University receives additional $1 million to support the arts and humanities
Columbus, Ohio – The Ohio State University announced today the opening of a recruitment office in Cleveland with space donated by Forest City Enterprises, a Cleveland-based real estate company led by executive vice president and director of Forest City Enterprises, and Ohio State Board of Trustees member Ronald A. Ratner. In addition, Ratner, and his wife, Deborah, are giving $1 million to support excellence in teaching at The Ohio State University. The combined gifts contribute to two important university priorities – improving access to an Ohio State education, and celebrating the creative and effective ways that faculty engage students in the classroom.
The new center is housed on the 17th floor of the Terminal Tower in Tower City. Forest City Enterprises Inc. owns and operates Tower City.
Ohio State Interim President Joseph A. Alutto stated that the additional $1 million gift to the university will establish The Ronald and Deborah Ratner Distinguished Teaching Awards. These teaching awards will recognize outstanding faculty each year within the arts and humanities.
“This office space and generous donation are tangible demonstrations of the deep commitment from the Ratners to Ohio State, its faculty, and to this state – we thank them for their generosity," said Alutto. “The teaching awards, along with the new outreach office in Cleveland will not only expand Ohio State’s footprint in Ohio, but will also enable the university to better carry out its critical land-grant mission each day,” he continued. “We are also proud of our partnership with the Higher Education Compact of Greater Cleveland to help make a college education possible for more Ohioans.”
The newly established Ohio State University Recruitment and Outreach Center, the first such office that Ohio State has opened beyond Columbus, will work in partnership with the Higher Education Compact of Greater Cleveland to increase the overall college-going rate for the greater Cleveland area, champion the culture of college-going in the Cleveland Metropolitan School District, and offer advice and counseling to students interested in attending Ohio State.
The office will be staffed by two people:
Tracy Shuman, senior assistant director, will lead recruitment initiatives. Before joining Ohio State, Shuman was a recruitment specialist at Cuyahoga Community College and John Carroll University. Shuman has a bachelor’s degree from Mount Union College and a master’s degree from John Carroll.
Keith Lofton will serve as territory manager for the Cleveland area. Lofton has been with Ohio State for 12 years, most recently as the Young Scholars Program coordinator for the Cleveland area. Lofton received his bachelor’s degree from Ohio State.
The center is one of Ohio State’s many student-focused university initiatives in Cleveland. Others include the Young Scholars Program and the Managing the Application Program. Ohio State Extension also works with community partners to create and maintain approximately 200 community gardens in Cuyahoga County.
Current Ohio State students hail from all 88 counties in Ohio, 48 states and more than 41 countries. There are more than 4,000 students from Cuyahoga County currently attending Ohio State, and there are more than 23,000 Ohio State alumni in Cuyahoga County.
The gift of office space arranged by Ratner, an Ohio State Board of Trustees member from Cleveland appointed in 2007 by Gov. Ted Strickland, allows Ohio State to lease the prime downtown location at no cost for three years.
“We are grateful for the support of Forest City Enterprises, and in particular Mr. Ron Ratner, for the commitment to increasing Ohio State’s outreach to students in the metro Cleveland area,” said M. Dolan Evanovich, vice president for strategic enrollment planning at Ohio State. “We look forward to working with Mayor Jackson and the Higher Education Compact team to increase college access and success in the future.”
The donations from the Ratners are also important to the ongoing efforts of the university’s But for Ohio State fundraising campaign said Michael Eicher, senior vice president for advancement at Ohio State.
“These gifts make a tremendous impact at Ohio State, in both our ability to reach out to potential students and recognize innovative faculty,” Eicher said. “We appreciate the Ratners’ commitment to the university and their ongoing support of our But for Ohio State Campaign.”
Ohio State will celebrate the But for Ohio State Campaign with key donors and friends in the Cleveland area this evening. Tim O’Callahan, senior director for regional advancement in Cleveland is responsible for engaging Ohio State alumni and fundraising in northeast Ohio, a position he has held since June 2012.
Through the campaign, Ohio State intends to raise $2.5 billion. The campaign, which will sustain and advance Ohio State as one of the nation’s premier public research universities, is the largest fundraising endeavor in the university’s history.
About The Ohio State University
Founded in 1870, The Ohio State University is a world-class public research university and the leading comprehensive teaching and research institution in the state of Ohio. With more than 63,000 students (including 56,000 in Columbus), the Wexner Medical Center, 14 colleges, 80 centers, and 175 majors, the university offers its students tremendous breadth and depth of opportunity in the liberal arts, the sciences, and the professions.