Commemorative Ornaments

Each year the Miami University Alumni Association offers a limited edition ornament. The following is an overview of past ornaments.

Ogden Hall Ornament (2016)

Lewis Place 2015Completed in 1924, Ogden Hall carries the name of George C. Ogden (1863), a Cincinnati physician and poet. Ogden’s sister, Laura Ogden Whaling, made what was then the largest bequest in Miami’s history to name the building and stipulated that it be located to the west of the school gymnasium. In order to meet Ms. Ogden’s conditions without blocking Lewis Place’s view of Slant Walk, the gymnasium—Herron Hall and later Van Voorhis Hall—had to be picked up and moved 522 feet to the east. Miami legend holds that, in order to meet another condition of the will, the university constructed an underground wall around Ogden Hall. at “wall” is actually the original foundation of old Herron Hall. Today, Ogden Hall remains a prominent fixture on the edge of Miami’s main academic quad and connects to the popular Bell Tower Place dining hall.

Lewis Place Ornament (2015)

Lewis Place 2015Lewis Place, home to Miami’s presidents since 1903, was built on High Street in 1839 by Romeo and Jane Lewis. The architecture of the house is reminiscent of Lewis’ previous Florida home. In this home, Romeo’s wife, Jane North Lewis, reared her nephew, Phillip North Moore (Miami 1870, Doctor of Laws 1920). As Jane cared for a number of other relatives, the home was often called “Saint’s Rest.”

After Jane’s death in 1888, Phillip inherited the home. In 1903, he leased it rent-free to Miami for use as the president’s home. After Phillip’s death in 1929, his heirs sold Lewis Place to Miami, and it became the official president’s home. 

The house was remodeled in 1902, with a back porch added in 1951, remodeled again in 1965, and again in 1995 and 2006. As of 2015, 10 presidents and their families have resided at Lewis Place.

Armstrong Student Center Ornament (2014)

Armstrong Student Center 2014Miami University's Armstrong Student Center is a student dream more than a decade in the making that came to life in January 2014. Envisioned as the future of the Miami Experience, it was conceived by students and supported by alumni and friends for future generations of Miami students.

The efficient design involved renovating the former Gaskill and Rowan Halls and connecting them via a new central structure. The Armstrong Student Center's signature spaces included a three-story Bicentennial Rotunda featuring a three-dimensional Miami Seal, Slant Walk, Center for Student Engagement and Leadership (SEAL), Harry T. Wilks Theater, The Pavilion large-event space, The Commons dining area and welcoming Shade Family Room.

The Armstrong Student Center is named for 1961 Miami graduates Mike and Anne Armstrong, whose leadership gift provided a spark for the more than 11,000 alumni and friends who contributed to the effort.

Bishop Hall Ornament (2013)

Bishop Hall Ornament 2013Named for Miami University's first president and originally constructed to be the second women's residence hall on campus, Bishop Hall was built in 1911-12 and dedicated June 15,1912.

Robert Hamilton Bishop was a professor of history, logic and moral philosophy before serving as Miami's first president from 1824-1841. Following his resignation as president, Bishop continued to work for the University as a professor, and he is buried with his wife near the Arthur Conrad Formal Gardens.

In addition to serving as a women's residence hall on campus, portions of Bishop Hall were used as a hospital. When the influenza epidemic of 1918 hit, half of Miami's student population and a third of the faculty were said to have fallen ill within a few days. The female residents Bishop Hall were sent home at the time, and the entire building was used as a hospital to care for those affected.

The Honors Program was established at Miami in 1961, and Bishop Hall eventually would become the Honors Program residence hall and office in 1981, nearly 70 years after it was first built. Today, Bishop Hall houses upper-class students, and its location on Central Quad gives its residents convenient access to King Library as well as Bell Tower Place in Ogden Hall.

Murstein Alumni Center Ornament (2012)

Murstein Alumni Center Ornament (2012)Ambassador John E. Dolibois ’42, Miami University’s first alumni secretary, dreamed of having a building primarily devoted to conducting official alumni business. In the October 1964 issue of Miami Alumnus, Dolibois appealed to this need for a suitable space to serve as a “visitor’s headquarters”; at the time of publication, the alumni office was occupying Warfield Hall, where alumni records were stored in the basement and office supplies in the staircase wells.

