A $100,000 gift recently made to Hiram College by David and Janet Dix will be used to renovate the Pendleton House, an 1800’s century home which aptly houses the history department. The renovation project is part of the College’s boutique fundraising campaign, Vision 20/20.
The Dix gift will fund exterior repairs to the Pendleton House, one of the many historical homes that line Hiram’s rural campus and house academic departments, complete with intimate classrooms, faculty offices, and “parlor” gathering spaces. Like Pendleton, neighboring century homes including Bonney Castle, home to the English department; the Stephen and Jacquelyn Love Writing House, home to the College’s writing programs; and the recently renovated Garfield Robbins Zimmerman House have received gifts that support both old and new styles of learning. Students relish seminar discussions around refurbished dining tables and parlor furniture. At the same time, however, they want the ability to instantly connect to the internet and share electronic documents on a smart TV.
As part of The New Liberal Arts™, Hiram designed an academic structure called the School Model. Beginning this year, more than 60 majors and minors fall under the umbrella of an interdisciplinary school. Now that the structure is in place, college officials expect to create a centralized hub for each school. Jennifer Schuller, vice president for development and alumni relations at Hiram College, says the cluster of 19th century homes on Hinsdale Street serves as the ideal location for the hub for the School of Arts, Humanities, and Culture.
“Lined in a row, these historical buildings are home to many of the College’s humanities programs,” says Schuller. “We see this space and the buildings that have long occupied it as the primary location for the School of Arts, Humanities, and Culture. Accordingly, we will label the section of newly renovated historical homes as ‘Humanities Row,’ and it will serve as one of the first stops on admission tours.”
Lori Varlotta, Ph.D., president of Hiram College adds that Humanities Row pays homage to Hiram’s history while celebrating the College’s ongoing commitment to the humanities. “Gifts like the generous one from David and Janet Dix enable students to vividly connect the past with the present, this reinforces Hiram’s both/and rather than either/or tradition of study,” says Varlotta.
In addition to their philanthropic contributions over the years, David and Janet Dix have also given their time and treasure to the College. Janet Dix has served on the Hiram College Board of Trustees since 2006, and on the College’s Board of Visitors from 2004-2006. She was a member of the Hiram College Women’s Council from 2007-2018 and is still active on the Lindsay-Crane Center for Writing and Literature Advisory Board. In 2004, David and Janet Dix were recognized for their growing leadership on campus and were inducted into the Garfield Society, the highest honor Hiram College can bestow upon an individual.
David Dix is the former publisher of the Record-Courier and board member of Dix 1898 Inc., a fifth generation, family-owned business that was established by bringing print news, marketing and advertising opportunities to the communities they served, before growing to include print, television, and radio media properties. Within the past 10 years, the company transitioned the business by selling its print and television properties, retaining its Wooster, Ohio broadcasting holdings, and adding an advertising agency and two architectural woodworking companies. Dix 1898 Inc., was started by David Dix’s great-grandfather and father, Emmet Dix, who graduated from Hiram College in 1897. Janet Dix is a counseling psychologist at Western Reserve Psychological Associates.
Renovations to the Pendleton House will be completed this summer. Other donor-funded improvements in science labs, instructional space, residence halls, the library, and the theatre are scheduled this summer. Collectively, these improvements total more than $3 million.