NEWARK, Ohio, April 10, 2017 – Students living in the new residence hall on the shared campus of The Ohio State University at Newark and Central Ohio Technical College (COTC) will be living in the William T. and Jane C. McConnell Residence Hall. The Ohio State University Board of Trustees approved the honorific naming on Friday (April 7) at its regular board meeting.
“Naming the residence hall after Bill and Jane McConnell is a wonderful way to honor two people who have done so much for our campus and for higher education in our community,” said Ohio State Newark Dean/Director William L. MacDonald. “I love that students starting their college journey on the Newark campus will be living in a facility named after two people who have done so much to make sure those students succeed.”
(l-r) Bonnie L. Coe, Ph.D., COTC President, William T. McConnell, William L. MacDonald, Ohio State Newark Dean/Director
Bill McConnell had a distinguished career in banking. He earned a bachelor's degree from Denison University with an economics major and then completed a master's degree in finance at Northwestern University's Kellogg School of Management. He joined Park National Bank in 1960, was named its president in 1979 and chairman in 1993. He served as CEO from 1983 to 1999. Bill was a founding member of the Newark Campus Development Fund, a locally controlled source of funding to support Central Ohio Technical College and The Ohio State University at Newark.
Jane C. McConnell was active in the Newark community prior to her death in 2007. She graduated from Denison University with a degree in psychology. Jane served two terms on the Newark Board of Education, served 10 years on the Moundbuilders Guidance Board, and was a board member and president of Camp O'Bannon. Jane was also one of the founding members of A Call to College, a program that provides college scholarships to Newark High School students, and she served on many other local non-profit boards including service as a member of the Central Ohio Technical College (COTC) Board of Trustees, where she achieved the status of board emeritus.
The McConnells have been ardent supporters of both Ohio State Newark and COTC, providing support through service as well as financially. Bill agreed to serve as campaign chair for the Next Generation Campaign, a two year fundraising endeavor to increase support for student scholarships. Evidence of Bill's widespread influence in the community was obvious when the campaign exceeded its goal and raised nearly $21 million at the campaign's conclusion in June of 2012. Combined, the McConnells committed more than $1 million to The Ohio State University and are members of the Neil Legacy Society as well as The Oval Society.
The new 40,000 square foot Newark campus residence hall is being constructed behind the current residence hall along University Drive. It will be four stories with 120 student beds. The first floor of the building will have a student lounge, a kitchen, a laundry area, a 300-person event space, outdoor patio and gathering space, offices and a residence director apartment. The second through fourth floors have 21 rooms on each floor with one room for a resident assistant, a floor lounge, a small lounge, two small seating areas and two sets of restrooms. The $12.9 million project is being 100% funded by The Ohio State University. To fund additional building enhancements, student-centered programming and future needs of the building, Ohio State Newark is seeking a limited number of philanthropic gifts for naming of featured spaces in the new building. Construction of the project is expected to be completed in July 2017, just in time for the start of autumn semester 2017.
Photo Above: Jane C. McConnell