Ohio State University Student Union


The Ohio Union, built in 1910, was the first student union at a public university. In 2004, The OSU Board of Trustees approved plans to construct a $100 million, state-of-the-art student center that would serve future generations of OSU students. While members of the student union leadership staff were ecstatic about the approval, they wanted to ensure the new student union showcase The Ohio State University and serve as a model for other Big 10 schools. The staff estimated that an additional $20 million was necessary to make the new Union “all it could be!” The development team didn’t have any knowledge of how to conduct a capital campaign or a database of donors. Cramer & Associates worked with the leadership staff and conducted a feasibility study to see if there would be enough support for this campaign.

Services Provided

  • Feasibility Study
  • Leadership Coaching & Training


We conducted a feasibility study and interviewed more than 40 individuals who had some type of a connection to the Student Union. Cramer & Associates recommended that the student union leadership team move forward with a campaign and predicted that they could raise between $10 and $15 million. In addition, we recommended a focused and detailed prospect cultivation period. Furthermore, Cramer & Associates recommended a broad-based and inclusive ‘Ohio Union community campaign’ to instill a sense of ownership of the new Ohio Union within The Ohio State Community and throughout the state of Ohio.

Our Impact

Cramer & Associates worked closely with the assistant vice president of student life, to educate and train staff on the prospective engagement opportunities for the new facility. In addition, Cramer & Associates also assisted in the development of an outline of philanthropic areas of support, commemorative opportunities and tactics for personal engagement.

Campaign Facts

» First organized Capital Campaign
» Raised - $12 million

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