A publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Eva Farris celebrates 100th birthday as she has lived her life, with a focus on philanthropy

By Mark Hansel
NKyTribune managing editor

Eva Farris celebrated her 100th birthday with her husband Oakley, and more than 100 of her close friends Wednesday.

The celebration took place in the Eva G. Farris Ballroom at the Hotel Covington.

The Northern Kentucky Tribune was in attendance as husband Oakley Farris and friends of Eva Farris reflect on her life and contributions in a video at her 100th Birthday Celebration in the Eva G. Farris Ballroom at Hotel Covington. Click to view.

Farris received recognition from the City of Covington, the Kenton County Fiscal Court and the Kentucky General Assembly.

Covington Mayor Joseph U. Meyer read the proclamation from the city, followed by Kenton County Commissioner Beth Sewell, who did the honors for the County.

Rep. Arnold Simpson, D-Covington read a proclamation from the General Assembly, filling in for Rep. Addia Wuchner, R-Florence, who was unable to attend.

Eva and Oakley Farris have dedicated much of their life to philanthropy, with a strong focus on endeavors that would improve the future of the region’s children.

Eva Farris speaks to longtime friend Fred Hollis at her 100th birthday celebration at Hotel Covington Wednesday (photo by Mark Hansel).

The groups, organizations and institutions of higher learning that have benefited from their generosity is to numerous to list.

To celebrate Eva’s life and extraordinary contributions, guests were invited to make a donation in her honor to the Eva Farris Campaign at NaviGo Prep.

NaviGo College and Career Prep Services was founded in 2011 by a group led by former Kenton County Schools superintendent Tim Hanner. The non-profit organization recognizes the challenges that students and parents face when it comes to navigating college and career planning. NaviGo focuses on making that process more manageable.

NaviGo was acquired by Children Inc. in 2017 and has work with that organization to further its mission.

Children, Inc. organized the birthday celebration in recognition of the Farris’s contribution to the organization and the Northern Kentucky community.

Contributions to the Eva Farris Campaign will help make NaviGo coaching available for all students regardless of income and $1,000 covers the cost for an entire year. 

The Farris’s have contributed generously to Northern Kentucky University, which has received more than $3 million from the couple.

It was only fitting then, that it was Northern Kentucky University President Emeritus James Votruba who encouraged guests to make a contribution to Navigo Prep.

He paused while at the podium to recognize Farris, giving a gentle nudge to those in attendance to hand pledges to Navigo Prep Scholars stationed around the room.

This video collage provides some highlights from the evening.

100th Birthday Celebration for Eva Farris in the Eva G. Farris Ballroom at Hotel Covington

Posted by Mark Hansel on Wednesday, December 5, 2018

The Farris’s have also made contributions to Thomas More College, as well as a donation to help remodel the Carnegie Center for the Arts. They have provided support for Covington Latin School, and made contributions to the Diocese of Covington. 

Bishop Roger Foys of the Diocese of Covington was among those in attendance Wednesday night.

The Farris’s expressed their thanks to those in attendance for helping Eva celebrate her 100th birthday and for their contributions to the Eva Farris Campaign at NaviGo.

Contact Mark Hansel at mark.hansel@nkytrib.com

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