A new life for the newly renovated Page Hall began yesterday with an event that brought in a crowd of nearly 500 and featured such speakers as former Ohio Senator John Glenn, Columbus Mayor Michael B. Coleman, Ohio Supreme Court Chief Justice Thomas J. Moyer, Ohio State President Karen A. Holbrook and Tami Longaberger, chair of the Ohio State Board of Trustees.
The assembled crowd was so large many people had to watch the speeches in Page Hall classrooms via closed-circuit television.
Displays throughout the building now include a three-dimensional timeline that chronicles Senator Glenn’s life, a donor wall with several items from the John Glenn Archives and a black wall etched with stars to illustrate Glenn’s 1962 space orbit around the Earth.
Glenn was the key speaker of the afternoon and focused on the importance of politics in society.
“Beautiful as a building is, the building means little,” he said. “No matter how much we appreciate the architectural excellence … the building only means something as a place in which student’s lives are enriched or policies are hammered out that can benefit all of us or our nation.”
That dedication to students and public policy, he said, is the goal of the John Glenn Institute.
“My greatest hope for Page hall is that the John Glenn Institute and the School of Public Policy and Management will draw upon the resources and vision, and embody in this building to inspire truly the greatest leaders of the (21st) century,” Glenn said.
Holbrook spoke of the future for Page Hall and the Glenn Institute.
“Public service requires dedication and commitment to a vision for the future and a willingness to apply the hard work that is needed to realize that vision,” she said. “Page Hall is the environment that supports the partnership between education and public service, between the John Glenn Institute and the School of Public Policy and Management in a very special way.”
Mayor Coleman gave a brief but witty insight to the Glenn Institution.
“I’m not a mathematician, but you add public service plus public policy to John Glenn, and you create leaders,” Coleman said.
Following Coleman was Chief Justice Moyer, who spoke about the spirit of service that is part of the building and its history.
“We may have stripped off the roof and taken out all the floors and the walls, but the core strength of integrity, morality, service, and reasoning remain as vibrant as when the college was set a century ago,” he said.
Longaberger, also chair of the Page Hall Capital Campaign Committee, began the ceremony, explaining the value of the hall for promoting public service.
“It will serve as a vital link between the university and the community, hopefully and intentionally inspiring public service in our students, inviting community members to further their education and supporting … lively dialogue among students, faculty, policymakers, and community members of all types,” she said.