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Wednesday, Sep 17, 2014

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Konneker Alumni Center to celebrate 30th anniversary


The Konneker Alumni Center, home to the Ohio University Alumni Association, will celebrate its 30th anniversary Homecoming weekend with an open house from 10:30 a.m.–noon on Saturday, Oct. 15.

The Konneker Alumni Center was originally constructed as a residence in 1902 for General Charles Grosvenor. Though Grosvenor died in 1917, the house remained in the family until 1948. At that time his granddaughter, Professor Emerita of French Constance Leete, donated the house to the Episcopal Church, which later leased it to the University.

Remembered by some as the Grosvenor House and by others as the Leete House, the building is the white-pillared Georgian structure on University Terrace adjacent to the College Green, and now the home of the Konneker Alumni Center.

Years of searching for an appropriate place to house an alumni center culminated in 1980, thanks to a generous gift from Wilfred Konneker, and his wife, Ann Lee. The Konnekers provided funds for the purchase of the house by the Ohio University Foundation as part of their gift to the University’s first major fund drive, the 1804 Campaign, for which Konneker served as general chairman. Konneker believed that an alumni house would give new life to Ohio University’s alumni program and the move has since allowed the Alumni Association to expand its alumni programs and services.

The Konneker Alumni Center has served as the gathering place for alumni and friends visiting Ohio University throughout the years, hosting class reunions, college anniversaries and the annual Alumni College. Additionally, the center partners with the Student Alumni Board to enhance student-alumni relations and encourage students to participate in educational and social functions such as the annual Homecoming parade and Bobcat Bash, as well as Sibs Weekend.  

In honor of the Konnekers and their gift to the University, the foundation dedicated the new alumni center on Homecoming Day 1981, naming it the W. R. Konneker Alumni Center.