New Rinehart Room to open in Kates Gymnasium


Evan Laux

Mary C. Miller Student Athlete Enrichment Center

Cassidy Tolliver

The Rinehart Room located in Ashland University’s Physical Education Center overlooking Kates Gymnasium

The Rinehart Room and the Mary C. Miller Student-Athlete Enrichment Center in Ashland University’s Physical Education Center will have their dedications on Sept. 5 at 1:00 p.m.

The creation of the Rinehart Room and the Mary C. Miller Student-Athlete Enrichment Center was supported by a donation from the Jan Rinehart Estate and donations from notable AU alumni such as Rob Ward, Class of 1987, Mindy Rinehart Ward, Class of 1989 and 1993, Sherrill Hudson, Class of 1965, and longtime staff member Stan Miller, Class of 1970 and 1977.

“Both of the new facilities are great for our athletics department. The Miller Academic Center is where our Academic Advisor’s office and student study lounge are located. Having dedicated space for those resources will have a great impact on the students,” head wrestling coach Joshua Hutchens said. “The Rinehart Room is another example of something that will set our athletics department apart from others. It will have an impact on our students, athletic department and community.”

The Rinehart Room will be used on game days for volleyball, wrestling, and women’s and men’s basketball.

The athletic department plans on using the Rinehart Room for in multiple different ways, depending on the sport and the time of the competition. This includes recognizing donors, recruiting, and campus and community events.

“We have had the idea to make a room that overlooks the court for about twenty some years,” Director of Athletics Al King said. “When [Jan Rinehart] passed, she left money and said to do something special for AU athletics. We knew exactly what we wanted to use the money for.”

Right next door to the Rinehart Room, the Mary C. Miller Student-Athlete Enrichment Center is home to the office of Elizabeth Freund, Ashland University’s director of Academic Support Services, as well as a study lounge for AU student-athletes. The room will also be used by Ashland’s Student-Athlete Advisory Council.

King believes the creation of these two rooms is a huge step forward for AU.

“We are always looking for things that set us apart from other universities. We have the Robert Troop Center over at the football stadium that gives alumni and families the option to look over the field. Now we have the Rinehart Room and the Mary C. Miller Student-Athlete Enrichment Center above the court as a centralized location for it all.”

The dedication day will kick off the beginning of the 2019-2020 AU Athletics season. On Sept. 5 at 7 p.m. the football team will have their home opener against Indianapolis. Meanwhile, the AU men’s soccer team will travel to Lake Erie for their match of the season also beginning at 7 p.m.