Hiram College

Cardinal Credit Union

Hiram College and Cardinal Credit Union will celebrate the opening of a full-service credit union branch on campus through a ribbon cutting ceremony and celebration on Oct. 15 at the College’s Kennedy Center at 11730 Garfield Road. The credit union is part of a strategic financial education partnership forged by the organizations.

Starting at 11:30 a.m., Hiram students, faculty, staff and community members, who all have access to the branch’s services, are invited to enjoy activities and giveaways as part of the celebration Participants will have the chance to win money for their new bank accounts through games like the “Grab and Save” money booth and “Putt for Bucks.” There will also be a photo booth and basketball shootout among other activities. The celebration will conclude with the ribbon cutting ceremony at 1:30 p.m.

Serving as the cornerstone of a disciplined, integrated financial literacy education program, the branch provides exposure to a not-for-profit financial cooperative with a strong emphasis on saving and responsible money management and opportunities for one-on-one financial counseling. Cardinal is also collaborating with Hiram educators to author financial literacy content. Cardinal staff may potentially be part of in-class lectures and collaborative teaching. The branch will also host seminars, lunch-and learn workshops and other events.

“Students who are exposed to financial education during college are better prepared for life outside of the classroom,” said Cardinal CEO Christine Blake. “Learning how to manage their finances early on is a critical part of their long-term success.”

Staffed by student volunteers under the close supervision of Cardinal management, the branch is open 9 a.m.-4 p.m. on Wednesdays and 10 a.m.-6 p.m. on Thursdays, with the possibility of the hours expanding as demand for the branch’s services increases. The branch provides student volunteers with an opportunity to develop career, math and marketing skills in a financial retail setting. Broader internship opportunities with Cardinal will also be available to student volunteers, potentially providing a pipeline of future employees for the Credit Union.

“We are living in an age when it’s more important than ever for college students to have financial literacy skills,” said Elizabeth Okuma, M.Ed., vice president and dean of students at Hiram College. “By partnering with Cardinal Credit Union, we can give students an opportunity to learn about and apply these skills in a low-risk but very real environment, while also providing the campus community with a valuable and convenient service. The partnership will also connect students to hands-on learning opportunities and internships — which is especially beneficial given that accounting is our most popular major.”

Hiram College joins Lakeland Community College in Kirtland, Ohio as one of two colleges housing a branch of Cardinal Credit Union.

About Cardinal Credit Union

Cardinal has subsisted as a fiercely-independent, member-owned financial cooperative since 1953. It offers a broad range of banking products and services that people need and use every day – including checking accounts, CDs, credit cards, auto loans, debt-consolidation loans, mortgages and more. As a not-for-profit financial cooperative, any profits earned by the credit union are returned to its members in the form of lower fees, lower loan rates and higher savings interest.

Cardinal currently services over 26,000 members, with combined assets of over $190 million. Throughout its history, Cardinal has been committed to helping its members achieve a brighter financial future. As part of that promise, Cardinal has saved its members nearly $5 million in reduced interest rates and fees in 2015 alone.