While the then- vacant Lewis Place was considered as the aforementioned suitable space, new University president Phillip Shriver preferred the traditional home of Miami’s former presidents for his own living quarters. It then was decided that the new alumni office would take up residence on a University-owned piece of land in the south corner of Oxford. In October 1965, the Board of Trustees approved construction of a two-story building on the corner of Chestnut Street and U.S. 27, pending successful completion of a $250,000 campaign.

Honorary alumnus William “Bill” Murstein, who never attended Miami, made an initial gift that moved construction from planning to implementation. A prominent business leader in the Cincinnati area, Murstein was known for his substantial contributions to a variety of worthwhile projects. To honor this commitment to constructing a new alumni center, the Board of Trustees voted to name the site the Murstein Alumni Center in February 1966.

Alumni operations officially moved into the Murstein Alumni Center in 1967 and have been using the facility for alumni affairs ever since. The legacy this building carries is demonstrative of the vital role Miami’s alumni and friends play in shaping the University.

Oxford College Ornament (2011)

Oxford College Ornament (2011)The Oxford Female Institute was chartered in 1849. Its original building dates to 1850 with significant additions in 1856, 1884, and 1888.  The ballroom was added by Miami University in 1929 with monies raised by the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) in honor of First Lady Caroline Scott  Harrison.

Caroline Scott graduated from the Oxford Female Institute where her father, The Reverend John Witherspoon Scott, was the first President.  She met Benjamin Harrison while he was a college student in Cincinnati. He transferred to Miami in the 1850s and they married in 1853, one year after their graduations. Benjamin Harrison was elected President of the United States in 1888.  Caroline Scott Harrison served as the first national DAR President while living in Washington, D.C.

The Oxford Female Institute and the Oxford Female College merged in 1867 and re-chartered as the Oxford College for Women in 1906.  After closing in 1928, its main building was acquired by Miami and remodeled as a women's dormitory.  It was during this renovation that the building’s exterior was altered to its current Georgian style .For many years, the local chapter of the DAR met in the ballroom, and that tradition has been recently revived.

The restoration of this building not only preserves an historical landmark, but also provides Oxford and the surrounding area a theater, ballroom, meeting and classroom facilities as well as studios for area artists.  The building now houses the Oxford Community Arts Center.

Peabody Hall Ornament (2010)

Peabody Hall Ornament (2010)Peabody Hall, located on Western Campus, was completed in 1855 and was originally named "Seminary Hall." It was renamed in 1905 after Helen Peabody who was the first principal and teacher of the Western Seminary from 1855-1888.

Bicentennial Ornament (2009)

Bicentennial Ornament (2009)Capturing 200 years and beyond in one design earned Miami University junior Erin Kana accolades as her Bicentennial Celebration logo was selected to officially represent Miami's two centuries (1809-2009), as well as its future in public higher education.

The tower is inspired by those on Harrison Hall, which houses the department of political science, the Havighurst Center for Russian and Post-Soviet Studies, and the Center for Public Management and Regional Affairs. Named for Benjamin Harrison, Miami Class of 1852 and later president of the United States, the Harrison Hall towers were designed by Miami's most prominent architect, Charles Cellarius, who was responsible for many Georgian-style buildings on campus. It is located on the site of Miami's first classroom building, "Old Main," which stood from approximately 1816 to 1958.

Excerpt from Miami University Bicentennial website, June 2009

Miami Nation- Miami University: Partners in Learning Ornament (2008)

Miami Nation- Miami University: Partners in Learning Ornament (2008)In 1972 Chief Forest Olds of the Miami Tribe of Oklahoma met Miami University President Phillip R. Shriver and a lasting connection was forged. Many officials from Student Affairs, Alumni Relations, and the Miami Nation have contributed to the unique relationship that has evolved.

The design, created by Miami Tribal artist Julie Olds, includes: the beautiful circular window from the Miami Tribal headquarters building; the crane representing the Myaamia people; and the diamond pattern which is prominent in traditional Miami ribbon work and design.

The Myaamia word neepwaantiinki, to learn from each other, aptly describes us as Partners in Learning. An Eagle feather represents the Nation; a Red Tail Hawk feather represents the University; and a red string binds the two together with trust and great respect.

We dedicate this ornament to the memory of Floyd Leonard (1925-2008), Chief of the Miami Tribe for more than 25 years, whose commitment to this relationship allowed it to grow to the extent that is witnessed in 2008. We are forever indebted to him.

