Former Rep. Mike Oxley dies at 71

UF Board of Trustee had deep ties to Findlay and UF community 

By Hannah Dunbar

Former U.S. Congressman Mike Oxley died on Jan. 1, 2016. Oxley was a Republican U.S. House of Representatives member from 1981 to 2007 and served on The University of Findlay Board of Trustees since May 2011, according to a UF news media release. Oxley suffered from non-small cell lung cancer and died in his sleep at his home in McLean, Virginia according to the Courier.

Last year Oxley and his wife, Patricia, donated $500,000 toward funds for the new center for student life and College of Business building at UF.  In addition to the gift, Oxley showed his Oiler pride through his involvement with the board of trustees.

“He was a wonderful board of trustees member and great advocate for The University of Findlay,” said Marcia Latta Ed.D., vice president for university advancement.

According to Latta, Oxley grew up in Findlay and his father, who was a local attorney, was a UF alum and student athlete. Mike had talked about how he would come to campus as a kid to attend sporting events and play basketball in Renninger Gym.

An article in the Give Voice to Your Values Campaign newsletter said Oxley considered himself to be an Oiler especially since he had been wearing orange and black at 8 years old. According to the article, Oxley said there were several people he knew through UF that really influenced his life and career.

“He had association with UF from the time he was born,” said Latta. “He and his wife, Patricia, established a scholarship at UF in honor of his late father, Garver Oxley.”

Latta first met Congressman Oxley in the 1980s but did not get to know him until the last decade.

“Mike was a very bright man, very well-read, and knowledgeable about many things,” said Latta. “He was a former FBI agent and was the first chairman of the financial services committee of congress.”

Not only was Oxley a successful politician, but Latta says he had incredible wit and a warm heart. For seven years, Oxley coached the Republican Congressional Baseball Team which is a baseball game between Republicans and Democrats. Proceeds from the game would benefit charities in Washington D.C.

“He coached the Republicans for several years and did an amazing job,” said Latta. “His team won six out of the seven years.”

Oxley had a real philanthropic heart and spirit, according to Latta, and was deeply committed to whatever he got involved with.

“From being a volunteer coach, to representing the people of the fourth district, to advocating on the behalf of a University, and being a husband, father, and grandfather,” said Latta. “He threw his heart and soul into it all.”

Latta said Oxley’s legacy will live on at UF through the new building and funding.

“He was equally comfortable being in the company of the president of the United States or other key world leaders or talking to a student in the Cave and that is a gift,” said Latta.

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