Clark State VP, husband help fund new gathering space at Rhodes Hall

The Wiley Plaza, part of the Rhodes Hall renovation project, will be dedicated at on April 18.

Clark State College’s Nina Wiley, assistant vice president of student affairs, and her husband Steven donated funding for a gathering space outside of Rhodes Hall on the main campus as part of its renovation project.

The “Nina and Steven Wiley Student Plaza” will be a space for everyone in the college community including students, faculty, staff and community members. It will “foster a greater sense of belonging and social connections for students, thus positively impacting student persistence and retention.”

“We are proud to have an outside space on campus where students can gather, learn and connect with one another,” Wiley said. “The design of the plaza lends itself to a welcoming environment, perfect for student life events and programming.”

Wiley, who has dedicated more than 18 years serving Clark State students, began as an admissions specialist in 2006 and worked through student affairs to her current position. In 2023, the Wiley family also established a scholarship through the Clark State Foundation in honor her her late father, Bobby Fisher.

“Their incredibly generous gift will provide students with a place to gather, fellowship, and interact in a way that brings life and joy to our college,” said President Jo Alice Blondin. “Nina and Steve’s commitment to the well-being of our students is evident in this space that we are dedicating to them and will become a visible reminder of their dedication and generosity.”

The renovation of Rhodes Hall began in 2014 with the creation of the Student Academic Support Center on the first floor. The next phase of the renovation in 2017 was primarily focused on updating the mechanical, electrical and plumbing infrastructure of the building. In 2019, another phase of the renovations enhanced the student and faculty learning environment by modernizing the classrooms, restrooms, hallways, flooring and faculty officers on the third floor. Then in 2021, more renovations were done to address similar needs on the second floor.

The final phase of renovations that has been going on since last summer includes updates to the four science labs, the exterior envelope of Rhodes Hall and the Wiley Plaza. The current renovation “serves as a capstone for a 10 year long, $17 million commitment” by the college and the state to enhance the learning and teaching environment for its students and faculty.

“Nina has witnessed the transformation of Rhodes Hall, and I am sure has kept a keen focus on where students will gather and what they will utilize within this newly renovated space,” Blondin said. “After all, Nina is a champion of student life and belonging.”

The Wiley Plaza will be dedicated at 3 p.m. on April 18.

About the Author