Ohio Wesleyan Rededicates Fully Renovated Campus Landmark

University Completes 15-Month, $14 Million Renovation of Stuyvesant Hall Residential Facility
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Ohio Wesleyan has completed a full renovation of Stuyvesant Hall, one of 11 sites on campus on the National Register of Historic Places. The public is invited to tour the iconic building from 10 a.m. to noon Oct. 6. (Photo by Lindsay Mauter)

DELAWARE, Ohio – Bells are ringing to share the news that Ohio Wesleyan University has completed a top-to-bottom, 15-month, $14 million renovation of its iconic residential facility, Stuyvesant Hall.

The donor-funded project updates the entire three-story, 74,000-square-foot building, including the restoration of its signature bell tower and carillon of chimes. The public is invited to tour Stuyvesant Hall, 223 W. William St., from 10 a.m. to noon Oct. 6 as part of Ohio Wesleyan’s Community Day 2012. The “Stuy” open house will feature brief remarks at 11 a.m. and light refreshments.

“When Stuyvesant Hall opened in 1931, it was reported that ‘thrilling excitement … marked the opening of this magnificent hall,’ ” said President Rock Jones, Ph.D. “I can think of no better way to describe the rededication of this campus landmark. It is, indeed, thrilling to see the results of the careful construction that has maintained the historic charm of the Georgian Revival Style building while modernizing it for the 21st century.”

The oldest of six Ohio Wesleyan residential halls, Stuyvesant Hall opened in 1931 as a women’s dormitory and housed 254 students. Today, the newly refurbished hall houses 243 women and men in OWU’s sophomore, junior, and senior classes.

The building was considered innovative when it opened 81 years ago – with a suite-style design that included a bathroom and shower between each set of bedrooms. The renovation maintains this architectural ingenuity but advances the design by moving a sink inside each bedroom. The result is increased access and enhanced privacy. The building renovation also:

  • Adds a new south entrance with arched brick doorways, outdoor planters, and a fire pit, as well as a raised west courtyard terrace with a beautifully restored fountain to create a welcoming outdoor environment for students and guests.
  • Incorporates energy-efficient heating, cooling, and lighting systems as well as environmentally friendly building materials to provide a comfortable, yet environmentally conscious living environment. Renovation plans for the building were certified by the Ohio Historic Preservation Office and the National Park Service as meeting the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for Rehabilitation. Ohio Wesleyan plans to register the completed construction project with the U.S. Green Building Council, which reviews construction and awards LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification.
  • Provides ample shared spaces to allow students to study and socialize, including a new coffee bar and newly improved small performance venue with a stage and table seating for nearly 100 guests.

The hall’s shared space also includes the newly named Carper Family Room, an area that features portraits of three generations of Carper women who have attended Ohio Wesleyan. The room was named with a $1 million gift from Jean Carper, an Ashley, Ohio, native and New York Times best-selling author, contributing editor to USA Weekend magazine, and leading authority on health and nutrition.

Carper is a 1953 Ohio Wesleyan graduate and lived in Stuyvesant Hall her freshman year. Her mother, Natella Carper, is a member of the Class of 1926, and her niece, Ashley Carper, is a 2005 alumna. In addition to the Carper Family Room, Stuyvesant Hall includes more than 30 spaces named in recognition of donors who supported the renovation.

The original building was built with property and monetary gifts from Mr. and Mrs. Frank Stuyvesant of Lakewood, Ohio. They became involved after learning about Ohio Wesleyan from their neighbors and close friends, Mr. and Mrs. Erwin G. Guthery, and their daughter Katharine, Class of 1925.

The first principal gift for the restoration of Stuyvesant Hall came in October 2009 from the estate of an OWU alumna who had served as a resident adviser in Stuyvesant Hall the year it opened. Alice Klund Levy, Class of 1932, and her husband, Harry P. Levy, left Ohio Wesleyan University an unrestricted estate gift valued at more than $1 million.

In February 2011, Ohio Wesleyan received a lead challenge gift from alumni Gordon V. Smith, Class of 1954, and Helen Crider Smith, Class of 1956, of Potomac, Md., to support the renovation, with a request that work begin the spring of that same year. The challenge was met, and ground was broken in May.

In July 2011, the Ohio Department of Development awarded the project a $4.2 million Ohio Historic Preservation Tax Credit – the first project in Delaware County to be granted a state preservation tax credit.

“This project shows the commitment of Ohio Wesleyan alumni and friends to this university and its students,” Jones said. “We are committed to providing a life-changing residential campus experience, and this helps us to fulfill that mission.”

To learn more about attending Ohio Wesleyan, visit http://choose.owu.edu. To learn about giving to the university, visit http://giving.owu.edu.

Founded in 1842, Ohio Wesleyan University is one of the nation’s premier small, private universities. Ohio Wesleyan offers more than 90 undergraduate majors, sequences, and courses of study, and 23 NCAA Division III varsity sports. OWU combines an internationally focused curriculum with off-campus learning and leadership opportunities that connect classroom theory with real-world practice. Located in Delaware, Ohio, OWU’s 1,850 students represent 41 states and 45 countries. The university is featured in the book “Colleges That Change Lives,” listed on the 2012 President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll with distinction, and included on the “best colleges” lists of U.S. News & World Report and The Princeton Review. Learn more at www.owu.edu.

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