Mount Union Dedicates Gartner Welcome Center

October 20, 2009

Gartner Welcome Center dedication ceremonyAlthough the weather was quite gloomy on Friday afternoon, it was still a successful and exciting time at Mount Union.

Due to the inclement weather, the dedication ceremony of the Gartner Welcome Center was held in Bracy Hall. College administrators, donors, the Board of Trustees, faculty, staff, students and friends of the institution congregated in the lobby of Bracy to dedicate and recognize a number of individuals who made the Welcome Center possible. 

The LEED-certified Gartner Welcome Center, which will house the Office of Admission and Office of Student Financial Services, provides a stand-alone, homey environment that will be sure to make prospective students and their entire families feel at ease as they explore campus for the first time.

“Today is a culminating moment for a 24/7 campus,” said Dr. Richard F. Giese, president of the College during the opening remarks. “It is especially fitting that we are here to help the Gartners and others celebrate their part in the progress of Mount Union. Today is the day to thank those who have generously provided support for the Welcome Center.”

Lee Ann (Johnston '83) Thorn, chair of the Board of Trustees, Amy Tomko, vice president for enrollment services and Teale Harold, a junior political science major from North Canton each expressed to the audience their appreciation to the individuals who made the Welcome Center a reality. 

The Center has been named in honor of lead supporters Carl ’60 and Martha Gartner of Minerva, OH. Carl has served on the Board of Trustees for 28 years and he and his wife have always enjoyed, supported and been involved with Mount Union.

“We strongly believe in Mount Union’s mission to prepare students for meaningful work, fulfilling lives and responsible citizenship,” said Martha Gartner. “Part of being a responsible citizen is conserving resources. This building (Gartner Welcome Center) shows Mount Union’s commitment to green initiatives.”

The Gartner Welcome Center has been designed to achieve a gold level based on the LEED-certified building standards. Some of the green features that have been incorporated into the Center include a geo-thermal well field, higher performing insulation, higher performing glazing in widows, low flow toilets, urinals, and fixtures, individual thermal control and occupancy sensors for lighting and more efficient mechanical and electrical systems.

Gartner Welcome Center dedication toursThe Office of Admission area inside of the Gartner Welcome Center has been named “The Rodman Family Admission Center” to honor Margaret (Kinsey ’51) and Dr. James Rodman ’49.
Dr. Rodman was a professor of physics and astronomy at Mount Union from 1951 to 1993. In his spare time, he proposed, designed and constructed the “Chapman Cloiset,” the bell tower’s underground watering system and restored to full operation the College’s historic 1864 refracting telescope. Well-known and respected for their philanthropy and commitment to Alliance, the Rodmans have supported a myriad of building projects and special initiatives over the years at Mount Union.

“After World War II, my parents encouraged me to take a look at Mount Union. My mother served on the Board of Trustees and I knew many others who had a strong connection to the College,” said Dr. Rodman when discussing his ties to Mount Union. “The most attractive characteristics of the institution were the friendliness and openness of everyone that I came in contact with. I’m very thankful for being a part of the Mount Union faculty.”

Also making significant contributions to the Welcome Center are Wanda Fortune and the late Dr. W. Brooks Fortune ’34.  In their honor, the Office of Student Financial Services has been named “The Fortune Student Financial Services Center.” Wanda, an avid gardener, became interested in helping landscape the north side of the Welcome Center, which has a wonderful view of the lakes. In her honor, the fully-landscaped patio has been named the “Wanda Y. Fortune Plaza.”

“My husband loved Mount Union College,” said Wanda when asked to say a few words on behalf of her husband Brooks who passed away in 2005, and herself. “The College had a special place in his heart.”

The Harley C. and Mary Hoover Price Foundation also was recognized for its support of the Welcome Center.

After the ceremony concluded Greg King, vice president for college advancement invited everyone to tour the Gartner Welcome Center.

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