Dolibois European Center (2007)

In 1968 Miami University opened a new Center in the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg. John E. Dolibois suggested his native Luxembourg as a location and helped establish the Miami University European Center. In 1988, the Board of Trustees of Miami University voted to change the name of the Center to the Miami University John E. Dolibois European Center (MUDEC) to honor U.S. Ambassador Dolibois for his outstanding service.

Pearson Hall (2006)

Built over a period of two years, the Biological Sciences Building was one of several major construction projects completed during Paul Pearson's tenure as Miami President from 1981-1992.  In 1994, Miami's Board of Trustees approved naming the building for former President Pearson.  It currently houses the Departments of Botany, Microbiology, and Zoology.

Shriver Center (2005)

Shriver Center Ornament 2005The Phillip R. Shriver Center, formerly known as the University Center or "The Res," as it was commonly called, was completed in 1957. The center was designed to serve as a social, cultural and recreation center. It included a billiard room, bowling lanes, cafeteria, snack bar, music listening room, ballroom, bookstore and many student offices.

In June of 1981 during Alumni Weekend, the University Center was renamed the Phillip R. Shriver Center. Dr. Phillip Shriver was Miami's 17th president and holds the record for the longest tenure of any university president in the state of Ohio.

Numerous renovations followed, resulting in a facility that hosts many students, faculty and University guests. The Miami Indian Room, located in the west exit lobby, illustrates the University's ties to the Miami Tribe.

Shriver Center now houses the Haines Food Court, a formal dining room, bookstore, commuting student center, study lounge, game room, and student organization offices.

Miami Field Gates (2004)

The Miami Field Gates were constructed in the early 1900s as the ticket windows for Old Miami Stadium, which stood at the corner of Patterson and High Streets. Miami Field served as Miami’s football stadium from 1896 until it was closed in 1982, making way for the newer and larger Yager Stadium The last football game played at Miami Field was in November of 1982. Through the joint efforts of the classes of 1959 and 1960, funds were raised to move these entrance gates of Old Miami Field to the Yager Stadium complex in October 1983.

Kumler Chapel (2003)

Inspired by the venerable village church in the town of Bazoches-au-Houlme (Orne) in the Normandy region, Kumler Chapel was dedicated Thanksgiving Day 1918 when the Allied Nations were giving thanks for the end of World War I. This inspirational place of worship was a gift from Anna Kumler Wight (class of 1879) and Ella Kumler McKelvy to express their deep loyalty to Western College. Kumler Chapel also served as a memorial to their father, Rev. J.P.E. Kumler, D.D. who served on the Western Board of Trustees and to their mother, Abbie C. D. Goulding once a Western Faculty member.

Kumler Chapel's stained glass windows focus on women of the Bible and of Western College. Acquired by Miami University through the purchase of the Western College for Women in 1973, the chapel no longer holds regular services, but is used for special events, such as weddings, graduation ceremonies and more.

Stoddard and Elliott Ornament (2002)

Stoddard and Elliott OrnamentThis ornament spins and is two sided, Elliott Hall on one side and Stoddard hall on the other.

Miami's oldest buildings, Elliott (c. 1825) and Stoddard (c. 1836) halls have housed thousands of Miami students over the years. Originally known as North and South Hall, these two buildings were later renamed in honor of Charles Elliott, a professor of classics, and Orange Nash Stoddard, a professor of natural science.

These two buildings were consciously patterned after the oldest Yale University building, Connecticut Hall which dates back to 1756.

Stoddard and Elliott were rebuilt in 1937 with assistance from the Public Works Administration and currently serve as home to Miami's Scholar Leader program. And although the campus has grown around them, Stoddard and Elliot still stand at the center of campus today.

Phi Delta Theta Gates (2001)

Oxford’s oldest and most lasting thoroughfare was never planned, marked or designated. I just happened. It was the students’ beeline from campus to the village shops and taverns. After Miami’s closing in 1873 the Slant Walk was overrun with weeds and briers. When the University reopened twelve years later, it was trimmed and graveled. In the Centennial year, 1909, an ornamental gate was added.

In 1973 Phi Delta Theta observed the 125th anniversary of its founding in old Elliott Hall. Since 1848 hundreds of its members had trod the long Slant Walk. As a gift to the campus the fraternity provided a new gateway.

