YSU Basks in Building Boom, Recognitions

By Ron Cole, director of university communications, YSU 
YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio — Youngstown State University’s leading role in the rebirth of Youngstown and the Mahoning Valley continued in full force in 2019, setting the stage for a 2020 filled with purpose, promise and great possibilities.

The “We See Tomorrow” fundraising campaign made history by reaching its $100 million goal, well ahead of schedule. While the campaign continues, the $100 million is the most ever raised by YSU in a single campaign, allowing the university to increase scholarship funding and create endowed professorships, among other initiatives.

The infrastructure of the campus continued to evolve, reflected in a single block along Wick Avenue between Rayen and Lincoln avenues. Here is the new Mercy Health Student Health Center, next to a new Chipotle restaurant, which is next door to the Enclave student apartments – all part of YSU’s efforts to make the campus more responsive to the needs of students, especially the increasing number of students living on campus.

Speaking of which, across the street from Enclave, another set of private student apartments is under construction, while the third phase of the Edge apartments on the western side of campus is also underway. Both are slated to open by the start of the fall semester.

On the northern end of campus is the new Constantini Multimedia Center at Stambaugh Stadium, as well as the new Cafaro Family Field intramurals center. In addition, a new indoor tennis center being constructed on the western side of campus should be ready for action this spring.

The new Excellence Training Center on the southwestern side of campus also continues to take shape, an initiative that will have a significant impact on YSU students and the Mahoning Valley for years to come. We look forward to a groundbreaking in the near future on the corner of Fifth Avenue and Commerce Street.

And, speaking of Fifth Avenue, thanks to a $10.8 million federal grant and in conjunction with several partners, Fifth Avenue through campus is about to undergo a major overhaul. It will include a new median in the roadway, new bike lanes, new lighting, sidewalks, landscaping and even an autonomous shuttle going up and down the street. It’ll be a big upgrade for that side of campus, similar to the significant overhaul of Wick Avenue a couple of years ago. 

Various national recognitions also continued flowing into the university this past year. Among them were the Association of Governing Boards honoring the YSU Board of Trustees for exceptional leadership; the YSU Small Business Development Center receiving a national Excellence and Innovation Award; the Arbor Day Foundation designating YSU as a Tree Campus USA for the 10th consecutive year; and YSU’s No. 1 ranking for recycling across the Buckeye State.

In addition, the YSU Moot Court program ranked fifth in the nation and qualified for the national finals for the 11th straight year. The Ethics Bowl team won its regional competition for the fourth consecutive year and advanced to the national finals for the fifth straight time. YSU student athletes won four Horizon League championships. Last fall, one of our students placed first at the National Honors Conference in New Orleans. And also last fall, Dina Abdo from Egypt became the first student ever to study at YSU under the Fulbright Scholar program.

So, it was clearly another banner year, and as 2020 progresses, we look forward to getting a new strategic action plan in place and implemented, setting the path for the university’s future. 

While challenges certainly remain, and the higher education landscape continues to unfold, YSU remains well positioned to build on our strengths, to fulfill our potential, to facilitate positive change and to ensure the continued and expanding success of our students and our community.

Copyright 2024 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.