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History & Traditions

A Brief History of the University

In 1786, 11 men gathered at the Bunch of Grapes Tavern in Boston to propose development of the area north of the Ohio River and west of the Allegheny Mountains known then as the Ohio Country. Led by Manasseh Cutler and Rufus Putnam, the Ohio Company petitioned Congress to take action on the proposed settlement. The eventual outcome was the enactment of the Northwest Ordinance of 1787, which provided for settlement and government of the territory and stated that “…schools and the means of education shall forever be encouraged.”

In 1803, Ohio became a state and on February 18, 1804, the Ohio General Assembly passed an act establishing “The Ohio University.” The University opened in 1808 with one building, three students, and one professor, Jacob Lindley. One of the first two graduates of the University, Thomas Ewing, later became a United States senator and distinguished himself as cabinet member or advisor to four presidents.

Twenty-four years after its founding, in 1828, Ohio University conferred an A.B. degree on John Newton Templeton, its first black graduate and only the third black man to graduate from a college in the United States. In 1873, Margaret Boyd received her B.A. degree and became the first woman to graduate from the University. Soon after, the institution graduated its first international alumnus, Saki Taro Murayama of Japan, in 1895.

 

The College Green

The College Green is the center of Ohio University’s Athens campus. With its brick walkways and shade trees, it has provided a quiet respite to Ohio University students for over 200 years. Three of the oldest buildings on campus are located on the College Green. Cutler, McGuffey, and Wilson halls date from the 19th century and are fine examples of Georgian architecture. Cutler Hall, which currently houses the administrative offices of the president and others, was built in 1816 and has been designated a National Historic Landmark.

Also on the College Green is Templeton-Blackburn Alumni Memorial Auditorium. The west portico of the auditorium faces the center of the Green and is the site of a series of plaques honoring famous individuals who have spoken on campus, including Teddy Roosevelt, Warren Harding, Eleanor Roosevelt, Lyndon Johnson, and John Kennedy.

The Alumni Class Gateway is located at the northwest corner of the Green at the corner of Court and Union Streets where Ohio University and the City of Athens meet. The gate greets all who enter with an inscription that reads:

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Additional Details

  • Undergraduate Degrees:Associate's;Bachelor's
  • Undergraduate Enrollment:17375
  • Campus Setting:Suburban
Show all
  • Student to Faculty Ratio:Unknown
  • Room and Board:12922
  • Student Diversity – % Asian/Pacific Islander:Unknown
  • Student Diversity -% Hispanic or Latino:Unknown
  • Student Diversity – % Black or African-American:Unknown
  • Student Diversity – % American Indian/Alaskan Native:Unknown
  • Year Established:1804
  • Accreditation:Higher Learning Commission
  • Price Range $11,744 in-state, $21,208 out-of-state (includes fees)
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