Feature Story

‘A Really Great Day to Be a Bishop’

October 2, 2015 – by Julia Stone ’16

Ohio Wesleyan celebrates the dedication of the new Simpson Querrey Fitness Center and rededication of Edwards Gymnasium on Oct. 1. Lead donors Louis A. Simpson ’58 and his wife, Kimberly K. Querrey, were on hand for the festivities. (Photo by Paul Vernon)

Ohio Wesleyan Dedicates the Simpson Querrey Fitness Center, Rededicates Edwards Gymnasium

Ohio Wesleyan celebrates the dedication of the new Simpson Querrey Fitness Center and rededication of Edwards Gymnasium on Oct. 1. Lead donors Louis A. Simpson ’58 and his wife, Kimberly K. Querrey, were on hand for the festivities. (Photo by Paul Vernon)

The Ohio Wesleyan community gathered in celebration Oct. 1 to dedicate the new Simpson Querrey Fitness Center and rededicate the fully renovated Edwards Gymnasium.

Thanks to a generous $8 million lead gift from Louis A. Simpson ’58 and his wife, Kimberly K. Querrey, fundraising was completed quickly for the $10 million construction and renovation projects, and work was completed this fall.

The Oct. 1 celebration began with a prelude from the Bishop Band and a welcome from Thomas Tritton ’69, Chair of the OWU Board of Trustees. Then President Rock Jones remarked on the vision of Ohio Wesleyan’s founders to provide an education that impacts the entire human being, including the sharpening of capacities for moral judgment, discipline to spiritual reflection, and care for the physical body.

“As we educate future leaders, we understand that the quality, longevity, and fulfillment of their lives, both professional and personal, will be directly related to their ability to maintain good physical health,” Jones said. “The college years are the ideal time to develop lifelong habits of physical discipline. The Simpson Querrey Fitness Center provides a superb setting for that development to take place.”

In their remarks, Simpson and Querrey thanked the other project donors and shared how pleased they were to see the completed center.

“We are delighted that this can be an addition to the Ohio Wesleyan community,” Simpson said, with Querrey adding, “Developing lifelong habits at an early age is really crucial to being successful in life.”

Wesleyan Council on Student Affairs (WCSA) President Jerry Lherisson ’16 said: “On February 28, 1906, the Ohio Wesleyan Transcript’s front page read, ‘A great day, the gym at last,” and I think I speak on behalf of all the students here when I say that today is finally a great day, the gym, at last.”

Lherisson said the new fitness center represents the love that OWU alumni have for their alma mater, and their efforts to make sure that those who come after them have the same life-changing experiences.

WSCA Vice President Emma Drongowski ’16, like Lherisson, said the celebration marked a great day.

“Twice, once and Merrick and once at Simpson Querrey, I witnessed a student look at the world-class facilities and ask, ‘Is this really OWU?’” Drongowski said. “We now have world-class facilities that raise the bar in what it means to be a great home for students.” (OWU’s newly renovated Merrick Hall was reopened and rededicated in August.)

Before welcoming the donors to take part in a ribbon-cutting ceremony, President Jones stated: “In 1906, the Transcript reports said it was a great day. And today we say again, it is a really great day to be a Bishop.”

Following the ribbon-cutting ceremony, all were invited to take self-guided tours of Simpson Querrey Fitness Center and Edwards Gymnasium.

The fitness center includes the new Jannuzi Dance Studio with spectator seating, as well as renovated classrooms and a new Health and Human Kinetics studio. Edwards Gymnasium restorations include a restored second-floor basketball court, new locker rooms, and the Morrill Family Strength & Conditioning Room.

Photos from the Event