ATHENS, Ohio (April 16, 2004) -- Ohio University's new two-story classroom facility, located on the corner of Richland Avenue and South Green Drive, has a new name. At a dedication ceremony held in the building's rotunda on Friday, the building was officially christened Margaret M. Walter Hall.
The 44,000-square-foot building, which opened for classes in January, was made possible by a $5 million gift from Robert D. Walter, chairman of the Ohio University Board of Trustees and CEO of Cardinal Health Inc., and his wife, Margaret "Peggy" McGreevy Walter, both 1967 Ohio University graduates.
"The reason I decided to have the building named after my wife is because I wanted to honor her," said Robert Walter. "We have been married since 1967 and have raised three sons and she is the grandmother to our six grandchildren."
"This new facility features the most modern technology, and allows both students and faculty to take advantage of up-to-the-minute learning environments," said Ohio University President Robert Glidden. "The Governance Room provides a perfectly suited and much-needed meeting space for our governing and constituent bodies, and the public space in the rotunda is ideal for a variety of events. We are most grateful to Bob and Peggy Walter whose devoted loyalty to Ohio University and generous support made this impressive facility a reality."
The Walters have been generous benefactors of the University, establishing the Robert D. and Margaret M. Walter Endowed Scholarship for students in the Fritz J. and Dolores H. Russ College of Engineering and Technology in 1991. The scholarship has benefited more than 60 students since its inception.
Last year, Cardinal Health partnered with Ohio University's College of Business to develop the Virtual Internship Program (VIP). This innovative program allows business students to continue their Cardinal Health summer internship via computer throughout the school year while living in Athens.
Margaret M. Walter Hall, which is used primarily by the College of Arts and Sciences, is hosting 44 classes with an enrollment of more than 3,200 students this spring. There are four large classrooms housed in the building that are all equipped with two video projectors, retractable chalkboards and video screens, a slide projector and a document camera. All of the rooms have interactive personal-response software that enables students to respond to questions from the instructor using a small handheld remote.
The rooms, which seat between 135 and 250 people, provide the capability to use film, slides, computers and the Internet in presentations. Each room also has hearing-impaired equipment and handicap-accessible and bariatric seating for people with special needs. Other building amenities include several small conference rooms, public meeting and study space in the corridors and offices for the secretary of the Ohio University Board of Trustees and building staff.
A rotunda located on the first floor can accommodate 200 to 400 people and is available for large presentations and formal events. The room features a presentation screen and portable stage. Adjoining the rotunda is a catering kitchen, buffet area and pre-function space.
Also located on the first floor is a governance room built to serve as meeting space for the Ohio University Board of Trustees and Administrative, Classified, Faculty and Student senates. It is equipped with state-of-the-art audio-visual equipment that facilitates presentations. Each seat on the governance table has a built in microphone that is fed to a high-powered speaker system.
"My wife and I feel we have a debt to Ohio University for what it gave to us," Robert Walter said. "We received a great education and really enjoyed our time here, so this is a gift from Peggy and I to the University. Not only is this building a premier learning facility, it also has superb meeting space for the Board of Trustees and all of the University senates. It is beautiful, wonderful and practical. I anticipate that in the future there will be many weddings held here in the rotunda."
The building is complemented by Bicentennial Park, a green space located on the west side of the building that features art by renowned architectural artist and Athens native Maya Lin. The university will dedicate the park on May 15.
The Walters' gift was in support of Ohio University's Bicentennial Campaign, which has a goal of raising more than $200 million by June 30, 2004. The campaign, which has raised more than $197 million, will provide money for scholarships, endowed chairs and named professorships, technological enhancements, innovative programs and select capital improvements.
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