Web Exclusive: Dietz and Johnson-Dietz have historical impact on Franklin

By Laura Olivo

maria.olivo@franklincollege.edu

The Dietz Center and Johnson-Dietz residence hall are built with donations some students are unaware of.

According to a 1993 pamphlet, Dietz was built to give the students practical information in a business setting.

Many trustees, alumni and friends of the college contributed to Dietz.

Clifford and Paula Dietz donated $3.4 million to build Dietz.

The main reception area in Dietz was a gift of Robert Johnson, who graduated from Franklin in 1940, to honor his late wife, Elizabeth.

A grand piano and a grandfather clock are both gifts of Franklin graduates and sit in the formal lounges.

Freshman Adeline Bowman said she thinks Dietz’ purpose is a career service building.

“It will further you along in your college career,” Bowman said.

Senior Richard Miller said Dietz is a corporate setting and has the nicest entryway out of all the campus halls.

Before Johnson-Dietz was built, it was Bryan Hall, a dormitory for 115 male students.

According to a 1985 issue of The Franklin, an accidental fire destroyed Bryan Hall.

That same year, half of Old Main was destroyed by fire.

The president at the time, William Bryan Martin, didn’t shut down the college during that time.

Johnson-Dietz opened in fall 1986.

The west and center sections were named to recognize Clifford Dietz, a trustee and honorary alum who committed himself to the college. He and his wife were the ones who donated the $3.4 million to build the Dietz Center.

The east section of the facility was named Johnson Memorial Hall in memory of David Johnson. The gift was made by David’s parents, Robert, Franklin College trustee and graduate, and Elizabeth, Franklin College alumna.

His family thought naming the residence hall would be an appropriate way to honor David, who died in a helicopter crash in 1978 in West Germany.

“I like the background,” Bowman said. “It was named after a veteran.”

After David Johnson’s father Robert retired, he would come to the development office and ask how funds were going.

If the staff reported they were short of where they wanted to be, he’d say, “The check is in the mail.”

 

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About Ashley Shuler 1253 Articles

Ashley Shuler is the executive editor of The Franklin. She has held various multimedia journalism and public relations internships, including positions at Indianapolis Monthly, The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis and Dittoe Public Relations.

When she isn’t staying up late to edit stories, Ashley spends her time boutique shopping and drinking as much vanilla Coke as possible.

This is Ashley’s third year in a leadership role and her fourth year on The Franklin staff. She previously held positions as web editor and news editor.

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