Some call it a game changer, but a new building on OHIO’s Athens Campus was imagined and implemented to be much more—a life changer.
Devoted to the success of Ohio University in all its endeavors, alumni Perry (BSC ’80) and Sandy (BSC ’80, MED ’82) Sook seized an opportunity to make a difference for a diverse group of students, asking Athletics Director Jim Schaus one question. What is the Athletics Department’s greatest need?
The answer: Academics.
A $2.25 million lead gift from the Sooks inspired approximately 400 other donors to fund construction of a facility dedicated to giving back to OHIO students who give their all athletically by supporting them academically.
The Perry and Sandy Sook Academic Center opened in October 2018, complementing historic Peden Stadium and other nearby athletic facilities, and making a clear statement to all who pass through and by it: Academic success is a top priority for OHIO Athletics.
The 25,000-square-foot facility provides dedicated study and instructional support space for over 425 student-athletes. Doubling the size of the stadium’s previous study space, the Sook Center is positioning OHIO Athletics to build upon a strong record of achievement in the classroom. In May 2018, the University reported that all 16 of its intercollegiate programs earned history-making records in NCAA Division I Academic Progress Rates, with three programs securing perfect, nationally-recognized scores.
“Our time as an athlete is limited. There are so few collegiate athletes that take their skills to the professional level,” Kendall Jessing, a senior forward on the Ohio Women’s Basketball Team, said at the Sook Center grand opening. “Athletics will end, but what we do and how we succeed as students follows us for the rest of our lives and builds the important foundation for our entire future.”