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OUSC receives #036;1.125 million

A Proctorville family has donated more than $1 million in property to Ohio University Southern Campus.

Friday, March 30, 2001

A Proctorville family has donated more than $1 million in property to Ohio University Southern Campus.

Marshall Smith, a land developer in Proctorville, and his daughter, Dee Ann Rucker, donated 19.0948 acres of land in the village area, appraised at $1.125 million, to the university campus, said Bob Smith, OUSC’s assistant dean for development.

OUSC will make the announcement public at a 2 p.m. ceremony today.

"It’s absolutely marvelous," Smith said. "It can be a real showplace for that part of the county."

Marshall Smith retired in 1990 from his business, and has been a land developer since, Bob Smith said.

OUSC has no plans, no commitment from any party on the future development of the site, he said.

The university has a dream of expanding the Eastern Lawrence County Center, located in the village government building, but that is all right now, Smith said.

The land donation is simply a first step, he added.

"It’s an outright gift and now our job is to go raise the money," Smith said. "I think it’s a dream that has come true."

The eastern Lawrence County area is growing, and the campus there is growing, too, with 280 students currently. So, of course a new building would be a magnet and not only serve that population but the university as well, he said.

Reaction among campus officials has been one of marvel, Bob Smith said.

"It’s ideal for the campus," he said. "We haven’t given Marshall Smith enough thank yous."

Any future buildings or structures on the site will be named in honor of Marshall Smith’s late son, Greg Lee Smith, who died of cancer at the age of 28.

The value of the land will also benefit the university’s Bicentennial Campaign.

The campaign has a fund-raising goal of $5 million, and the donation will be counted toward that funding goal, Smith said.

The campaign kicks off Saturday at 6:30 p.m. in the Riffe Center Rotunda. It ends Dec. 31, 2004 – the year Ohio University celebrates its 200th birthday.

The Bicentennial Campaign marks a time of development for OU’s campuses across the state, Smith said.

"All five regional campuses are taking part and every penny raised here will stay right here on the southern campus," he said.