Paige E. Mulhollan was named WSU's third president in 1985. He is best known for shaping Wright State's mission as a metropolitan university dedicated to service and leadership to the Dayton metropolitan area. Wright State hosted the first national conference of metropolitan universities in 1990 and launched the journal for member universities.
Another legacy of the Mulhollan years is an expansion of facilities and programs that enhance student and academic life: on-campus housing increased to nearly 2,000 students; the Ervin J. Nutter Center and the Fritz and Dolores Russ Engineering Center were built; and a new Student Union began construction. The College of Science and Mathematics split in 1985 to form the College of Engineering and Computer Science and the College of Science and Math; the Center for Teaching and Learning opened in 1993 to assist faculty development in teaching; and Wright State athletics moved to Division I competition.
Mulhollan came to Wright State from Arizona State University, Tempe, where he served in the executive vice president post.
The 1990s saw continuing community support for Wright State. Research funding topped $20 million in 1991-92, and in 1992, the Kellogg Foundation announced a $2 million grant to fund the Partners for Community Health Development Project, designed to improve health care delivery and develop innovative ways to train health care professionals.
Construction continued with the opening of the Ervin J. Nutter Center in 1990 and the Fritz and Dolores Russ Engineering Center in 1992.
Dr. Mulhollan passed away on June 30, 2012. A video tribute is available online.