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Thekla 'Teckie' Shackelford

Teckie earned her bachelor’s degree from Denison University in 1956 and became a junior high school teacher and admissions counselor. She is the founder of I Know I Can (IKIC), a nonprofit organization established in 1988 to decrease dropout rates and increase the number of students going to college from Columbus City Schools – making higher education a reality for thousands of students.

In 1986, she became the first woman to be named chair of the board of The Columbus Foundation. Teckie has also served as Director of Development for The Buckeye Ranch School and has served on the corporate boards of Wendy’s International, Bank One, H&R Block and Fiserv Inc.

Teckie’s connection to The Ohio State University has deep roots with her father, Everett D. Reese, establishing the President’s Club in 1963. The university’s highest honor, the Reese Medal, is named after him in recognition of exceptional service in private philanthropy.

Teckie served as a Director of The Ohio State University Foundation Board from 1994 to 2009 and chair from 1997 to 2009. She remains the only female chair in the history of the board. In addition, Teckie also served as co-chair of the university’s Affirm Thy Friendship campaign.

Teckie and her husband Don are passionate about their pets.  They became clients of the Veterinary Medical Center in 1989 and have been loyal clients ever since. Their first gift to the college was back in 1996. Soon after, they became even more engaged with the college and Teckie began serving on the College of Veterinary Medicine Dean’s Development Advisory Council. Some of their philanthropic contributions over the last 15 years include the creation of the Teckie R. and Don B. Shackelford Professorship (and now Chair) in Canine Medicine; funding a grant to support the research of Dr. Cheryl London with the hope of finding a cure for cancers found in both dogs and people; and providing funding for the VMC’s Enhancement and Expansion project.

A trusted advisor to former deans, the current dean, and the advancement office, she has assisted us with every major fundraising campaign with her philanthropy, vision, leadership, time, and talent. Most recently, she served as co-chair of the But For Ohio State College of Veterinary Medicine Campaign Committee and was one of the  primary drivers that resulted in the college campaign exceeding $136 million in fundraising, almost double the original goal of $75 million.

Her service to Ohio State has been honored with the Alumni Association Citizenship Award in 1991, the Everett D. Reese Medal in 2000, and The Ohio State University Distinguished Service Award in 2001. She has received numerous awards for her community involvement, including the M. E. Sensenbrenner Award for Community Service, and the YWCA Woman of Achievement Award, among others. Teckie’s contributions to our college are inspiring, immeasurable and everlasting. It is because of people like Teckie that our legacy will continue through many generations. Today, we honor Teckie for her commitment, generosity, advocacy, ambassadorship, and unwavering dedication to our beloved college, Veterinary Medical Center, and university. 

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