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Parks leaves legacy on library 7th floor

Janet Parks has made a lasting impression on countless University students and faculty members, with a teaching career spanning 39 years. She’s been designated a Distinguished Teaching Professor by the Board of Trustees. She helped found the North American Society for Sport Management.

But that just wasn’t enough for her.

Upon retiring from her position as a professor in the School of Human Movement, Sport and Leisure Studies last year, Parks donated $20,000 to go toward renovating the seventh floor of the Jerome Library. Now nearly $50,000 has been raised for the project. Last night Parks, with students, alumni, faculty and friends, celebrated the completion of the first stage of the renovation.

Parks initiated the project as a way of giving back to the University, which she says she owes for hiring her at the young age of 22.

“Hiring me was a risk,” she said.

New group study spaces, separated from the rest of the floor by fabric panels containing quotes from people such as Helen Keller, Christopher Reeve and Eleanor Roosevelt, have been constructed on the seventh floor.

Parks hopes the new study areas will be helpful to students.

“I wanted to leave something for the students,” she said.

The seventh floor also has a whole new look, with a new paint job and design. The work was done by a group of six graphic design students — Sarah Babione, Carissa Mitchel, Casey Perry, Ali Toerner, Maggie Puterbaugh and Brandy Obie — who were coordinated by professor Lori Young. The job took all semester to complete.

“To be honest, it was a lot of hard work, but we had a lot of fun at the same time,” said Brandy Obie, one of the design students.

The job was more than just a way to earn internship credit for the students.

“It was great to leave a lasting impression on BGSU’s campus,” Maggie Puterbaugh said. “I hope that the continuing students will appreciate it.”

Parks was pleased with the students’ work.

“They did a wonderful job,” she said.

The next phase of the seventh floor will include the construction of a lounge area in the middle of the floor. The third and final phase will feature a cyber café being built where vending machines are currently located.

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