Ohio Dominican University Receives $1.5 Million Gift from Dominican Sisters of Peace

Peace Hall

Gift from founding congregation is largest in university’s 106-year history

Columbus, OH – Ohio Dominican University (ODU) announced that it has received the largest gift in the school’s history: a $1.5 million gift from its founding congregation, the Dominican Sisters of Peace. The gift will be used to renovate ODU’s east campus building, located at 2600 Airport Drive, to house the University’s proposed Doctor of Physical Therapy program. In recognition of the gift, the building will be named Peace Hall.

ODU’s program is currently seeking accreditation from the Higher Learning Council (HLC) and will be applying for accreditation from the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE).

The $1.5 million gift includes a $500,000 matching gift to challenge other donors to support ODU’s first doctoral program.

ODU President Peter Cimbolic, PhD and Sr. Patricia Twohill, OP, Prioress of the Dominican Sisters of Peace, announced the gift at a university event on April 6, 2017.“By virtue of making this momentum gift, we are demonstrating our confidence in the future of Ohio Dominican University and its commitment to be an innovative leader in higher education,” Sr. Patricia said. “In referring to it as a momentum gift, our goal is to inspire other donors to join us and make a commitment to ODU. There is a significant need in the Columbus area for well prepared and qualified physical therapists, and ODU’s proposed Doctorate in Physical Therapy program will be a major step forward in addressing that need.”

Cimbolic said the congregation’s gift will help ODU in its efforts to address a pressing need in the healthcare field in Ohio.

“We are extremely grateful for the generosity of the Dominican Sisters of Peace, and their leadership throughout Ohio Dominican’s history. Their gift to the university will undoubtedly be felt across the region for decades to come in the form of quality and accessible healthcare,” Cimbolic said. “There is a tremendous need in our community for physical therapists, and that need will grow rapidly as the baby boomer generation continues to get older. We’re confident that we will develop a top educational program that will help to fill that void in the Columbus region and across the country.”


According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the physical therapy profession is expected to experience a 34 percent increase in employment (71,800 openings) between 2014 and 2024. The average growth rate for all occupations is seven percent. The annual median pay for physical therapists in
2015 was approximately $84,000.

ODU’s east campus building was built in 1995 and includes 32,000 square feet of available rehabilitation training spaces, as well as office space. Once renovated, it will offer students ample classroom, laboratory and research facilities. The building is easily accessible from ODU’s main
campus by a bridge constructed as part of the Alum Creek Trail.

Dominican Sisters of Peace, members of the pontifical Order of Preachers, are vowed Catholic women who strive to live a life of peace-making. The Dominican Sisters of Peace are present in 22 states and two countries. The Sisters serve God’s people in many ways, including education, health
care, spirituality, pastoral care, prison ministry, the arts, and care of creation. There are 487 Sisters and over 500 lay Associates affiliated with the congregation.

Ohio Dominican University is a comprehensive, four-year, private, liberal arts and master’s institution, founded in 1911 in the Catholic and Dominican tradition by the Dominican Sisters of Peace. The University has approximately 2,550 students and offers undergraduate degrees in 40 majors and nine graduate degree programs. At ODU, students connect their passion with a purpose.

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