Since 1809 Miami buildings have risen and been razed, the campus has grown from 56 acres to more than a thousand. Still the Slant Walk carries the stream of life between town and college through the Phi Delta Gates.

MacMillan Hall (2000)

MacMillan Hall OrnamentPrior to the construction of the University hospital in 1923, a few rooms on the second floor of Bishop Hall comprised the health service facilities of Miami. The original hospital building was occupied late in 1923 and completed early in 1924. Additions were made in 1939 and again in 1962. In 1948 the Board of Trustees named the building the Wade MacMillan Hospital in honor of Miami's first medical doctor.

In 1918 Dr. MacMillan became Director of Health of Miami University and served in this capacity until his retirement in 1935 at the age of 70. During this period he served a term on the Board of directors of the American Student Health Service Association and helped organize a state association serving as its president for two years. After retirement he continued to live in Oxford and spent much of his time working with under-developed Miami men students. He died on May 13, 1940.

Withrow Court (1999)

Withrow Court (1999) OrnamentBuilt in 1931 and dedicated February 13, 1932, Withrow Court was planned as a men’s gymnasium and assembly hall. It could hold over 3,000 in bleachers and approximately 5,000 with chairs on the floor. Until Millett Hall was completed in 1968 it was used for commencements, artist course numbers, dances, convocations, and intercollegiate basketball and wrestling. At the same time Withrow Court provided space for all of the activities customarily associated with a physical education program. In 1966 wings were added on the north, south, and east of the building.

McGuffey Hall (1998)

MacMillan Hall OrnamentIn beautiful Oxford-town, Prof. W. H. McGuffey lived and taught - in the log churches of neighboring villages he preached. While at Miami University this remarkable man perfected newer, more scientific teaching methods for the young.

A-cat-and-a-rat. A-rat-and-a-cat. Eclectic Reader number one opened up to thousands of children the delights of the pictured page and the joys of the written word. McGuffey Hall stands as a memorial to this educational genius.

Hall Auditorium (1997)

MacMillan Hall OrnamentHall Auditorium is named for the fifth president of Miami University, John W. Hall.  Hall, a Presbyterian minister as were his four predecessors, was president of Miami during 1854-66.

Located on Campus Avenue, the building was completed in 1908.  For eighteen years it was called either the Auditorium or the Administration Building.  In September of 1926 it was named Benton Hall, after the twelfth president, and was so designated until 1969 when the Benton name was shifted to a new classroom building.

McCracken Hall (1996)

McCracken Hall (1996) OrnamentMacCracken Hall represents the strength of character of its namesake with a two-story columned portico and a double tier cupola with a weathervane. Henry Mitchell MacCracken, Oxford native and Miami graduate 1857 was one of America's outstanding 19th Century educators and master builder of New York University.

MacCracken was the son of a Miami professor, Rev. John S. MacCracken. He held degrees from Miami, Princeton, Wittenberg, and the Universities of Tübingen and Berlin. He taught in Ohio schools before serving as minister of the Oxford Presbyterian Church. He became chancellor of Pittsburgh University and later, vice chancellor and chancellor of New York University. While at NYU, a lifetime vision became a reality when he created the Hall of Fame for Great Americans.

MacCracken Hall's west wing was built in 1957 and the center and east sections added in 1961. It is one of the most photographed landmarks on Miami's campus and is used for residence and dining facilities.

Upham Hall Arch (1995)

Upham Hall Arch (1995) OrnamentThrough the Upham Arch, beneath the words “Ye shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free”, the past of Miami faces the future. To the west was the original campus, to the east the campus to come, full of hope and promise.

The Upham Hall Arch was built in 1948 and named in honor of Dr. Alfred Horatio Upham. Upham was president of Miami during 1928-1945, after having been a student and a professor of English. Among his accomplishments are the words to the “Alma Mater” and sentimental “Old Miami.” He died while in office on February 17, 1945, Miami University’s Charter Day.

Miami legend says that “if you kiss your true love under the Upham Hall Arch, you will marry and the bond will never be broken.” Hence, the Arch has become the site of many marriage proposals over the years.

Sesquicentennial Chapel (1994)

Sesquicentennial Chapel (1994) OrnamentBuilt by donations from the alumni, family and friends of Miami University, the chapel is a non-denominational gathering place for spiritual events.  It was built with the intention that these spiritual activities round out the college education.  The Chapel was dedicated on June 7, 1959 with a Sunday Baccalaureate service preceding the Monday Commencement.

