New Residence Hall Expands University Access
NEWARK, OH, Aug. 31, 2017 — Freshman Gabriel Menelik knows that living in Jane C. and William T. McConnell Hall, the new residence hall on the shared campus of The Ohio State University at Newark and Central Ohio Technical College (COTC), will change his life. Being able to live on campus will offer the Cincinnati resident a full Ohio State experience, he told a crowd of more than 100 university leaders, faculty members, students, donors and community members gathered to celebrate McConnell Hall’s public dedication on August 25. Living on campus means that Menelik can focus his efforts on earning an engineering degree while embracing all apsects of living in a rich and diverse academic community.
“Residence halls play three critically important roles,” William L. MacDonald, Ohio State Newark dean and director, told the crowd. “They expand access to the university, increase diversity, and they also increase student success.” MacDonald noted that a recent study showed that students who lived in a residence hall had higher GPAs than students who wanted to live in a residence hall, but could not because of lack of on-campus space.
The addition of McConnell Hall’s 120 student beds creates a total of 300 beds for Ohio State Newark and COTC students to live on campus. The 40,000 square-foot, four-story building includes a first floor student lounge, kitchen, laundry area, a 300-person event space, offices and a housing coordinator apartment. The second through fourth floors have 21 rooms on each floor with one room for a resident advisor, floor lounge, small lounge, two small seating areas and two sets of restrooms.
Dr. Javaune Adams-Gaston, senior vice president for student life at Ohio State told those gathered that residence halls extend access to the university and provide a “full functioning campus that gives every student an outstanding experience.”
Also speaking at the ceremony were Newark Mayor Jeff Hall, and Gerry McConnell, son of Jane and William McConnell.
“My parents’ experience of higher education was transformative,” said Gerry McConnell. “We are grateful for the strong philanthropic example and tradition in this community, and my parents are grateful to have the opportunity to contribute.”
McConnell Hall was honorifically named after Jane and William “Bill” McConnell in recognition of their decades of service and generosity to the Newark campus and their dedication to accessible higher education.
Following the ceremony, Ohio State President Michael V. Drake, members of the Ohio State Board of Trustees, and many members of the public toured the building and had the opportunity to hear first-hand from students about their excitement to live on campus and the already strong sense of community present in the residence hall.
When tours concluded, President Drake addressed donors and community members at a private luncheon in McConnell Hall’s Dr. Donald G. and Patsy P. Jones Event Center.
“There is so much attachment between this campus and the community,” said Drake. “Thank you to the McConnells and to the community for this residence hall, which will offer students a new home and a pathway moving forward.”
The $13.9 million project was funded by Ohio State, but to provide for additional building enhancements, student-centered programming and future needs of the building, Ohio State sought several philanthropic gifts to name featured spaces in the building.
Thank you to donors who generously contributed to these named spaces in McConnell Hall:
The Dr. Donald G. and Patsy P. Jones Event Center, the Lindorf Family Foundation Outdoor Patio and Plaza, the Reese-Wallace Grand Lounge, the Lowell S. and Barbara G. Anstine Study Lounge, the David A. and Carole B. Brooks Study Lounge, the Bill and Janet Englefield Study Lounge, and the Geraldine Marston Study Lounge.
Additional philanthropic support was provided by the following donors: Brenda Kutan, Terry and Beverly Myers, Jerry and June Nethers, H. David Schuman, and Donald and Thekla Shackelford.
To view photos of the dedication, ribbon cutting and luncheon click here.
The Ohio State University at Newark offers an academic environment that’s challenging but supportive with world-renowned professors and access to Ohio State’s more than 200 majors. It’s where learning comes to life. Research, study abroad and service learning opportunities prepare students for their careers in ways they never expected.