ATHENS, Ohio (Sept. 1, 2004) -- It's official! Ohio University's new President Roderick McDavis and his wife, Deborah, were officially welcomed to Athens by hundreds of local residents at an Aug. 31 social event at the Athens Community Center.
Athens Mayor Ric Abel and his wife, Mary, hosted the evening event in order to introduce the new president and first lady to the community.
After a two-hour meet-and-greet session, McDavis addressed the crowd. During his speech, he expressed that he and his wife were deeply touched by the large turnout and thanked the community for making he and his wife feel comfortable during their first month as residents.
He addressed the university's future relationship with the city by acknowledging that both parties are considering the recommendations brought forth in the recently completed Task Force on Civic Responsibility. He applauded the task force for creating the document and said the university is strongly committed to improving the relationship between its students living off-campus and their non-student neighbors.
McDavis said the university has plans to match the total dollar amount of impact funds the city of Athens receives each year from the state. Impact funds are allocated by the state for various uses such as additional police and fire protection and general city improvements.
He also confirmed that the university is seeking proposals from developers for the renovation of the Mill Street Apartments in an attempt to determine the future of the complex.
McDavis told the crowd that he and Mayor Abel will meet monthly with the local media to discuss current issues and that he also is planning on addressing the local media bi-weekly beginning this month.
"We may not always agree, but we will always agree to communicate," McDavis said.
McDavis, Ohio University's 20th president, joins William Henry Scott (1872-1883), the institution's seventh president, as the only two alumni to hold the title of president.
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