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Café space name to recognize alumni group's gift


The Ohio University Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine’s Society of Alumni & Friends has committed $150,000 to the College’s general support fund. In recognition of this gift, the college will name the café space in its new medical education facility in the Society’s honor.

“It’s kind of our legacy gift,” explained Jennifer Gwilym, D.O. (’03), Heritage College assistant dean for clinical education, southeast and central Ohio; assistant clinical professor of family medicine; and president of the alumni group. “It’s a gift to the students, and the café will also be a nice place for our alumni to gather when they come to visit.”

She noted that the gift parallels donations the group has given to the medical school’s Dublin and Cleveland campuses. “With our having three medical school campuses, we actually have named student gathering spaces at all three campuses now,” she said.

The SoAF will make an initial gift of $25,000 before the end of 2019 and five more gifts of the same amount in each of the following five years.

“Our café will truly be the hub of our new medical education facility,” said Ken Johnson, D.O., Heritage College executive dean and Ohio University chief medical affairs officer. “By supporting the college and naming this space, the Society of Alumni & Friends has established an important connection point that will benefit our students, alumni and the broader community for many years to come. In some ways, it’s also a tribute to the caring community that supported our alumni in years past.”

The café will be called the Heritage College Society of Alumni & Friends Café at Factory Street. Bricks from a building previously located at 9 Factory St. will be used in the café’s interior, as will wood from trees removed from the new building site, to recognize the local history connected to Factory Street (adjacent to Union). The 9 Factory St. building served as home to a store, an icehouse and a beloved local dance studio over the last century.

Construction is underway on the new $65 million medical education facility, which is being built on W. Union Street in Athens and will anchor the university's future Union Street Green. The new facility will feature custom-built learning spaces; allow Heritage College faculty, staff and students to work more collaboratively; and improve research and community outreach efforts. It is expected to open in 2021.

Partnering with the Heritage College on the new facilities are the DesignGroup, an architectural firm with offices in Columbus and Pittsburgh; Perkins+Will, an architectural firm headquartered in Chicago; Donley's, a Cleveland-based construction company; and the University Planning office of Ohio University. Funding for the new facility comes from multiple sources including $21 million from the Osteopathic Heritage Foundation as part of the Vision 2020 award.