Letter from Jim Schaus

Academic success. It is the motivation behind everything we do. It is the foundation of every student-athlete’s bright future.

Recognizing the unique demands placed on the Division I athlete, it is absolutely critical to provide an academic facility designated exclusively to assist them in their pursuit of becoming a graduate. In such an area, Bobcat athletes will be surrounded with their peers and a staff who all share the common goal of academic excellence and college success.

Although we have a great start on an Athletics Academic facility, we have a long way to go! For us to meet our goal, we need many supporters to realize the importance of a project like this. A quality academic center can be a gamechanger for a student-athlete, especially one who may need specialized attention.

Please help us make this dream become a reality by considering a gift to the Campaign for Academic Excellence today.

Thank you.

Jim Schaus
Director of Athletics

Importance of Academics

Winning championships is a goal for our sport programs, but developing and graduating over 400 student-athletes will always be a paramount priority. From freshman orientation to commencement, there are many external pressures to succeed academically.

For example, schools which fail to meet the NCAA’s Academic Progress Rate (APR) criteria can be penalized and may cause negative publicity for the institution.

Achieving academic success can be a challenge for student-athletes who are managing many hours of athletic training and competition on top of a full class load. For these reasons, it is crucial to invest in the academic future of each student-athlete.

Points of Pride

  • Overall, Bobcat student-athletes have averaged above a 3.0 GPA, with this number steadily increasing each of the past four years.
  • 12 out of 16 Bobcat sport teams boast an APR score of 970 or above (out of 1000).
  • Ohio Athletics has a 93% graduation rate for those who have completed their eligibility

Need for the Center

A specialized academic center is needed for student-athletes as they face the academic rigors set forth by the University and the NCAA. Furthermore, a facility of this magnitude allows student-athletes to pursue their academic endeavors and balance their athletic activities.

The Academic Center is a key element to student-athlete success. However, our current space on the fourth floor of Peden Tower is inadequate, aging, and spread out. Personalized facilities are needed to provide specific educational resources to accommodate the needs of all student-athletes.

Bobcat student-athletes are successful academically, but there is always room to improve. In order to do so, a new academic center is needed.

Building a new academic center supports our vision of providing a top-tier student learning experience for our student-athletes. They are students first and foremost and providing OHIO student-athletes with a facility will only help us to achieve our goal of supporting their academic success and degree attainment at a higher level.”

– Roderick J. McDavis,

We greatly appreciate the services we have, but the space is definitely limited. We need this facility to help create a new and exciting environment for us to further develop and have the necessary resources to be successful.”– Adele Sammons,
Field Hockey

A new academic center would immediately assist in two major areas. First, it would allow us to recruit a better student-athlete. Second, if we could create a spacious, modern and comfortable environment, we would have a place in which our student-athletes would want to be.”– Frank Solich,
Head Football Coach

Features of the Proposed
Academic Center

The chart below demonstrates the value of a new facility. It will provide additional space and functionality to allow for a more conducive study area.

Additional Benefits

  • The amount of office space dedicated to personalized study hall will increase, thus enhancing the ability to provide specific educational resources to accommodate the needs of all student-athletes. NCAA Eligibility & Student-Athlete Success staff will use these areas to oversee individual study hall and tutor sessions.
  • The first floor of this facility, which will add an additional 10,000 square feet, will offer game day amenities such as additional concession stands and restrooms.
  • The new space will be converted into a new donor hospitality area on game days.
  • Moving the Academic Center from the 4th floor of Peden Tower will allow for the creation of a student-athlete lounge.
  • This facility may also be used for other receptions, events, and meetings.

Naming Opportunities

Gifts of all sizes are needed for this project to be successful. To express gratitude to donors for their generous gifts, there will be a variety of naming opportunities for the project. Your contributions will help build Ohio Athletics, benefit future studentathletes, and provide a lasting legacy of support for Ohio University.

Wall of Honor

All donors who contribute $1,000 or more (payable up to five years) towards the construction of the Academic Center will have their name permanently displayed on the Wall of Honor. This plaque will be prominently displayed within the facility and also distinguish those who gave at the following levels:

*Please note that any donations towards the Academic Center will qualify donors for Ohio Bobcat Club priority points but not annual benefits. Donors are strongly encouraged to maintain their current annual gifts to the Ohio Bobcat Club Annual Fund.

Named Space Opportunities

The following named spaces are available for donors to this project. Special recognition will be given to these individuals within their designated space.
Academic Center Naming Opportunities

As of October 1, 2015

Room Furnishing Opportunities

Further naming opportunities will be available in each named space. These donors will be recognized in the indicated room for their gift to the overall project.


*All donor contributions of $2,500-$4,999 will be recognized in these areas.

As of October 1, 2015

As alumni, we wanted to give back in a way that would have a dynamic impact on a diverse group of students. Our love for academics and our appreciation for what intercollegiate athletics does for the University is why we chose to support this project. We encourage friends and alumni of Ohio University to invest in the Academic Center because it’s a once in a lifetime opportunity to support academics, students, and Ohio Athletics!”

– Perry (BSC ’80) & Sandy (BSC ’80, MED ’82) Sook
The Academic Center will be named (pending approval from the Ohio University Board of Trustees) in the Sooks’ honor in appreciation for their lead gift to the project.

As a former Ohio student-athlete I was really excited to support this project. I wanted to find a way to pay forward for the experience I had as a member of the Men’s Golf team. Giving to this project, no matter the amount, will ensure that we are prioritizing the academic mission of our student-athletes for this and future generations of Bobcats.”

– Dave Abram (BSC ’89)

Even before this project made it past the conceptual phase we knew we wanted to be involved. We strongly believe in the educational experience at Ohio University. This facility will have an immense impact on our student-athletes and provide them with a better learning environment. We would encourage Bobcat friends and alumni to join the Campaign for Academic Excellence!”

– Tom (BSED ’61) & Gwen (BSHE ’61) Weihe

Invest in Students. Invest in Academics.
Invest in Ohio Athletics!

Progress Toward Our Goal


Give to the Campaign for Academic Excellence today!

For more information or to make a gift please contact the Ohio Bobcat Club:

Ohio Bobcat Club
c/o Academic Center
Convocation Center, S126
Athens, OH 45701

(740) 593-1176 or bobcatclub@ohio.edu

To make a gift online to the Campaign for Academic Excellence, please click here.