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Ohio Wesleyan Receives $500,000 Estate Gift to Name Sports Facilities
Contribution Recognizes Two Battling Bishop Athletes from Class of 1951

April 27, 2011

(Left) Judson Millhon ’51 and (right) Robert Gardner ’51.
Photos courtesy of OWU’s Office of University Communications
DELAWARE, OH – In 1951, Ohio Wesleyan University graduated two extraordinary athletes. One became a fourth-round draft pick for the NBA’s Philadelphia Warriors, and the other was invited to try out for the NFL’s Los Angeles Rams.

Sixty years later, these men continue to make news on the Ohio Wesleyan campus. A longtime friend of both Battling Bishop athletes is making a $500,000 estate gift to the university that will name the men’s basketball locker room in honor of the late Judson Millhon, M.D., and the football locker room in honor of Robert Gardner of Columbus.

The gift is being made by Louis Mitchell of Columbus and his wife, Cynthia Halliday Mitchell. Cynthia Mitchell is a 1961 Ohio Wesleyan graduate and member of the university’s Board of Trustees.

“While growing up in Newark and loving sports, both Bob and Jud were two of my earliest childhood sports heroes,” Louis Mitchell said. “I have always had great respect for them, not only as fine athletes but as fine people. Cynthia and I consider it a privilege to be able to honor them at their alma mater.”

University President Rock Jones, Ph.D., said the gift is a wonderful tribute to the Ohio Wesleyan athletes and is representative of the generosity of the Mitchells.

“This commitment is the equivalent of a three-point jump shot and a touchdown—all in one game,” Jones said. “We’re thankful to the Mitchells for the opportunity to honor Jud Millhon and Bob Gardner and to ensure that future generations of OWU students know of their outstanding accomplishments.”

Millhon was a 1951 first-team All-America selection, the first such honor for an OWU basketball player. In his senior year, the center scored a school-record 556 points and grabbed 351 rebounds. His averages of 25.3 points and 16.0 rebounds per game ranked fifth and fourth, respectively, among small-college players. His 489 rebounds in his sophomore season established school and Ohio Athletic Conference (OAC) records that still stand. Millhon finished his career as the OAC’s all-time leader in scoring and rebounding. His point total remained the OAC’s three-year career record when Ohio Wesleyan left the league in 1984.

Gardner was a 1950 all-conference and All-Ohio first-team selection, as well as an honorable mention Little All-America selection. The Battling Bishop halfback scored 90 points during his senior season, making him the leading scorer in the Ohio Conference. The 15 touchdowns he scored that season remains an Ohio Wesleyan record. Gardner also rushed for 961 yards in 1950 and was named the OWU team MVP.

Learn more about OWU athletics, and more about making an estate gift or other contribution to the university.

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.