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ONU Receives Record $10 Million Gift

Sep 12, 2006

Ohio Northern University alumnus Clayton L. Mathile and his wife Mary Ann Mathile have pledged $5 million plus an additional $5 million in matching funds for the construction of science education and research facilities on the ONU campus.

“This extraordinary gift, the largest in ONU history, will enable the university to both enlarge and enhance our science and math programs,” says Ohio Northern President Kendall L. Baker.

The new building, covering more than 80,000 square feet and standing three stories tall, will be located next to the current Meyer Hall and the pharmacy buildings on the north side of the campus. It will house classrooms and offices for mathematics and statistics, biology and chemistry laboratories for student-faculty research, and classrooms and laboratories for the clinical laboratory sciences, forensic science and the new baccalaureate nursing programs.

In addition, distance-learning facilities will allow an expansion of programs and continuing education in areas such as clinical laboratory science, forensics and nursing.

Mathile, a 1962 business administration graduate, said, "For decades Ohio Northern was known for its core competencies in math and science. This new center will ensure ONU's leadership position in both critically important disciplines for years to come. Mary and I envision an ONU that continually recruits the best faculty and attracts outstanding students."

“We are delighted by the Mathiles’ support for ONU and their concern for educating future science, math, and health care professionals. It is the consistent support of our alumni that makes ONU such an extraordinary educational center,” Baker said.

Filling a Need

Robert A. Manzer, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, said, “This is really exciting for the college!” “It will allow us to build up and develop programs that are important to Arts and Sciences such as nursing, science and allied health. This will allow us to move in directions that will be fruitful for the college.”

Professor Terry D. Keiser, Chairman of the Biological Sciences Department, explains, “In the last two years we have added 170 to 180 new biology majors.” The growth is the result of the quality and reputation of ONU’s excellent programs, he believes. But it also means additional classes and laboratories must be scheduled. “The new facilities will allow us to move to a higher level in what we provide in science education. They are critical to the continuing growth of these programs,” Keiser said.

“This project will allow us to develop programs that are attractive to students and that are of service to the community,” Manzer adds. “There are huge career opportunities in the biology and allied health fields and this building will help us meet these needs.”

Continuing Support

This $10 million gift is the latest in the Mathiles’ support of ONU. In addition to other gifts, two $30,000 renewable Mathile scholarships have been awarded each year to the top scholars at ONU for the past three years. This is the University’s highest scholarship award.

After graduating from ONU in 1962, Mathile began his business career as an accountant with General Motors. He soon moved to Campbell Soup Company where he worked for seven years. In 1970, Paul Iams asked Mathile to move to Dayton as general manager of the privately held Iams Company in exchange for a percentage of the profits. In 1981, Clay and Mary Mathile bought out Iams’ interests in the company. Under Mathile’s leadership, the Iams Company grew from an obscure brand sold only in Ohio, Indiana and Illinois, to an international company with sales of nearly $1 billion dollars.

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