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Ohio University to Co-Host the Ohio City and Dress Summit

Ben Siegel / Ohio University
The mayor of the city of Athens, Steve Patterson (left), and the president of the University of Ohio, M. Duane Nellis, are located near the newly completed Richland Ave Passage in October 2020.

The University of Ohio and the City of Athens will co-host the fifth annual Summit of the Ohio People and Clothing Association from July 14 to 15.

The Summit, which will take place virtually, will bring together city, community and higher education leaders from across the state to discuss and explore best practices for strengthening city partnerships, showcasing innovative collaborative programs and projects, and sharing strategies for community and economic development.

"It is an incredible honor for Ohio University to co-host the fifth annual Summit of the Ohio Peoples and Robes Association with the City of Athens," said Ohio University President M. Duane Nellis. “The relationships the University has with community partners and the City of Athens are immeasurable and help provide a unique learning experience for all OHIO students. This conference is a great opportunity to highlight our strengths, as well as the importance of the connections between the city and clothing. ”

The Ohio Town and Gown Association was created in 2015, after Ohio's municipal and higher education leaders pledged to meet locally after connecting at an International Town and Gown Conference in Washington, DC The first Summit The Ohio-based Town and Gown conference was organized by Ohio University at the Pickerington Center and subsequent meetings have been held in Kent, Bowling Green, and Oxford.

Athens City Council President Chris Knisley leads the planning committee with partners from the Athens Visitors Bureau, the City of Athens, the Athens Area Chamber of Commerce, Ohio University Event Services and the Ohio University Campus and Community Engagement Center.

“This conference could not come at a better time as communities emerge from the challenges of the past year,” Knisley said. "We have a lot to learn from our colleagues across the state about how we've dealt with economic, health, and cultural challenges."

Although conference programming will be virtual, a discounted rate “Athens Getaway Package” will be offered at the Ohio University Inn to give participants the opportunity to visit and experience Athens while participating in the Summit online. High-speed wireless internet is free, and although the conference is not officially in person, a small reception will be provided for those who feel comfortable meeting and mingling. Presentation proposals are accepted until May 15. The call for proposals can be accessed at Find more information and register for the Summit online. Key Summit topics include: best practices for campus and community partnerships, demographic changes and racial equity in campus communities, COVID-19 response and recovery, and campus and community strategies for climate change and sustainable infrastructure planning. Sponsorship opportunities are also available and inquiries can be directed to the Campus and Community Engagement Center at

"The Ohio Town and Gown Summit provides an incredible opportunity to reflect on and recognize the interdependence between campuses and communities," said Mary Nally, director of the Center for Campus and Community Engagement. "It is a space to celebrate and share the lessons learned from community participation associations in a way that reinforces the value of our communities, local governments, and the relevance of higher education institutions."

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