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Few Limits On $39M Ohio State Fund

A newspaper reports that a private gift given to Ohio State University in 1952 has been used for everything from subsidizing golf memberships to buying Lady Gaga tickets. The Dayton Daily News reports inventor Ralph Mershon left $11.2 million to the university upon his death, specifying that half could be spent however the school sees fit. The fund has grown to $38.9 million. But private endowments do not face the same scrutiny as public aid. And the Mershon Fund has been tapped for everything from joining the Ohio Chamber of Commerce to throwing holiday parties. University spokesman Jim Lynch told the newspaper that the fund gives the university flexibility so it doesn't have to use tuition or tax dollars for special projects.