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Department of Athletics increases support to Main Library to $9 million

COLUMBUS – The renovation of The Ohio State University's William Oxley Thompson Memorial (Main) Library, the largest academic building project in Ohio State's history, has received an additional $4 million commitment from the university's Athletics program, President E. Gordon Gee and Athletics Director Gene Smith announced today.

This new commitment from the Department of Athletics is in addition to the $5 million announced in September 2006. It brings Athletics' total support of the library renovation to $9 million. The library capital campaign was kicked off in 2004 with a $5 million gift from Ohio State Foundation board member Patricia A. Robinson and her husband, Thomas, and concluded at nearly $21 million.

"The Thompson Library is a jewel on the Ohio State campus, and its renovation into a beautiful, thoroughly modern facility will enrich the work of students and faculty for generations to come," said Gee. "I am thrilled that we are able to do so thanks to a great partnership of state capital funds, campus resources including Athletics, and the private gifts of good friends such as Pat and Thom Robinson."

"Athletics is an integral part of Ohio State, and part of our responsibility is to advance our academics," said Department of Athletics Director Gene Smith. "Our commitment to excellence extends throughout campus, and supporting the library is one way our department can help provide Ohio State students—including our student-athletes—a truly world-class education."

The library has a long tradition of support from Athletics, from individual donations by Buckeye fans to the leadership provided by Coach Jim and Ellen Tressel, who chair the library's capital campaign.

Ohio State is one of a handful of universities in the country with a self-sustaining athletics program. From revenues generated by sports events, television rights, including the Big Ten Network, and other sources, the Department of Athletics transfers approximately $20 million each year to other programs in the university.

With 6.2 million print volumes and e-books, the OSU Libraries has the nation's 10th-largest collection of library materials among public universities, and the 16th largest among all public and private U.S. colleges. The library opened in 1913, the stack tower was added in 1951, and a renovation was completed in 1977. While its resources and services remained strong through the years, the aging library complex no longer met the needs of Ohio State students and faculty in terms of accessibility, resources, and available space.

The current renovation, to be completed in August 2009, will create a state-of-the-art facility that will serve Ohio State students and faculty well into the 21st century. The project has a budget of $108.7 million, with $70 million from state capital funds, and $8 million from university sources previously set aside for the renovation project.

For more information about the Thompson Library renovation, visit http://library.osu.edu/sites/renovation.