The Ohio State University at Lima

A legacy of service, philanthropy

The Perry Webb Student Life Building

Service and philanthropy were life lessons that Mary Ellen Webb Marik and Larry Webb learned at a very early age.

“Dad taught us to give back, even as children, and today, we’re honored to support an institution that meant so much to him,” said Larry Webb, of his late father Perry Webb, who was a member of the team who raised more than $400,000 in 1965 to bring Ohio State to the Lima Community.

Ohio State Lima recently announced plans to construct the 15,000 square foot Perry Webb Student Life Building, in honor of Webb and his family.

“He believed in Lima and he also believed in receiving a higher education,” said Mary Ellen Webb Marik, “but he believed in the students not having to travel necessarily to get that higher education. And that is what Ohio State Lima has done for the students here.”

Perry served as the vice chairman of the Lima Campus OSU Fund Drive Campaign, which provided funding to purchase the site for the campus, just east of Lima, in addition to serving as a member of the first advisory board for Ohio State Lima. Active in the community, Perry also served as president of the Lima Chamber of Commerce, the United Way and the Better Business Bureau. In his professional life, the president of Webb Insurance Agency helped start Cincinnati Insurance Co., which today is a Fortune 500 company.

More than a half century later, his children, Mary Ellen and Larry, carry on his legacy of service through their support of the Perry Webb Student Life Building project. Larry serves as co-chair for the campaign committee and also serves on the Ohio State Lima Board.

“Our father would feel very humbled to have this building named after him, as we do, but he would never have expected it,” said Mary Ellen. “He did many things in Lima but he preferred to stay in the background.”

A man of the Greatest Generation, Perry would shy away from the accolades of this honor.

“Dad would not have wanted a building named after him, but we are so honored to be able to share his story with the campus and the community that he loved so much,” said Larry.

The testament of the legacy of Perry Webb will remain for generations to come.

“Just as Perry Webb was central to the establishment of this campus in 1965, the Perry Webb Student Life Building will be central to the Ohio State Lima student experience,” said Charlene D. Gilbert, dean and director of Ohio State Lima. “Perry was a living representation of our school motto – education for citizenship – because he and the Webb family members are committed citizens who are exemplars of what we hope for all of our students – a passion for education, and a commitment of service to others.”

The Perry Webb Student Life Building will break ground in May 2017 and will open to the incoming class of students in Autumn 2018. For more information about the Perry Webb Student Life Building, click here.