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Russ Research Opportunity Center to create collaborative campus research, honor generous donor contributions

OHIO’s Union Green will soon be home to the new Russ Research Opportunity Center, a collaborative research building that will live in the Russ College of Engineering and Technology and will enable the Green to live at the intersection of medicine, health and cutting-edge research.

The newly named Center, which was previously known as the West Union Street Office Center, was officially approved by the Ohio University Board of Trustees during its August 2023 meeting, pays homage to the generous gift that made the building a reality and better distinguishes its research-focused mission.

Named in recognition of Fritz and Dolores Russ, who have provided generous and ongoing support to the Russ College through their historic $124 million estate gift and commitment to education and advancing the Russ College, the Russ Research Opportunity Center will serve as a new space for research and collaboration, both within the Russ College and across multiple disciplinaries.

“Ohio University and the Russ College are incredibly grateful for the contributions Fritz and Dolores Russ have made to expand our research facilities on campus,” President Lori Stewart Gonzalez said. “This state-of-the-art center will allow us to enhance our research and collaboration across campus and provide space for new discoveries that will change our world for the better.”

The continued generosity of Fritz and Dolores Russ has allowed the Russ College to benefit from the largest endowment of any college at OHIO; through their charitable contributions, they have made it possible to create a research-focused center that creates opportunities for research growth and evolution.

Fritz Russ graduated from Ohio University with a Bachelor’s in electrical engineering in 1942. He, and his wife, Dolores, founded one of the nation's leading electronic and automation corporations, Systems Research Laboratories, and understood the importance of research and innovation.

This gift enabled the recently completed renovations to the former West Union Street Office Center that will provide specialty labs, offices, workstations, conference rooms and project rooms for world-class engineering and interdisciplinary research and education.

The Russ Research Opportunity Center is also part of a wider plan, including the construction of Heritage Hall , the new chemistry building, the renovation of Clippinger Laboratories, as well as the upcoming Translational Research Facility, to enhance connections to research and the campus community.

The Center will open this fall and allow Russ College faculty and students to engage in research transparently and utilize dynamic spaces close to campus and to their home academic building, Stocker Center on West Green.

August 23, 2023
Staff reports