On January 11, 2021, the Oak Hill Academylower school community gathered outside of the lower school to pay homage to Dr. Robert H. Harris by dedicating the lower school building in his honor.
Back in 1998, 33 years ago, Oak Hill Academy opened our doors to our first fourth grade class. Our school had just been grades 5-8, and now we were adding a fourth grade. We actually housed the fourth grade in a section in the Commons!
Dr. Robert Harris and Mrs. Mary Ellen Harris decided to enroll their daughter, Megan(’93), into that fourth grade class. From that day on, the Harris’s involvement with Oak Hill began!
Megan’s siblings, Tim (’95) and Kristen (’99), followed, and all graduated from OHA. Their older two siblings were already in high school and did not attend.
Dr. and Mrs. Harris’s 13 grandchildren have all attended Oak Hill. There are three graduates and six grandchildren are currently students. Mrs. Megan and Dr. Matthias Loewenberg’s children: Gracyn 3rd grade, Alexander 1st grade, and Hudson PreK; Dr. Tim and Mrs. Laura Harris’s children: Braden 4th grade, Ryan 2nd grade, and Quinn Kindergarten.
The Harris Family have been the most instrumental family in Oak Hill Academy’s 40 year history! They have provided support to the school in so many areas that have allowed us to create better facilities and opportunities for our students. Dr. Harris was a pioneer in innovative research in the pharmaceutical area. He and his wife have always looked to give back and help others. Sadly, Dr. Harris, who was a proud University of Notre Dame graduate, passed away on April 30, 2017.
At Oak Hill, the Harris family provided the major funds for the creation of our:
- 1995 Pool Building
- 2010 Harris Science Plex, which includes our Soler Science Center, Boardwalk, and outdoor facilities
- 2016 Outdoor Basketball Court and one of the Tennis Courts
- 2018 Upgraded and revamped Security System
Once again, Mrs. Harris came to the aid of Oak Hill Academy during this past summer. Her generosity provided Oak Hill the support to deal with all of the new health and safety protocols needed to combat the COVID-19 pandemic. Also, we were able to increase our technology offerings for our students with ipads, chromebooks and Swivl apparatus. Because of Mrs. Harris’s thoughtfulness and giving, we were able to open school up in September with so many safety measures in place and additional technology!
Although Mrs. Harris could not be at Oak Hill this morning, there were lots of representation from her family. We thank Mrs. Harris for continually being there for us. We value our relationship and are forever grateful for her and her husband’s unconditional support over 33 years!
In recognition of Mrs. Harris’s husband, we are honored to have the name of a great man on our Lower School building. In a tribute to their father, we’d like to have Megan, Tim and Kristen, along with the grandchildren: Braden, Ryan, Quinn, Gracyn, Zander and Hudson to please come forward to dedicate our building as the: