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This rendering shows potential renovations to Stuyvesant Hall, including the addition of a fourth floor to the residential wings on each side of the building.
Image by Schooley Caldwell Associates of Columbus

Ohio Wesleyan Announces $3.3 Million in Commitments to Support Renovation of Historic Residence Hall

March 15, 2011

DELAWARE, OH – Since Jan. 1, Ohio Wesleyan University graduates and friends have supported the university’s plan to restore Stuyvesant Hall, one of the campus’s six residence halls, with monetary commitments totaling more than $3.3 million.

The yearlong project to renovate and update Ohio Wesleyan’s oldest residence hall is expected to cost approximately $15 million. A timetable for construction has not been finalized.

“Stuyvesant Hall is a gem that needs polish,” said President Rock Jones, Ph.D. “The building exemplifies the residential-campus experience that is a hallmark of an Ohio Wesleyan liberal arts education. Its design was ahead of its time when it opened 80 years ago, and this project will restore its original luster. When completed, Stuyvesant Hall will provide comfortable living, dining, and social-activity areas to enhance and foster our student community.”

Project pledges made this year include two commitments valued at $1 million each. The first is from 1953 graduate Jean Carper of Key West, Fla. Carper is a New York Times best-selling author, contributing editor to USA Weekend magazine, and leading authority on health and nutrition. She is a 1998 recipient of Ohio Wesleyan’s Distinguished Achievement Citation.

Carper’s $1 million gift will be acknowledged with the naming of Carper Parlor, recognizing three generations of Carper women who attended Ohio Wesleyan. Her mother, Natella Carper, is a member of the Class of 1926, and her niece, Ashley Carper, is a 2005 alumna.

The second $1 million gift also includes naming a portion of the renovated building’s interior in honor of an OWU graduate, but the donor wishes this gift to remain a secret until closer to the unveiling. Additional commitments for Ohio Wesleyan’s Stuyvesant Hall renovation project include:

  • $375,000 from Margaret Dankworth, OWU Class of 1942, an economics major from St. Clairsville, Ohio. Dankworth is a former executive director of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums.
  • $350,000 from Nancy (White) White, Class of 1954, of Cincinnati. White’s gift will create the “Duncan and Nancy (White) White Study Lounge” on the building’s third floor. Nancy White was a home economics major and has served as both a member of the Alumni Board of Directors and a University Trustee. She received Alumni Award Special Recognition in 1986. Duncan White, deceased, also was a 1954 alumnus. He was an economics major and journalism minor who earned Alumni Award Special Recognition in 1994. He was a member of the Pi Delta Epsilon journalism honorary.
  • $350,000 from Helen Shearer Fitch, Class of 1945, and her husband, Morgan Fitch of Kalamazoo, Mich. Helen Fitch was a politics and government major and a member of the Phi Sigma Alpha politics and government honorary.
  • $100,000 from Mildred Newcomb, Class of 1941, of Columbus, Ohio. In addition to graduating from Ohio Wesleyan, Newcomb was a faculty member in the Department of English for 35 years. She earned Alumni Award Special Recognition in 1979.
  • $150,000 from Lincoln Young, Class of 1957, an economics major from New Hartford, Conn. Young worked for many years in the banking industry and is the retired chief executive officer of Turbine Engine Services Corp.

“We are pleased to receive these generous gifts to support our efforts to renovate Stuyvesant Hall,” said Jim Kenny, interim vice president of University Relations. “Our alumni know the value of the residential campus experience and want to share that with current and future students.”

Potential plans for Stuyvesant Hall include adding a fourth floor to the residential wings that flank each side of the building. The wings, now three stories each, currently have flat roofs. The renovation would mimic the pitched roof and dormer look of the main building, creating a finished look worthy of its historic heritage.

The project also would allow the university to add approximately 40 bedrooms, containing up to 50 beds. Overall, the renovated building would house an estimated 292 students. When work is completed, the building also would include several environmentally friendly “green components” and its signature bell tower would ring again.

Learn more about giving to this and other Ohio Wesleyan initiatives.

Ohio Wesleyan University is one of the nation’s premier small, private universities, with more than 90 undergraduate majors, sequences, and courses of study, and 23 Division III varsity sports. Located in Delaware, Ohio, just minutes north of Ohio’s capital and largest city, Columbus, the university combines a globally focused curriculum with off-campus learning and leadership opportunities that translate classroom theory into real-world practice. OWU’s close-knit community of 1,850 students represents 45 states and 52 countries. Ohio Wesleyan earned a 2009 Presidential Award for Excellence in General Community Service, is featured in the book “Colleges That Change Lives,” and is included on the “best colleges” lists of U.S. News & World Report and The Princeton Review. Learn more at www.owu.edu.