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Alumni Success Oxford and Beyond

Farmer Family Sculpture Park dedicated

The sculpture depicts the man whose name the business school bears and his wife.

Farmer Family and friends around sculpture
Alumni Success Oxford and Beyond

Farmer Family Sculpture Park dedicated

Some new benches have appeared in front of the Farmer School this week, but one of them is two-thirds spoken for -- forever.

The Farmer Family Sculpture Park was dedicated this morning, featuring a bronze sculpture of Richard (Dick) and Joyce Farmer. Dick Farmer, founder of the Cintas Corporation, gave the business school its name.

“I can tell you that dad would be very proud to be here today and to see this. While he was never one to brag, he would often tell me how proud he was to have his name associated with the business school at Miami,” son Scott Farmer said. “He wanted it to be the best. He would tell me how much Miami meant to him and the impact that it had on his life. And he wanted to preserve that opportunity, that potential for young people for years to come.”

The couple’s pose is based on a much-loved photo of them taken during a photo shoot a few years ago.

“The statue captures the most beautiful image of Dick and Joyce together. An image that touched my heart, as it reminds me of the importance of family, of love, and of treating each other with mutual respect and how we don't achieve success alone. It really does take a village,” Farmer School dean Jenny Darroch said.

After graduating from Miami University in 1956 with a business degree, Dick served in the U.S. Marine Corps and then joined the family business. After helping it expand, Farmer left the company in 1968 to start his own venture, which became Cintas Corporation. In the early 1970s, Cintas purchased the Farmer family’s company. Dick took Cintas public in 1983 and led it as Chairman and CEO until 1995, surpassing $1 billion in sales for the first time. He remained as Chairman for the next 14 years, and in 2009, was elected Chairman Emeritus, a position he held until his passing in 2021. His service to Miami University included terms as a university trustee, foundation board member, and chair of the Board of Visitors of the Richard T. Farmer School of Business.

Joyce Barnes Farmer earned her bachelor’s degree in elementary education in 1957 and has served on Miami University’s Parents’ Council, Reunion Committee, and the School of Education and Allied Professions’ Advisory Council.

“Dick, who was an incredibly hard worker and frequently away, often said he could never have accomplished what he did without Joyce's support and superb management of the home front,” friend Roger Howe said. “She has more than earned her place on this bench.”

In 1992 the Farmers provided the cornerstone gift to the School of Business. In 2005, they announced a $30 million leadership gift through the Farmer Family Foundation, of which $25 million helped underwrite the construction of the Farmer School of Business building.

In 2022, it was announced that the Farmer School of Business, Miami University, and close friends of the Farmers who sit on the FSB Board of Visitors had commissioned the sculpture park to carry on Dick’s legacy.

“This is an incredible way to recognize mom and dad here on campus. We look forward to many, many years of being able to come up and see it as we walk in and out of the doors of the school. And we can't thank you all enough,” Scott Farmer said.

The sculpture was created by Michael Tizzano at his studio in Worthington, Ohio. Last year, he spent two days working on it in the Farmer School commons and answered questions from students and faculty. The sculpture was cast and assembled at Casting Arts and Technology in Cincinnati.

Joyce with the sculpture