Written by Aaron-Michael Fox.

Marshall University is expecting to expand its downtown property holdings this year with a gift from the Touma Family: The Century Building on the northeast corner of 9th Street and 3 ½ alley.

The Century Building is one of the oldest buildings in the Downtown Huntington Historic District—originally constructed in the late 1800s—and was restored by the Touma Family in the late 1990s. It is currently home to the Touma Museum of Medicine, the Touma Ear, Nose, and Throat Museum, and miscellaneous office space.

The Toumas already donated the Museum of Medicine to Marshall University in 2017 and now they will be donating the entire building. The Ear, Nose, and Throat Museum will be donated early next year.

“That was the best decision we made because we’re not getting younger, and we want to be sure that this large collection is not sold and broken apart,” Dr. Joseph Touma told the Herald-Dispatch. “Now, everything is still together under one roof, very well taken care of by Marshall and the School of Medicine.”

Dr. Touma has been involved with Marshall University for decades, even serving on the Board of Governors for eight years and Chairman of the Board for two years. Mrs. Dr. Omayma Touma has also been involved in the Society of Yeager Scholars and the Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine.

Toney Stroud, chief legal officer for MU, said the details of the transfer are still being worked out and the timeline is not yet known. Ideally, the transfer of ownership will be completed by the end of this calendar year.

Marshall University currently has no plans to redevelop the building. It will continue on in its current state for the time being.

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