Press Release

UU Lester Baum Campaign Expands to include Bob Cawley


Sherry Mercurio
Director of Communications and Public Relations
Web site:

Urbana, OH (September 4, 2018)

Continuing his engagement and support for his alma mater, Urbana University, a branch campus of Franklin University, announces a significant donation by Dave Ross (UU class of ’76) toward its Lester Baum campaign, which brings the campaign closer to its goal.

The Lester Baum campaign, launched in June by a group of Urbana University alumni, will raise funds to name the wrestling room in the new athletic facility after former Urbana wrestling coach, Lester Baum, a beloved mentor and coach to many Urbana University alumni.

Receipt of Ross’ gift moves the existing campaign closer to its goal and expands the effort to include naming the Grimes Center basketball court in honor of former Urbana University educator, coach and administrator, Robert “Bob” Cawley. 

Affectionately named “Cawley Court,” a portion of Ross’ donation will be allocated to dedicate the Grimes Center basketball court in honor of Bob Cawley. Cawley, who spent more than three decades at Urbana University, served in a variety of roles including athletic director, baseball and basketball coach, Grimes Center manager, men’s soccer coach, baseball coach, and assistant basketball coach. 

As a faculty member, Bob served as chair of the Health and Physical Education Department for 20 years, developed programs in recreation, sports management, exercise and fitness, and athletic training. 

In recent years, Bob has maintained his connection to Urbana University by leading various initiatives, including removal of diseased trees on campus and raising funds for a Blue Knight mascot statue for the Grimes Center. 

About Dave Ross, Class of 1976
A proud Urbana University alumnus and advocate of intercollegiate athletics, Dave Ross has been a consummate supporter of Urbana University and its athletics programs. A winner of the Urbana University Three Arches Award in 2005, Urbana University further recognized his dedication by renaming its Maple Hall to Ross Hall.

Ross grew his love for athletics through a career that includes more than 30 years in radio and television broadcasting, and as Urbana University’s first Sports Information Director.

In 1987, Ross co-founded the Urbana University Athletic Hall of Fame.  He  has served as an officer of the Blue Knight Esquire Club, was a member of the Urbana University board of trustees, and served on the Urbana alumni board.

A philanthropist at heart, Ross has been a generous provider of his time and financial backing for projects such as the Urbana University Stadium, University of Dayton Donoher Basketball Center, Sidney Memorial Stadium, Shelby County Historical Society, and the Sidney-Shelby County YMCA. 

Alumni and community members wishing to learn more about the Lester Baum and Cawley Court campaign can contact Tammy Leiker, Director of Alumni Relations & Development at Urbana University at or by calling 937-772-9246.

About Urbana University - A Branch Campus of Franklin University

Urbana University, a branch campus of Franklin University, prepares students for successful and professional careers within a caring and supportive environment. Regionally well known for education and teacher preparation programs, Urbana was founded in 1850 and acquired by Franklin in 2014. Urbana’s 128-acre, residential campus nestled in heart of Ohio provides a background for students actively engaged in campus activities through 20 student-led academic, professional, performing arts, social and service organizations. Blue Knights athletics includes 17 NCAA Division II sports and three intercollegiate club sports. Urbana University is a division of Franklin University, which is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

News Type

  • Alumni
  • University

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