BGSU honors former president Sidney Ribeau

BOWLING GREEN, O.—Bowling Green State University announced today that it will honor its former President Sidney Ribeau by naming a new campus plaza and a student development program for him.

The BGSU Board of Trustees approved a resolution naming the common space in front of the soon-to-be-built Wolfe Center for the Arts the Ribeau Plaza, in recognition of the longtime president’s “commitment, dedication and accomplishment.”

“Dr. Ribeau was a champion of the arts, community collaboration and student achievement,” said John Harbal, chairman of the board of trustees. “So it is fitting that the place where members of the community, faculty and students can gather to meet and share ideas will bear his name.”

In addition, a program closely identified with Ribeau, the President’s Leadership Academy (PLA), which he conceived of in 1997, will be renamed the Sidney A. Ribeau President’s Leadership Academy. In 1997, Ribeau contributed a $15,000 bonus from the board of trustees to help launch the initiative.

The goal of the PLA is to support students who show leadership potential in their personal growth by engaging them in a curriculum that includes classes, workshops, experiential learning and community service. Since 1998, 313 students have been admitted to the academy.

“Sidney’s commitment to student development and innovative programming strengthened the value of a BGSU education,” said current BGSU President Carol Cartwright. “Thanks to him we have a national reputation as a leader in first-year programs for undergraduate students.”

The renaming of the PLA for Ribeau was suggested to the trustees by a joint resolution from Classified Staff and Administrative Staff councils, Faculty Senate, Graduate Student Senate and Undergraduate Student Council.

“This is tremendous because it’s a living legacy,” Ribeau said. “Both the plaza and the leadership academy are active, dynamic and full of life. I couldn’t ask for a more heartfelt honor by being remembered for both my support for the arts and my passion for building community and developing young leaders.” 

Ribeau served as the University’s ninth president from 1995-2008. He is now the president of Howard University.

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(Posted April 27, 2009 )