Dr. Paul Conn and his wife, Darlia, with the Cleveland City Council, Mayor Kevin Brooks, and Mayor Emeritus Tom Rowland, following Wednesday’s ceremony on the newly named Paul Conn Parkway. Pictured from left, are Mayor Brooks, Mayor Emeritus Rowland, Johnson, Hughes, Councilman Charlie McKenzie, Paul and Darlia Conn, Councilman Tom Cassada, Councilman Bill Estes, Councilman David May, and Councilman Ken Webb.
A private ceremony was held on Wednesday to celebrate the newly named Paul Conn Parkway. This event followed a unanimous decision by the Cleveland City Council on Aug. 24 to rename a section of Parker Street to Paul Conn Parkway in honor of Lee University Chancellor Dr. Paul Conn.
Dr. Conn transitioned to the position of chancellor on Aug. 1 after serving for 34 years as the university’s president.
In 2016, then Mayor Tom Rowland (now mayor emeritus) proposed to rename the street upon Dr. Conn’s retirement. This year, Mayor Kevin Brooks reintroduced the idea by requesting city staff to investigate the background and determine if it was possible.
Councilman Dale Hughes addressed the friends, family, and City Council members present at the Wednesday morning ceremony. “When a person fosters a tremendous relationship between the city and the university, he is deserving. When one builds a university to 5,000 students along with 700 faculty and staff, he’s deserving.”
Councilman Hughes went on to describe what a “good neighbor” Dr. Conn has been over the years by enhancing the value of the surrounding property and bringing programs to the community such as Encore, for senior learning, and the Presidential Concert Series, brought to the campus for students and guests by Dr. Conn and his wife, Darlia.
“From south 20th Street to Central, from Schimmels Park to Pangle Hall, stand 15 buildings that have all been built under the leadership of Dr. Conn,” said Councilman Hughes. “They all now reside on Paul Conn Parkway.”
Following Councilman Hughes’ comments was an official unveiling of the new street sign, followed by a luncheon on Lee’s campus, where Mayor Brooks, Vice Mayor Avery Johnson, and Lee President Dr. Mark Walker shared remarks.