‘I Think It’s Amazing’

Renovated Merrick Hall Connects Ohio Wesleyan’s Past, Present, and Future

Ohio Wesleyan University student Jess Choate ’17 already is looking forward to graduating in front of Merrick Hall.

“I think it’s amazing,” the politics and government major says of the newly renovated building, “but I’m super pro-OWU, so I may be biased.”

Choate isn’t the only one who appreciates the $8-million, donor-funded restoration that has transformed the historic building into the Home of The OWU Connection.

One of the most striking changes is the addition of a large patio and new entrance on the south side of the building, which is now the backdrop for commencement, convocation, the annual Fourth of July concert, and more.

It’s also a great place to sit outside, relax, and soak up the scenery. “I’m obsessed with the rocking chairs,” says Jillian Gamble ’17, education major.

The inside also is inviting, beginning with the first floor, which is sleek, chic, and travel-themed. It includes three large touch screens that allow students and guests to explore Theory-to-Practice Grants, Travel-Learning Courses, Course Connections, and other elements that provide the theory-to-practice experiences that define The OWU Connection.

Sandie Maynard, administrative assistant to The OWU Connection, helps students navigate Merrick Hall as well as answer questions about the program.

“Personally, I am humbled and excited to have been chosen to work here,” Maynard says. “I’ve learned that all the best things are shared with others, and I’m glad we all get to benefit from this.”

Also on the first floor is Merrick Café and lots of comfortable seating. “It’s really beautiful,” says Faith Borland ’17, politics and government major. “I love how they themed all the furniture and colors to match OWU’s colors.”

Up on the second floor, Merrick Hall boasts four glass-walled classrooms with wide-screen computers and other 21st century technology. The classrooms also have movable seating to support creativity and collaboration, hallmarks of a liberal arts education.

Serena George ’19, zoology major, says she had her OWU Experience/UC 160 class in Merrick Hall and found the wide screens useful. Kelsey Thornton ’16, psychology major, adds that the classrooms look unlike conventional classrooms.

Nowhere is Merrick Hall’s beauty and grandeur more evident than on the third floor, which features wood-paneled walls and a 22-foot ceiling with its original gothic arches. When not reserved for special programs or events, the space is open for studying, lounging, or just enjoying the view.

Merrick Hall is open from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Thursday and from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Friday. The café is open from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. weekdays. Learn more about the history of Merrick Hall at blogs.owu.edu/connect2/merrick-hall-history and more about The OWU Connection at owuconnection.owu.edu.

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