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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
  • Majors Offered:Accounting, Actuarial Science, Advertising, Aerospace/Atmospheric Science, African American Studies, Anthropology/Archaeology, Apparel Design, Applied Mathematics, Art (General), Art Education, Art History, Astronomy, Athletic Training/Sports Medicine, Aviation Science, Biochemistry, Biology, Botany (General), Business Administration, Business and Commerce/General, Business Economics, Business Information Systems, Ceramics, Chemical Engineering, Chemistry, Child & Family Services, Civil Engineering, Classical/Medieval Studies, Communication Science and Disorders, Communications, Community Services/Human Services, Community/Public Health, Computer Engineering, Computer Science, Co-op/Dual Engineering, Creative Writing, Criminal Justice/Law Enforcement, Dance, Dietetics/Nutrition, Early Childhood Education, Economics, Electrical/Electronics Engineering, Elementary Education, English, Entrepreneurship, Environmental Biology, Environmental Chemistry, Environmental Science, Exercise Science/Kinesiology, Family & Child Development, Fashion Merchandising, Film and Video Arts, Finance, Forensic Science, French, Geography, German, Graphic Arts/Design, Health Care Administration, Health Science, History, Human Ecology Education, Humanities, Industrial Technology, Industrial/Manufacturing Engineering, Information Technology, Interior Design, International Business, International Studies, Journalism, Liberal Arts, Literacy Education, Literature, Management, Management Information Systems, