By Melissa Gerber and Colleen Carow
The Russ College of Engineering and Technology recently received a $50,000 charitable gift to support the university's new Academic & Research Center (ARC).
The contribution from Canton, Ohio, residents Paul Batchelder, a 1950 electrical engineering graduate, and his wife, Barbara, came with naming rights for a large project team room in the facility.
Batchelder, a native of the area who met his wife of 57 years on a visit home after graduating, said he wanted to recognize the experiences the Russ College had given him.
"I wanted to acknowledge my opportunities, as well as my son's, in the engineering school and hopefully provide other students with those same challenges," he said. "My engineering background coupled with an MBA enabled me to work in engineering as well as serve as an expert witness for Ohio Power Co. in rate cases before the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio."
The ARC is a $30 million, 100,000-square-foot collaborative project of the Russ College, the College of Osteopathic Medicine (OU-COM) and the colleges of Arts and Sciences and Health and Human Services.
Now under construction on the university's West Green, the facility will combine world-class research spaces with classrooms and study rooms. It will bring together under one roof a variety of disciplines -- from electrical and mechanical engineering to biomedicine and physical therapy -- to explore new medicines, develop new clinical treatments and advance science, engineering and technology.
The ARC's 13 project team rooms will be used by Russ College students on collaborative design teams and by those working to complete capstone senior projects. The Batchelder Project Team Room will be one of two larger spaces providing student teams with a versatile area in which to work, collaborate and learn.
The facility is expected to be open and occupied by winter quarter 2010.
Paul Batchelder has deep ties to the area. His father and aunts ran a general store in The Plains, and before he and his wife were married, they dated whenever he came back to Athens. Working as a radio engineer for WOUB and learning how to fly a Piper Cub aircraft are among his most memorable Ohio University moments.
Later in life, Batchelder's engineering experience served him on volunteer projects such as several Habitat for Humanity projects in Canton and Thailand, and disaster relief efforts to rebuild homes after tornados in Oklahoma and Alabama.
The Batchelders have four children. Son Paul earned both his bachelor's and master's degrees from the Russ College in the 1970s.
Retired since 1989, the Batchelders are avid world travelers who visit Athens annually.
speak with a media representative regarding this story, please contact
Colleen Carow, director of external relations for the Russ College of
Engineering and Technology, at 740-593-1488 or firstname.lastname@example.org.