To: Faculty, Staff, and Students
From: President Ashish Vaidya
Subject: Sad News
Eva and Oakley Farris
It is with a heavy heart that I share news of the passing of Eva G. Farris earlier this week. Her philanthropic efforts have had a vital impact on NKU and the northern Kentucky region. Mrs. Farris was born in Havana, Cuba, in 1918 and she obtained a master’s degree from Havana University. She studied business at Columbia University in New York City, and met Oakley Farris in Miami, Florida while traveling back to Cuba with her sister. Two years later, they married and lived in Covington, where the couple began developing their successful real estate business together.
The names of Eva and her husband Oakley are a ubiquitous presence on campus, honored in locations like Steely Library’s reading room, the commons of Griffin Hall and the outdoor amphitheater overlooking Loch Norse, an auditorium in MEP, and the conference room and rooftop patio in the Health Innovation Center. Her dedication to NKU and continuous support of student success will be dearly missed.
Hundreds of NKU students seeking opportunity — much like Eva — have benefitted from her generosity when they were named Eva G. Farris scholars since the couple established the Eva G. Farris Business Scholarship Endowment Fund in 2002. The Farris’ generosity has also played a key role in the revitalization of northern Kentucky, supporting art across the city of Covington, the Carnegie’s Eva G. Farris Education Center and the St. Elizabeth Cancer Center’s healing garden.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be held on Saturday, Sept. 17, at 10 a.m. at the Cathedral Basilica of the Assumption in Covington, followed by a celebration of life.
Eva and Oakley viewed philanthropy as an investment. An investment in people and an investment in the future of our region. My sympathies go out to Oakley, Eva’s family and to the entire NKU and northern Kentucky community. Please keep them in your thoughts.