Galvin Hall lower level opens with a new look

One of Ohio State Lima's first alumni got a big surprise after a lifetime of service to the university and its students
Students in a line cutting a ribbon with large scissors

The Ohio State University at Lima cut the ribbon on the new student and community collaboration area in the lower level of Galvin Hall this month, opening a whole new range of possibilities for Ohio State students. The new lower level features areas for student clubs, organization and class groups to work together; huddle spaces, meeting rooms and student-focused office areas; an outside patio and a gameroom for the 21st century.

The grand opening festivities also included a big surprise for one of the earliest alumni of the Lima campus. The Ohio State University Foundation Board Chair Gil Cloyd thought he might be coming to campus to mark the completion of the first phase of the Galvin Hall Transformation project. Halfway through the program, he found out that, pending board of trustee approval in November, the community gathering area will be called the G. Gilbert Cloyd Student Commons in honor of his outstanding leadership and service to the university and devotion to student success and scholarships.

“I am surprised and overwhelmed. It is just amazing,” Cloyd said. “This campus, Ohio State has meant so much to me. I would not have been able to go to college in 1963 when I started if Ohio State Lima had not been here. I owe everything to it. My hope is that it continues to be this vital force for a lot of very talented, young men and women, that they can get their start in life, dream big and achieve their goals.”

Cloyd’s daughter Lisa Navin came in from Florida to help surprise her dad, along with his grandson Will Navin. They are delighted that the space that brings students together with the community and encourages collaboration will carry his name. 

“He has been such a blessing to pretty much every life he touches and he touches so many,” Lisa Navin said. “Dad taught us that life is about more than just work or money or whatever, it is about family and giving to others. Not only did he lend words to that, but he lived that and exemplifies that to this day. He is generous beyond belief.” 

The students who walk through Galvin Hall’s doors today are not so very far removed from Cloyd’s experience. Many work multiple jobs while attending classes and would not be able to start without the presence of Ohio State Lima. Cloyd was a house painter, short order cook, dog groomer and pop deliveryman. He didn’t know exactly how he would go or where he would end up, but college opened a wealth of possibilities and helped prepare him to embrace the opportunities. 

“I ended up with an amazing career, something that when I started college I had no idea was even possible. That's why when I see talented young people, I just hope and aspire that they can see what their dreams are,” Cloyd said. “Dream big and understand that the education they get here can really set them up in life to go achieve that. I'll be long gone but I hope so many of these young people are going to say 20 or 30 years in the future ‘Wow, I had no idea I would be able to achieve this in life.’”  

Built in 1965, Galvin Hall is the Lima campus’ first building and remains the main academic building. With the opening of the G. Gilbert Cloyd Student Commons, Ohio State Lima students have a new space to learn, collaborate and grow outside the classroom.

Gil Cloyd talks to student Hope Bowman in the Galvin Hall lower level
Gil Cloyd speaks to a group in Galvin Hall lower level
Will Navin, Lisa Navin and Gil Cloyd in front of the G. Gilbert Cloyd Student Commons sign

Biography of G. Gilbert Cloyd

Dr. G. Gilbert Cloyd began his college education at The Ohio State University at Lima when courses were first offered at Lima Senior High School. After changing campuses to Columbus, he earned a Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine in 1969 and continued graduate work in veterinary pathology. He entered a private practice in Cincinnati in 1972 and began consulting work, including work with P&G, leading him to accept a full-time role at their Miami Valley Innovation Center in 1974. For the next three decades he served in a number of positions and in 1997 Cloyd assumed responsibilities as vice president for research and development in Asia for P&G. He held that position until 2000, living in Kobe, Japan. He returned to Cincinnati in 2000 as Chief Technology Officer. In this capacity, he had overall functional responsibility for P&G’s global Research & Development organization. He continued in this role until his retirement.

Cloyd was appointed to The Ohio State University Board of Trustees in 2005 and served as chairperson from 2007-09. He was appointed as a Charter Trustee in October 2009. He was Chief Technology Officer of Procter & Gamble until he retired in September 2008. Cloyd joined The Ohio State University Foundation Board in October of 2015 and retires as chair in 2023. He was inducted into Ohio State Lima’s Alumni Hall of Fame in 2009.

Cloyd’s principal interests are making quality post-secondary education available to more people and facilitating the application of Ohio State’s research capabilities to solve important global problems and foster economic development. Cloyd and his wife, Susan, are generous philanthropic supporters of Ohio State, primarily in support of scholarships. Cloyd is also co-founder and CEO of the Ohio Film Group, a post-production film service company, and Lengi Studios, an original content animation film company, in Columbus. He is also a member of the Board of Trustees of the Columbus College of Art & Design.