18:00 PM

Archie Griffin to be honored with naming gift

The ballroom at the new Ohio Union building at The Ohio State University will be named in honor of Archie Griffin to reflect the wishes of a private donor who has given $2 million to be split evenly between the Alumni Association and the construction of the university’s new Ohio Union. The gift was made to honor Griffin’s achievements as a student athlete as well as the inspiring leadership he has provided to the university throughout his career. In accordance with the donor’s wishes, his/her name is not being announced.

Griffin, president and CEO of Ohio State’s Alumni Association, earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration from The Ohio State University in 1976 and is college football’s only two-time Heisman Trophy Award winner. Before assuming the leadership of the Alumni Association in 2004, Griffin was associate athletic director and worked for 19 years in Ohio State’s athletics department. He also played professional football with the Cincinnati Bengals. A community leader who serves on many boards and supports various philanthropic causes, Griffin is a much sought-after public speaker and is highly regarded as an ambassador and advocate for Ohio State’s mission.

“I am deeply honored by this generous gift,” Griffin said. “The Ohio Union means so much to all members of the Ohio State family and has played an important role in university and community events for decades. I know that the new building will build on the Ohio Union legacy and provide future students with the kind of amazing activities and memories that I have from my student days. I am humbled to have my name associated with such a magnificent resource for the university and the Columbus community, and I am grateful to my friend who also loves Ohio State and made this possible.”

The 17,000-square-foot Archie M. Griffin Grand Ballroom will host many university and community events, including the 2010 OSU Football Appreciation Banquet, United Way Central Ohio’s Celebration of Excellence Awards Luncheon, and the Ohio Historical Society’s Ohio History Day. The space is able to accommodate up to 1,700 guests and features hardwood flooring, three custom-made “Block “O” chandeliers, four balconies, six projection screens, and rigging points that can bear weights up to three-quarters of a ton.

The new Ohio Union will open in spring 2010 and serve as the university’s center of student involvement, leadership, service, and tradition. The facility will also be used by staff, faculty, and community, and will offer a variety of dining options, an on-site bank, and a retail store.

The Ohio State University Alumni Association will staff a satellite office in the building, where they will initiate new programming and support for students, highlight alumni achievements through art displays, and tell the stories of student involvement through the latest in multimedia technology.