Dominican Sisters of Peace Give $1.5 Million for PhD Program at Founded University

The Leadership Team of the Dominican Sisters of Peace celebrate the naming of the new Peace Hall at Ohio Dominican University. From left, Sister Anne Lythgoe, OP; Sister Therese Leckert, OP; Sister Patricia Twohill, OP, Sister Gemma Doll, OP, and Sister Gene Poore, OP.

Columbus, OH – In keeping with the Dominican tradition and the Congregation’s commitment to education, the Dominican Sisters of Peace have given a $1.5 million gift to Ohio Dominican University in Columbus, OH. Ohio Dominican is a co-educational liberal arts university founded by the Dominican Sisters of Peace in 1911.

The gift is earmarked for the renovation of an existing on-campus building that will house the University’s proposed Doctor of Physical Therapy program. The DPT program will be the first doctoral program offered by the University.

The $1.5 million gift, the largest ever received by the University, includes a $500,000 momentum gift to challenge other donors to support ODU’s first doctoral program. ODU President Peter Cimbolic, Ph.D. and Sister Patricia Twohill, OP, prioress of the Dominican sisters of eace, announced the gift at a university event on April 6, 2017.

“By virtue of making this momentum gift, we are demonstrating our confidence in the future of Ohio Dominican University and its commitment to be an innovative leader in higher education,” Sr. Twohill said. “Our goal is to inspire other donors to join us and make a commitment to ODU. There is a significant need in the Columbus area for well-prepared and qualified physical therapists, and ODU’s proposed Doctorate in Physical Therapy program will be a major step forward in addressing that need.”

“We are extremely grateful for the generosity of the Dominican Sisters of Peace, and their leadership throughout Ohio Dominican’s history. Their gift to the university will undoubtedly be felt across the region for decades to come in the form of quality and accessible healthcare,” Cimbolic said. “There is a tremendous need in our community for physical therapists, and that need will grow rapidly as the baby boomer generation continues to get older. We’re confident that we will develop a top educational program that will help to fill that void in the Columbus region and across the country.”

Ohio Dominican University President Peter Cimbolic, Ph.D., and Sister Gemma Doll, OP, of the Dominican Sisters of Peace, reveal the name of the building for university’s the new Department of Physical Therapy as Prioress Sister Patricia Twohill, OP, looks on.

In recognition of the gift, and to honor the contributions of the Congregation, the building that will house the new Doctor of Physical Therapy program will be named Peace Hall.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the physical therapy profession is expected to experience a 34 percent increase in employment (71,800 openings) between 2014 and 2024. In comparison, the average growth rate for all occupations is seven percent. The annual median pay for physical therapists in 2015 was approximately $84,000.

Ohio Dominican University is a comprehensive, four-year, private, liberal arts and master’s institution, founded in 1911 in the Catholic and Dominican tradition by the Dominican Sisters of Peace. The University has approximately 2,550 students and offers undergraduate degrees in 40 majors and nine graduate degree programs. At ODU, students connect their passion with a purpose.

Dominican Sisters of Peace, members of the pontifical Order of Preachers, are vowed Catholic women who strive to live a life of peace-making. The Dominican Sisters of Peace are present in 22 states and two countries. The sisters serve God’s people in many ways, including education, health care, spirituality, pastoral care, prison ministry, the arts, and care of creation. There are 487 sisters and over 500 lay associates affiliated with the congregation.