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North Campus residence halls continue military naming tradition

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In continuation of an Ohio State tradition that began in the 1960s, the new North Campus residence halls will be named after OSU military veterans.

At its Jan. 30 meeting, the Board of Trustees approved the names of four OSU male and female veterans who served in wars and foreign countries post-World War II for the North Campus buildings.

The buildings will be named Bowen House, Busch House, Houston House and Torres House.

The Board of Trustees also approved the renaming of the current Neilwood Gables to Mendoza House and Lane Avenue Residence Halls to Lawrence Tower to keep with the military theme.

Additionally, the board approved the reuse of militarily significant names Nosker House, Raney House, Curl Hall, Scott House and Blackburn House on four new buildings close to where the old structures stood.

William Nosker was a 1941 graduate who earned the Bronze Star and the Air Medal in World War II. Nosker was killed in a plane crash in 1944.

Alice Raney, who graduated in the class of 1939, enlisted in the Army and joined the Army Nurse Corps. She was the first woman from OSU to die in World War II after falling ill while on active duty in 1944.

James Curl, a graduate in 1940, was a decorated member of the Army Air Forces who earned a Silver Star. He was killed while piloting a fighter plane in 1945. Curl Drive, which has since been torn down, was named after him.

Robert Scott enlisted in the Navy in 1938 after attending OSU and was killed during the attack on Pearl Harbor. After his death, Scott was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor. He was the first OSU student to earn this honor in either World War.

John Blackburn attended OSU and joined the Navy in 1939. He was also killed in the attack on Pearl Harbor.

Building names are chosen by a small committee run by Student Life and sent to the Board of Trustees for approval, said Dave Isaacs, spokesman for Student Life. A committee of university employees and students worked with OSU Military and Veterans Services to decide which names would be used for the buildings.

“We started thinking about this when North District plans were first approved,” Isaacs said. “But within the past year or so, that’s when we began to do the research on who would be named.”

When the North Campus Residential District was built in the 1960s, the halls were all named after World War I and World War II veterans, said Michael Carrell, assistant provost and director of OSU’s Office of Military and Veterans Services.

Josh Duggan, a third-year in strategic communication who formerly served in the Army infantry in the Afghanistan War, sat on the board and provided a veteran’s perspective. He said the committee put a lot of thought into choosing the right names for the buildings, taking into consideration each veteran’s story.

“They weren’t in a rush,” Duggan said. “They carefully analyzed every candidate to make sure we made the right decision.”

Of the veterans who were selected, Duggan said Capt. Jon T. Busch of the U.S. Air Force stood out to him in particular.

“The reason he stood out to me was because he was a prisoner of war,” Duggan said.

Busch’s plane was shot down in 1967 while he was in Vietnam, Isaacs said in an email. His remains were identified and returned in 1988.

Further plans to honor the veterans are being discussed, Carrell said, and they might include a small display dedicated to each veteran in their respective buildings.

Carrell added that there will likely be a North Campus dedication ceremony when the district is completed.

Torres House, Raney House, Bowen House, Scott House and Curl Hall are set to open in fall 2015, Justin Moss, spokesman for Administration and Planning, said in an email.

The North Residential District Transformation’s budget is $370 million. All buildings are set to be completed by fall 2016.

4 comments

  1. Jacquie Batchelder

    Does Norton Hall still exist? I believe it was named after Fred Norton, a four-sport letterman and member of the OSU HOF who was gunned down in WWI one year after graduating.

  2. @Jacquie Batchelder

    Yes, Norton House still exists. I don’t believe it’s on the demolition list, but don’t quote me on that.

  3. Norton Hall is one of the low-rise dormitories which will remain, along with Archer, Haverfield, Halloran, Houck, Barrett, Jones, Taylor and Drackett.

    The buildings demolished were (or will be), Scott, Raney, Nosker, Blackburn, Royer Activities Center, North Commons, and the row houses on Lane avenue.

    http://whatsgrowingon.osu.edu/north-residential-district-projects/

  4. It would be nice to correct the fallen hero Joe Busch to his correct name Jon Busch. Getting the name right would mean a lot to myself and the rest of his family.

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