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.