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University to add four commemorative plaques to West Portico honor wall

Ohio University President Roderick J. McDavis will add four commemorative plaques to the West Portico of Templeton Blackburn Alumni Memorial Auditorium at 7 p.m. Wednesday, July 21, before the start of the summer's final Concert Under the Elms on the College Green.

The plaques will honor anthropologist Margaret Mead, labor leader Cesar Chavez, author Pearl S. Buck and opera singer Marian Anderson, all of whom visited or spoke publicly on campus.

The West Portico Plaque honorees are selected by a committee currently chaired by Brian Bridges, vice provost for Diversity, Access and Equity with community member Judy Daso; Sujit Chemburkar, executive director of Baker University Center and University Events; Katherine Jellison, professor of history; Juan Cueto, assistant vice president for Advancement Services; Suzanne Dietzel, director of the university Women's Center; Andrea Blamble, Minority Affairs Commissioner for the Student Senate, Lynnette Clouse, project manager and coordinator of interiors for the Office of Design and Construction and Becky Watts, Chief of Staff and special assistant to the president.

In 1965, under President Vernon R. Alden, the university debuted 19 bronze plaques commemorating distinguished visitors or those bringing messages of diversity, inclusiveness or equality to the Athens campus.

Alden intended the plaques to serve as inspiration for all who pass through the university. Since that time, six additional plaques were placed in the West Portico memoriam, bringing the total honored to 25.