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Encyclopedia of Baldwin Wallace University History: Personnel - U

An Index of Historical Content and Their Sources

Ursprung, Rudolph S.

CitationBette Lou Higgins, The Past We Inherit: A history of Baldwin-Wallace College 1835 - 1974 (printed by the author, 1974), 86.

Built in 1949, Ursprung Gymnasium serves as home for the college’s athletic endeavors. As a classroom, the building belongs to the men. The women have their OWN gym.

The Women’s Gym was built in 1911 and can boast of a 60-foot four lane indoor swimming pool which was added to the building in 1944. It was used by both men and women until 1949.

The Ursprung Health and Physical Education Building bears the name of one of Berea’s more important citizens, Rudolph S. Ursprung. Born in Cleveland on August 3, 1891, Rudolph Ursprung began his business career by the age of 10 when he started selling newspapers to help support his family after his father had been killed by a run-away horse. In 1903, Rudolph and his family came to Berea. After he had been in Berea for six years, young Ursprung got a new job – he became a carpenter for John R. Southan, Building contractor. In 1920, he started the Rudolph Ursprung Company for the “building of finer homes.”

The Ursprung Co. had the carpentry contracts for the first unit of the Berea Community Hospital (Southwest General) and the general contract for several of the hospital’s expansions. The R.S. Ursprung Co. was incorporated in 1933. Some of their buildings include The Ohio Nut and Bolt expansion, B-W Kulas Musical Arts Building, Berea High School, B-W Lang Hall, BW student Union – Strosacker Hall, Berea Parkway Shopping Center and, of course, The Ursprung Gym. He also built The Terminal Building at Hopkins Airport.

R. S. Ursprung had a relatively long and meritorious service record. He was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross, the French Croix de Guerre, the Purple Hear, and the Bronze Medal for outstanding service in the liberation of the Philippines. As a civilian, Ursprung served as member and officer of various committees, groups or councils including the Rotary Club (president), the City Planning Commission, The Berea Board of Public Affairs and on the B-W Board of Trustees.

The Ursprung Gym is capable of accommodating 3,500 spectators and has a floor area of 81’ X 101’. The building included dressing rooms, classrooms, wrestling and apparatus room, handball courts, physical correction room, equipment rooms, and houses the College’s athletic trophies and WBWC.