Mount Union College Holds Dedication Ceremonies

April 15, 2010

Renovations to the Hoover-Price Campus Center at Mount Union College this past year were made possible by three leadership gifts. To recognize those gifts, dedication ceremonies were held on Saturday, May 5 in the Campus Center.

College officials unveiled plaques honoring the Payiavlas family of Warren, Ohio, who founded AVI Foodsystems; the Hoover Foundation of Canton Ohio; and the late Basil and Betty Strong of Atwater. The north lounge of the Campus Center has been named Payiavlas Lounge; the sun room at the south end is now Hoover Garden Room; and the snack bar area is now known as the B & B Caf'.

The dedications began at Payiavlas Lounge where Anthony Payiavlas, president of AVI Foodsystems, delivered remarks on behalf of the family. AVI Foodsystems was founded in 1960 by John Payiavlas and is a private, family-owned business with 4,600 Ohio employees.

'This is a natural partnership that has formed by AVI FoodSystems and Mount Union College,' Anthony Payiavlas, president of AVI. 'While we want to deliver good food to the campus, we cannot do so without becoming integral to the campus. We are a family-run business which matches nicely with the family atmosphere on the Mount Union College campus.

The ceremony then moved to the Hoover Garden Room where Larry Hoover provided remarks on behalf of the Hoover Foundation, which was founded in 1947 providing 60 years of support to community development, hospitals, health organizations and education. The Hoover Foundation and Mount Union College have enjoyed strong historical ties.

'Mount Union College and The Hoover Foundation have a long distinguished history together,' Larry Hoover, Chairman of the Foundation, said. Throughout these last several decades, it is pleasing to note that as Mount Union's campus changes, it has still maintained its integrity; it still has a committed faculty; it remains steadfast in purpose; and its students remain motivated.'

The ceremony concluded with a tribute to the late Basil and Betty Strong of Atwater who left significant funds to the College. Basil, a 1926 graduate of Mount Union College, was a mechanical engineer who was credited with several inventions. His life with Betty was the classic love story as they enjoyed more than 70 years together and died naturally in their 90s less than one day apart in December, 2001. To honor the Strongs, the College held a web contest to name the snack bar area and B & B Caf' was the overwhelming favorite.

'The bond between Basil and Betty Strong was irrevocable,' Dr. Harold Kolenbrander, president emeritus of Mount Union College, said. 'They had a deep love for one another but they also had a second love ' Mount Union College, and their legacy lives in the gifts they have bestowed upon the College through their estate.'

Dr. Richard Giese, president of Mount Union College, hosted the event. 'The renovations to our Hoover-Price Campus Center have been significant, and they would not have been possible without the generosity of these leadership givers,' Giese said. 'The campus center is the focal point for our students and with these gifts, we have been able to significantly improve the quality of life for our students. We felt it was appropriate to honor these leadership givers during our most important weekend of the year ' Commencement weekend.'

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