Dean Don Pope-Davis of EHE shaking hands with restaurant owner Cameron Mitchell

Don Pope-Davis, left, dean of the College of Education and Human Ecology, extended his appreciation to Cameron Mitchell, Founder and CEO of Cameron Mitchell Restaurants, for his company's commitment to future leaders in the industry.

The Ohio State University’s College of Education and Human Ecology announced a generous $1 million commitment from Cameron Mitchell Restaurants (CMR) on Monday for the renovation of Campbell Hall.

The news was shared during The Big Dish, the Hospitality Management Program’s annual signature event, which celebrates the program’s graduating seniors and industry partners. The program’s students organize and execute the Big Dish, which adds to their hands-on experience in managing events.

“This pledge is the largest received to date for Campbell Hall and will fund essential renovations,” said the college’s Dean Don Pope-Davis. “This landmark building on our campus has long been home to the Hospitality Management Program. The renovations are designed to upgrade our facilities to the latest standards, supporting the practical and academic growth of our students.”

The renovation includes the addition of a state-of-the-art teaching kitchen, which will play a foundational role in educating the college’s hospitality management students.

With more than 100 students and industry partners of the Hospitality Program assembled at the Ohio Stadium for The Big Dish, Cameron Mitchell, Founder and CEO of the company, emphasized how the contribution deepens CMR’s longstanding relationship with Ohio State. 

“We have a shared commitment to foster the next generation of leaders in hospitality,” Mitchell said. “Our pledge adds to other gifts CMR has made over the years and symbolizes our continued partnership and mutual dedication to excellence in hospitality education.”

The gift will help in multiple aspects of upgrading Campbell Hall. This includes adding two accessible entrances, one on either side of the building’s front stairway, to heighten the welcoming character of the structure. By ensuring that all can enter with ease, this upgrade will address a critical aspect of our college’s mission and core values.

Campbell Hall, at 1787 Neil Ave., sits in a strategic spot at the heart of the Ohio State campus. It has been, since its opening in 1916, a magnet for engaging the campus community. The renovation will augment the college’s ability to work with its many partners and the Ohio State community. 

Founded by Cameron Mitchell in 1993, Cameron Mitchell Restaurants, LLC (CMR) has built a diverse portfolio of varied concepts, ranging from multi-location upscale destinations to single neighborhood favorites. Today, CMR operates 49 restaurants company-wide under 20 different concepts, with 22 locations in Columbus, Ohio, including Budd Dairy Food Hall. In addition, Cameron Mitchell Premier Events, the premier catering and event planning company in Central Ohio, oversees three venues in Columbus. The national Ocean Prime brand has 21 locations in 15 states plus the District of Columbia, with upcoming locations opening in Sarasota and Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, and Nashville, Tennessee, in 2024-2025. The Rusty Bucket Restaurant & Tavern, a sister company of CMR, currently operates 21 locations in five states. CMR is partnering with Crawford Hoying to open a luxury boutique hotel in Dublin, OH, in 2027. CMR and the various concepts have received numerous culinary, leadership, entrepreneur, community service and readers’ choice awards. For more information, visit

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