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 funding for academic initiatives such as hiring faculty, offering more student scholarships, and supporting the arts and humanities. 

Eminence Fellows

The 197 Eminence Fellows dating back to 2012-13 academic years 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, 12 graduate students received stipends and support covering tuition and fees through parking endowments. This support, which involved a variety of programs, averaged about $30,000 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

  • 369 Student Research Grants from FY17-FY21 in amounts up to $4,000 

  • Two students received support for a summer research experience through the LSAMP (Louis Stokes Alliances for Minority Participation) for $13,583

Travel support

Travel grants to support student participation in the:

  • University of São Paulo Undergraduate Research Symposium (AU18, AU19, AU20; ~20 students)
  • Second World Congress (SP19; ~11 students)
  • Library Congress (FY-18; 2 students)
  • SACNAS Conference (FY18; 2 students).
  • There have been no additional Travel Grants awarded temporarily due to COVID.

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
  • 369 research grants
  • 35 through travel assistance 
  • 60 graduate students

Faculty support

Through June 2023, colleges have hired 191 faculty members 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 District includes

  • $6.4 million toward the Sullivant Hall renovation
  • $12.9 million toward design work for the new Arts District through FY21
  • An additional $2.5 million will be contributed in FY22 

Funding is accumulating for other Arts District projects