Medical Center Named in Honor of Les Wexner

The Ohio State University Medical Center was recently renamed in honor of one of the university’s most committed leaders and benefactors, Leslie H. Wexner (’59).

“Les has been among Ohio State’s most dedicated leaders and most passionate supporters for many decades, and someone who continues to make an indelible impact on our community,” said President E. Gordon Gee.

“His generous contributions, both in time and resources, have been wholly transformational, but his most valuable gift has been his extraordinary leadership. He has a firm and unequivocal vision for our academic Medical Center and that is to be a world-class institution, period.”

Gee added that the new naming “recognizes the critical work the Wexners have undertaken to ensure The Ohio State University Medical Center is able to solve some of medicine’s most persistent challenges and change lives for the better.”

Mr. Wexner’s philanthropic connection to Ohio State began three years after he graduated, when he made a $5 donation to the university. For more than 30 years, Mr. Wexner and his affiliates have donated more than $200 million to the university, as well as hundreds of millions more that Mr. Wexner has directly helped to raise. Last year, Mr. Wexner, his wife Abigail, and the Limited Brands Foundation’s $100 million gift to the medical center, the James Cancer Hospital and the Wexner Center for the Arts was the largest single donation in Ohio State’s history. 

Mr. Wexner has led Ohio State during significant times of progress. He has served 16 years on the Board of Trustees. As the current board chair, Mr. Wexner helped to guide the $1 billion expansion of the medical center, the largest undertaking in the university’s history and one that will revolutionize the way cancer prevention and care is provided.

As a founding member and the first chair of The Ohio State University Foundation Board, and later as a member of the University Campaign Steering Committee, Mr. Wexner became a driving force behind the growth of the university’s endowment, which now totals more than $2 billion.

The Wexners have been involved in many signature programs that raise money for Ohio State’s James Cancer Hospital and Solove Research Institute. They chair the James Fund for Life Campaign and are lead supporters of Pelotonia, one of the most successful research fundraisers in the nation. In its first three years, this annual bike tour has raised more than $25 million for cancer research at The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center – James Cancer Hospital and Solove Research Institute.

“I have often said that but for The Ohio State University, I would not have had an opportunity to receive a college degree,” Mr. Wexner said. “Attending this university changed my life, and I continue to witness the incredible potential this institution has to do the same thing for others.”

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