack and writing a horse-racing odds column carried in local Cincinnati newspapers. She met her late husband, Jim, through her experience at the racetrack. In the late ’60s, they moved to Arizona, where Mattie has been ever since.
Mattie and Jim owned and operated several successful businesses, including motels and antique shops, a doll company, and several other entrepreneurial ventures. Mattie never forgot her Ohio roots, however, and she watched from afar over the years as her hometown and its surroundings began to face increasingly tougher economic times.
She long felt she was fortunate in her life, from having a teacher mentor her and help her gain admission to Miami to the success she and Jim enjoyed in business. Now Mattie is pleased to give back to her alma mater by creating a scholarship that will support students with financial need from her native Brown County, Ohio.
“No one ever does anything for the smaller counties,” Mattie says. “The only way for a state to get anything back is to have educated people in the citizenry. If you help [those in] the poorer counties, they can go on and do big things with their lives. Change their trajectory.”
Mattie chose to endow a scholarship with an immediate cash commitment. The first student recipient will receive support starting in the 2021–22 academic year. She has also made a $1 million commitment to her endowment through a bequest, ensuring that students from Ohio will benefit from her generosity in perpetuity.
“Everybody makes an impact in this world; sometimes it takes time for it to be recognized,” Mattie says. “It feels like more people who can do more need to do more. Sometimes when you pass it on to family, they don’t appreciate what it takes to hang on to wealth. Prioritizing your community and your institutions can be very rewarding.”
Mattie takes a great deal of satisfaction in knowing that students who otherwise might have no incentive to leave a small town in southern Ohio could well break out and experience something bigger—just like she did.
If you would like to discuss how you can impact students with a gift from your will or trust to Miami University Foundation, please contact Miami's Office of Gift Planning at 513-529-1286 or GiftPlanning@MiamiOH.edu.