What does Ohio State mean to Marion’s new economy?
Some of the world’s largest machines were built in Marion, Ohio—huge shovels that extracted coal to fuel the Industrial Revolution, and the giant transporter that carried space shuttles to and from their launch pads at Cape Canaveral. However, like the rest of the country, Marion’s manufacturing base has dwindled. The community still produces more clothes dryers than anywhere else in the world, but community leaders understand that an educated citizenry will attract tomorrow’s employers and keep the community alive.
Fortunately, Marion is one of five communities outside Columbus that is home to a campus of The Ohio State University. About 2,000 students a year study on this intimate campus to become teachers, scientists, and engineers. Some complete their degree on the Marion campus. Others will move to Columbus to refine their major and participate in world-class research.
To take full advantage of Ohio State’s presence in Marion, our students will soon need new science facilities. The replacement of outdated labs built over 40 years ago will help local students participate more fully in the new economy and help Marion attract top-notch faculty. A growing number of forward-looking Marion residents recognize the need and have made significant pledges toward a new science building. They include Sims Brothers Recycling and the company’s owner Gary Sims, industrial developer Ted Graham, local physician Jay Moodley, and 97-year-old former florist Trella Romine.
“This community has been wonderful to me and my family,” says Sims. “It’s important for us to give back.” He and his company have each committed $50,000 to a new science facility. “I want to do my part to make sure this piece of Ohio State has the tools it needs to keep our kids ahead of the curve.”