In 2006, David Hodge began his tenure as the 21st president of Miami University, where he worked to create the Myaamia Center, oversaw the construction of the Armstrong Student Center, led Miami’s geothermal efforts for sustainability, launched a $100 million campaign to increase student scholarships and more. Although Hodge retired in 2016, his accomplishments will now receive permanent recognition on Western Campus.
On Friday, students, faculty, staff and alumni gathered on the lawn of what was once Stonebridge Hall to celebrate its renaming to Hodge Hall.
“We are grateful for all that you’ve accomplished here, just an extraordinary time and tenure,” Miami’s current President, Greg Crawford, said. “We’re so happy you’re back to celebrate the naming of your hall.”
When President Emeritus David Hodge and University Ambassador Emerita Valerie Hodge first arrived on campus during the recruitment process for president, David Hodge said he quickly noticed two things about the Miami community: the dedication to the university and the mission and vision.
“It’s a remarkable, remarkable place, this thing called the Miami experience,” Hodge said.
The Hodges led Miami through its bicentennial year after being challenged by the 2008 recession. Before the economic crisis, plans were already underway for a new student center. Hodge worked closely with university architects and financial advisors to create a central building for students to collaborate.
Before the renaming of Stonebridge Hall, Hodge’s favorite place on campus was the rotunda in Armstrong, where a three-dimensional seal is encased in the floor. The seal has a physical globe representing the world today, a telescope representing the future and a book opened to an essay from Amanda Hancock ‘15, where she wrote about her experience as a Miami student and the dedication to Miami’s mission that comes with that.
“Whatever we may have given to the university, the university has given back to us tenfold,” Hodge said.
Don Crain, a chair emeritus on the university’s Board of Trustees, worked with the Hodges for nine years on countless decisions to guide the university. The best decision, Crain said, was choosing Hodge as president.
“David, you did stand out, and you made it an easy choice, not only for me but for the entire Board of Trustees,” Crain said.
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Crain commended Hodge on maintaining Miami’s national rank by the U.S. News and World Report, the introduction of Miami’s tuition promise and the creation of the Dauch Indoor Sports Center and six residence and dining halls.
The Hodge name is already across the former Stonebridge Hall, one of Miami’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) residence halls. The dormitory has eight individual houses, and students living there may notice new decor in the lobby: a portrait of the Hodges standing outside a Miami red-brick building.
Hodge said the portrait perfectly encapsulates how they feel about the university, and he’s glad it will live in a building for students.
“It really reflects the way we feel about the university,” Hodge said. “The students here are the center of our lives and are the center of the Miami experience.”
Avery Houghton, a resident assistant in Hodge Hall, came to the event to learn more about the former president.
“My residents have been curious about why the name changed, and I wanted to be able to show my support as they make this transition,” Houghton said.
Daniel Milders, Abbey Michaelson and Molly Love, three residents living in Hodge Hall, were also curious about the name change. Love, a first-year diplomacy and global politics major, and Michaelson, a sophomore chemistry major, thought it was cool to see administrators, past and present, gathered in one area.
“It was fun to hear all their stories of when they used to work at Miami,” Michaelson said.
The Hodges, who now live in Idaho, spent the rest of the weekend at Miami, touring campus and catching the football game before heading home.