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The Ar-Hale Family Foundation Advanced Manufacturing Learning Center at Rhodes State Dedicated Today

The Ar-Hale Family Foundation Advanced Manufacturing Learning Center at Rhodes State was officially dedicated today. Donors, elected officials, College leaders, faculty and staff, and community partners attended the dedication ceremony in the James J. Countryman Engineering and Industrial Technology Building on Rhodes State’s main campus. A reception and demonstrations of the various robotics in the Center followed the dedication ceremony.

Speakers included Dr. Cynthia Spiers, President of Rhodes State College; Mr. Everett “Butch” Kirk, III, Chair of the College Board of Trustees; Mrs. Janet Hawk of the Ar-Hale Family Foundation; Ohio Senate President Matt Huffman; Dr. David Haus, Dean, Technology and Liberal Studies; and 2024 honors graduate and GROB apprentice, Isaiah Thompson, who graduated May 4 with his associate degree in Electro Mechanical Engineering Technology. As a part of Thompson’s projects, he programmed a FANUC Selective Compliance Articulated Robot Arm (SCARA) to play Beethoven’s “Moonlight Sonata” on a keyboard.

The Ar-Hale Family Foundation Advanced Manufacturing Learning Center is equipped with FANUC, ABB and Mitsubishi robots giving Rhodes State students hands-on opportunities to master all of the types of robotics they may encounter in current manufacturing. The Center also features hy-flex technology for simultaneous remote and in-person learning, mobile lab stations, and a collaborative classroom space for lectures and group projects. Students enrolled in all of the College’s engineering technology programs will use this Center.

This gift from the Ar-Hale Family Foundation marks it second major gift to Rhodes State College’s Collaborate Innovate Major Gifts campaign which secures private donations for capital and program needs as well as scholarships. The campaign supports the Borra Center for Health Sciences in downtown Lima and the Emerging Innovation Centers at Rhodes State, the latter of which includes the Ar-Hale Family Foundation Advanced Manufacturing Learning Center. The Ar-Hale Family Foundation’s first gift named the Clinical Simulation Suite for Emergency/ICU at the Borra Center for Health Science. The overall campaign currently stands at $4.3 million of its $8 million goal.

In addition to the Ar-Hale Family Foundation Advanced Manufacturing Learning Center, the Countryman building houses several classrooms and labs for manufacturing:  Electronics, Fabrication, Automated Controls, CNC and Welding, Advanced Manufacturing Processes, Mitsubishi Electric Training, Programmable Logic Controllers and Electrical Circuits. Over the past three years, the College has invested over $1.1 million in new equipment and technology for Advanced Manufacturing.

Since 1971, educating students to become essential contributors to manufacturing, business, public service, healthcare, and their communities has been a constant for Rhodes State. The College continues to create new programs, repurpose facilities, purchase advanced laboratory and program equipment, and collaborate with regional partners to meet in-demand workforce needs. The Ar-Hale Family Foundation Advanced Manufacturing Learning Center is an example of how Rhodes State is repurposing existing spaces to create new learning environments, equipped with the latest technology, to serve students and the region.