The Ohio State University at Newark


J. Gilbert Reese Memoriam


Gib will be most remembered as a philanthropist. The power of education to improve lives has been the driving force behind much of his philanthropy.

“Gib’s big philosophy has been that he’s just determined to go as long as he can so that he can leave Licking County the best that he can, and he has tremendous high energy,” said his wife Louella “Lou” Reese.

Gib is pictured here with his wife, Louella (Lou).

Founding Fathers of Ohio State Newark Howard E. LeFevre (left) and Gib Reese (right) at the 1966 groundbreaking ceremony for Founders Hall on the Newark Campus.

The John Gilbert Reese Center opened in 2003 and continues to be home to an amazingly wide range of community and campus events.

In 2010, J. Gilbert and Louella H. Reese established the first international cultural exchange program for COTC, giving students the opportunity to directly experience Italian life, language, and culture during a biannual trip to Reggello, Italy. Through the Reeses’ generosity, the Italian Immersion Program allows for alternating exchanges of COTC students traveling to Italy and Italian students travelling to Licking County. Pictured below are COTC students with the Reeses and visiting students from Regello, Italy.

Also in 2010, Mr. and Mrs. Reese called the Newark and surrounding communities to action with a $10 million “Next Generation Challenge” to support the growth of endowed scholarships for students attending COTC and Ohio State Newark. The campaign achieved profound success through a tremendous outpouring of community generosity, surpassing the $20 million goal by nearly $1 million and making it the most successful fundraising effort in the history of the Newark campus.

In 2014 Ohio State Newark and COTC were honored to receive a generous donation of sculpture benches purchased by Mr. and Mrs. Reese through the Reese Family Foundation titled the “Great Contributors Series” created by sculptor Gary Lee Price. The sculptures were placed on the Newark campus to enhance the students’ experience. At left is the Abraham Lincoln sculpture bench with the Reese Center pictured in the background.

It is this legacy of commitment and vision, demonstrated again and again by Mr. Reese, which will live on. Thank you, Gib, for all that your have done for our community, our campus and the surrounding area.