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Dedication of Perry Center announced

Posted: Apr 30, 2014

The formal dedication ceremony for the Douglas E. Perry Student Life and Recreation Center will take place on Friday, May 9, 2014, 11 a.m. The public is invited to attend.

The Perry Center officially opened to students, staff and faculty on December 12, 2012. In October 2013, Olivet’s Board of Trustees voted to name the building in honor of Douglas E. Perry, the University’s current vice president of finance.

“It is not an overstatement to say that we would not have the Student Life and Recreation Center without Doug’s leadership,” said Dr. John C. Bowling, University president. “He was the first to catch the vision, and he did the initial research. It was Doug who identified and enlisted the architectural firm for the project and, perhaps most importantly, Doug created the financial plan to make it a reality.”

Measuring approximately 168,000 square feet — roughly two-and-a-half times the size of Ludwig Student Center — the Perry Center includes: an eight-lane, 200-meter running track with Mondo surface; two pools, including a 10-lane competition pool; a four-story rock climbing wall; a 72,000-square-foot field house with running track and four basketball courts; workout facilities; large game area; spacious central lounge; and several classrooms and offices.

Dr. Douglas Perry grew up on the Olivet campus because his father, Dr. Ralph Perry, was a professor for many years. His grandfather, A.L. Parrott, and his uncle, Leslie Parrott, both served as Olivet presidents. His father, Ralph, was also instrumental in beginning Olivet’s School of Graduate and Continuing Studies.

Doug’s first job, at age 15, was with the buildings and grounds department, mowing grass and cleaning buildings. He attended Olivet and, after graduation, began a career as a mathematics teacher in the local school system.

Just a few years later, Olivet’s business manager offered Doug a position in the finance department working with student accounts. Doug accepted the position and began what has now become a 40-year career with Olivet. He became a certified public accountant and then earned the executive MBA degree from the University of Illinois. He has been Olivet's chief financial officer for the past 30 years.

“Doug is a quiet but very effective and efficient administrator whose service has contributed greatly to the growth and stability of the University,” said Dr. Bowling. “He has an entrepreneurial spirit and a deep, personal faith.”

Doug’s wife, Sheila (Oswalt), and their two children, John and Lauren (Perry) McClymonds, are all Olivet graduates.

U.S. states represented among Olivet's student body, as well as 17 countries