Parking lease supports Ohio State's academic mission

In 2012, Ohio State entered a 50-year lease of its parking operations for $483 million. All of the proceeds from this innovative funding strategy have been invested in the university's endowment. Over the 50 years, this unique funding source is expected to provide $3.1 billion to academic initiatives such as hiring faculty, offering more student scholarships, and supporting the arts and humanities. 

Eminence Fellows

The 91 Eminence Fellows in 2019-20 are high school valedictorians, national merit scholars, community leaders, entrepreneurs, scholar athletes and represent the top of the incoming class at Ohio State. 

More on the Eminence Fellows program

The Eminence Fellows Program cultivates productive relationships between outstanding students and faculty. Students are matched with faculty mentors, and go on to great achievements in their majors like award-winning research on food security, diabetes, immunology, education policy, and more.

Each class of Eminence Fellows collectively chooses a social issue to address and works to develop and implement a creative response. The junior class project in 2019-20, SmileChild, focuses on infant mortality and educating parents and students on the safest ways to care for newborns. The organization is developing an educational curriculum on safe sleeping techniques, proper healthy nutrition, and other necessary practices needed to effectively care for infants which will be distributed and taught at local hospitals and community centers in areas with high rates of infant mortality

Graduate stipends and support

In the past academic year, 17 graduate students received stipends and support covering tuition and fees through parking endowments. This support, which involved a variety of programs, averaged about $48,000 per graduate student.

Undergraduate research 

Students receive support for a variety of research and discovery activities, including grants for research projects, travel assistance to attend conferences and study abroad programs, in programmatic funding.

Research grants

  • 30 students received $4,000 grants through the Undergraduate Research Apprentice Program

  • 18 students received $4,000 grants through the Advanced Undergraduate Researcher Awards

  • Eight students received $3,500 Connect and Collaborate Grants

  • Four students received $4,000 Undergraduate Research Library Fellowship Awards

  • Two students received support for a summer 2018 research experience through the LSAMP (Louis Stokes Alliances for Minority Participation) Program

Travel support

  • 16 students received $500 to support program-related travel for the Liverpool: Past, Present and Future Education Abroad Program
  • Eight students received $1,200 to support program-related travel for the Ghana Research and Education Abroad Program
  • Eight students represented Ohio State at the University of São Paulo Undergraduate Research Symposium, with all travel costs supported 

Support for research programs

  • The LSAMP STEM Bridge Program, which provides opportunities for incoming underrepresented minority students
  • Research Central & Eastern Europe in Comparative Perspective — Social Sciences in Warsaw study abroad program

Student support

More than 500 students received financial support from a parking endowment in since its inception.

  • 197 Eminence Fellows
  • 309 research grants
  • 35 through travel assistance 
  • 45 graduate students

Faculty support

Through November 2019, colleges have hired 174 faculty members and launched another 10-12 searches in the Discovery Themes.

Discovery Themes

The Discovery Themes Initiative connects and builds on expertise across six campuses, 15 colleges, 105 departments, and more than 220 centers and institutes at Ohio State. Interdisciplinary teams of researchers have come together to accelerate new discoveries and translate knowledge into practical solutions for meaningful impact. With an emphasis on data-driven solutions, these efforts are supported by the recently established Translational Data Analytics Institute.

More information is available at

Sullivant Hall

Home to Ohio State’s Department of Dance; Department of Arts Administration; Education and Policy; Advanced Computing Center for the Arts and Design; Lawrence and Isabel Barnett Center for Integrated Arts and Enterprise; and the Billy Ireland Cartoon Library and Museum. Other distributions are being used to support the continuing enhancement of the Arts District.

Arts District

Support for the new Arts Distrct includes

  • $6.4 million toward the Sullivant Hall renovation
  • $7 million toward design work for the new Arts District. 

Funding is accumulating for other Arts District projects