UC President Neville Pinto, university architect Mary Beth McGrew, Marian Spencer's grandson Oliver Spencer and Board of Trustee Chair Thomas Cassady cut the ribbon at the dedication of Marian Spencer Hall. Photo/Joseph Fuqua II/UC Creative Services
A fitting dedication
The University of Cincinnati honors activist, alumna Marian Spencer with new high-rise residence hall
By Jac Kern
Photos by Joseph Fuqua II/UC Creative Services
March 21, 2018
The University of Cincinnati dedicated its newest residence hall in honor of civil rights pioneer and alumna Marian Spencer.
Monday's dedication event program featured UC President Neville Pinto; Board of Trustee Chair Thomas Cassady; university architect Mary Beth McGrew; a performance by the African American Cultural and Resource Center choir; Alpha Kappa Alpha soror Lauren White; Vice President of Equity, Inclusion and Community Impact Bleuzette Marshall and Spencer’s grandson Oliver Spencer.
"When Marian was a student at the University of Cincinnati in the late 1930s and early 1940s, she was not permitted to live in a dormitory on our campus," Pinto said at the event. "So it is both fitting and powerfully symbolic that today we recognize Mrs. Spencer by naming our high-rise residential structure Marian Spencer Hall."
"This namesake, as beautiful and tall as it is, represents only one small measure compared to the life of the towering yet petite original: Mrs. Spencer. She is a true pioneer who has dedicated her life to justice and busting through barriers that restrict the lives and opportunities of Americans of color."
A 1942 graduate, Spencer has been a lifelong champion of civil rights. She joined the NAACP at age 13, led the movement to desegregate Cincinnati Public Schools and Coney Island and was the first African-American woman elected to Cincinnati City Council.
The high-rise, located on Campus Green, will house 330 students in suite-style rooms beginning in fall 2018. Marian Spencer Hall will also be home to two new campus restaurants: On the Green Dining Center (OTG), which will offer high-end, all-you-care-to-eat campus dining with wonderful views of Campus Green and beyond, and Tim Hortons, a Canadian-based restaurant that serves specialty hot and cold beverages, breakfast, snacks and baked goods, sandwiches and hot bowls. UC is the first U.S. educational institution to have a Tim Hortons.