McCracken Hall to be renamed for family whose dedication to public education inspired transformative gifts to Ohio University

Published: October 7, 2021 Author: Staff reports

The Ohio University Board of Trustees has passed a resolution to rename the home of the Gladys W. and David H. Patton College of Education from its current name, McCracken Hall, to Gladys W. and David H. Patton Hall.

The board’s vote to change the name of McCracken Hall in honor of the Patton family took place during its October meetings on the Athens Campus.

“In consultation with Dr. Patton and in recognition of her extraordinary generosity and the impact of her continued commitment to advancing The Patton College and arts education at Ohio University, The Patton College, the Division of University Advancement, and The Ohio University Foundation, recommend that the building that houses The Patton College be renamed Gladys W. and David H. Patton Hall,” said Nico Karagosian, vice president for University Advancement and president and CEO of The Ohio University Foundation.

The Patton College was named in honor of Dr. Violet L. Patton, BSED ’38, and her philanthropic commitments to the college. Violet Patton, who celebrated her 105th birthday on Aug. 30, committed $13.3 million in 2010 to establish the Violet L. Patton Center for Arts Education, and an additional $28 million to honor her parents, Gladys W. and David H. Patton, with the naming of the College. She committed an additional $22 million in 2019 to support the capital projects for which she has demonstrated unwavering commitment and passion over the past decade.

David H. and Gladys W. Patton were long-standing supporters of public education. In 1951, Dr. David H. Patton was selected as the superintendent of the Syracuse Public School System, for a 10-year term. Gladys W. Patton was also an educator and worked with her daughter, Violet Patton, to write a series of textbooks on etiquette for children.

The current McCracken Hall was approved for renovation in 2015, a project made possible in large part by Violet Patton’s generosity. All parties involved also recognize the contributions of Thomas Cook McCracken, for whom the building was named in 1963 due to his service as dean of the College of Education and OHIO’s first provost. Suitable interior space will be identified and named in honor of Dr. McCracken at a future date.

“Violet Patton’s deep and abiding commitment to education and the arts, and to the facilities in which learning takes place, have provided a transformative opportunity for Ohio University and its students,” said The Gladys W. and David H. Patton College of Education

Dean Sara Helfrich. “Dr. Patton’s commitment has generated an evident legacy for the Patton family, and her generosity is astounding. Her gifts continue to truly transform arts and education at Ohio University and provide unparalleled opportunities for our students, faculty, and staff.”