President Millett called the chapel a beacon, reminding new generations that they must have a conscience as well as a career.  In the narthex on the west wall are the words of John R. Simpson 1899, “Guide Us to Wisdom, Lead Us Toward the Light.”

The Sesquicentennial Chapel stands in the heart of campus, located directly west of the Shriver Center.  With four columns and triangular frame, its simple but classical exterior offers all who pass an invitation to meditation.  Once inside, the small and humble sanctuary comforts and unites.  It also serves as a popular location for the weddings of Miami students, alumni and friends.

The Beta Bells (1993)

The Beta Bells (1993) OrnamentThe Beta Bells, more formally known as the Beta Theta Pi Campanile, were a gift to the University in 1939 from the Beta Theta Pi Fraternity on the occasion of the fraternity’s celebration of the 100th anniversary of its founding on the Miami campus on August 8, 1839.

The bells were first heard at noon on August 8, 1939, when they were temporaily housed in the east tower of Harrison Hall (Old Main) awaiting construction of the bell tower.  The tower was dedicated on May 17, 1941.  The cornerstone was later turned around and re-carved to reflect the fraternity’s centenary.  Bronze tablets mounted at the base of the tower commemorate the presentation and dedication of the seal.

The Bells are pitched to ring the Westminster series of four notes for each quarter hour, with sixteen notes at the full hour followed by the striking of the hour on the largest bell.  The tower is believed to have been the first Georgian brick standing bell tower.

Lewis Place (1992)

Lewis Place (1992) OrnamentLewis Place, the spacious home of Miami’s presidents since 1903, was built on High Street in 1838 by Romeo Lewis of Connecticut.  The architecture of the house is reminiscent of Lewis’ previous Florida plantation house.  In this home, Romeo’s wife, Jane North Lewis, reared her nephew, Phillip North Moore, (Miami 1870, Doctor of Laws 1920).  As Jane cared for a number of other relatives, the home was often called “Saint’s Rest.”  After Jane’s death in 1888, Phillip inherited the home.  In 1903, he leased it rent-free to Miami for use as a president’s home.  After Phillip’s death in 1929, heirs sold Lewis Place to the state, and it became the official president’s mansion.  Remodeled in 1902 and 1965, with a back porch area was added in 1951.  Presidents residing in Lewis Place, 1903-1992, include: Benton, Hughes, Upham, Hahne, Millett, Shriver, and Pearson.

Alumni Hall (1991)

Alumni Hall (1991) OrnamentAlumni Hall opened March 29, 1910 as the alumni library thanks to generous gifts to the university.  Andrew Carnegie offered $40,000 if that amount could be matched by alumni and friends.  The original building was 95 by 97 feet with a 70-foot high rotunda.  The east wing, completed in 1924, contained a main reference room, reading room and reserve book room.  The west wing was added in 1952.  After construction of King Library in 1972, the building was renamed Alumni Hall and currently houses the architecture department, art/architecture library, university archives, and Alumni Hall stack storage.

Fisher Hall (1990)

MacMillan Hall OrnamentFisher Hall became part of Miami University in 1925, after serving as the Oxford Femal College from its dedication in 1856 until 1867 and as a sanitarium from 1882 until it became a Miami residence hall in 1926.  It was used as a U.S. Navy training school during World War II.  Fisher Hall is often remembered as the residence from which Ronald Tammen, a resident assistant, disappeared in 1953.  Although declared unsafe for use as a residence hall in 1957, the lower floors were used by the Theatre Department until 1969.  It was razed in 1978.  In its place today stands the Timothy J. Marcum Conference Center, but it’s said that the “ghost of Fisher Hall” still roams the Conrad Formal Gardens.

Old Main (1989)

MacMillan Hall OrnamentOld Main, the center of campus life for many decades, was known by several names during its existence.  The original building was completed in 1816.  Several additions were added before its final state was reached in 1898.  In 1931 the building was officially renamed Harrison Hall after Benjamin Harrison ‘1852, the 23rd President of the United States.  Old Main/Harrison Hall housed both Miami’s administrative offices and classrooms.  It was razed in 1958 to make room for the present Harrison Hall which was dedicated on May 9, 1959.