Campus Center

Campus Center Renovation and The Grove Project

Envisioning a 21st Century Campus Community Center and The Grove Green Space

Students in Campus Center LoungeFrom the time it was built in the late 1960's, the Campus Center has served as the heart of the University community for thousands of Otterbein students, faculty, alumni and friends. Centrally located and serving as a gateway to academic, residential and extracurricular areas—the Campus Center has been the hub of bustling activity over the years, bringing together the Otterbein community in a multitude of meaningful ways. 

While each student's academic experience is at the core of Otterbein's mission, the well-being of our students is crucial in recruitment and retention efforts. Providing a common place for students and campus community to gather, connect, relax, share a meal and discover ways to learn and grow is critical for Otterbein's future. A renovated Campus Center will allow for necessary updates to the building infrastructure with 21st century technology updates and accessibility modifications, so all students and visitors can use the spaces. In addition, an expanded dining hall will accommodate our growing and diverse student body and provide versatile event space options. 

Initial discussions about the Campus Center renovation have identified sustainability and the incorporation of public art into the renovated building–important components of any new public facility. Plans also includes additional space for student organizations, activities and services, all in a versatile, open, multipurpose layout. Also envisioned in the renovated space will be several lounge areas, informal meeting spaces and technology workstations–all of which are desired Campus Center elements of current and prospective students.  

A current University need is the creation of a space to host mid-to-large size events, either for Otterbein use or for the local community. The renovation of the Campus Center would allow for a larger event space to be created and open the possibility of hosting revenue-generating events for the University.  The revitalized Campus Center and The Grove will fulfill a variety of needs, including: 

• Foster healthy lifestyles through enhanced dining options and setups that promote healthy eating and socializing. 

• Offer additional space for Otterbein's Center for Student Involvement (CSI), that will increase meeting and multipurpose spaces for students. 

• Provide an enhanced environment for our model community of educators, leaders and learners who set the pace for higher education and contribute to the common good. 

• Provide a space that all members of the Otterbein community can use for lifelong learning and social endeavors, including alumni, parents and friends of the University. 

• Provide commuters with a place to "touch down" between classes so they can feel more connected to the campus community. 

• Provide spaces to host a variety of events and activities, some of which may be able to generate revenue for Otterbein. 

• Provide a space to showcase the achievements of our students, faculty and alumni and demonstrate the impact and legacy Otterbein has toward our community and common good.  

• Honor the generosity of our donors and model community citizens in helping to grow the culture of philanthropy at Otterbein University. 

Now more than ever, a modern Campus Center is critical to the recruitment and retention of students and overall student experience as the heart of campus and a gateway to support intellectual, cultural and social endeavors. A renovated Campus Center will positively impact and transform not only the student experience at Otterbein, but also that of our alumni, faculty, staff and friends of the University.

A modernized Campus Center and adjacent area called The Grove will serve as a hub for lifelong learning and community-building as part of our model community.  

“The Grove concept is very exciting and forward thinking,” notes President Kathy Krendl. “The concept establishes a pedestrian mall and community space through the closure of Grove Street between Main and Home streets, with water features, seating and tables—all to foster a social gathering space en route to classes, dining and living." – President Kathy Krendl

The GroveThe seed gift for the creation of The Grove comes from Otterbein alumna, Annie Upper '86, who shared, “...the Grove will create a very calm and serene place for students walking to and from class. It’s really important for me to see that on campus.” Once realized, the goal of The Grove is to create a central green space gathering spot that connects the campus, community, Otterbein’s traditions and physical beauty. 

For more information about supporting the Campus Center and/or The Grove Project project, please contact Candace Brady, Executive Director of Development for Individual Giving at 614.823.1953 or


The Office of Development is located in Hancock House at 111 West Park Street.

Office Hours
M-F: 8:30am - 5:00pm

Contact Development
Candace Brady, Executive Director of Development for Individual Giving
p/ 614.823.1953
Kathleen Bonte, Executive Director for Organizational and Special Giving
p/ 614.823.2707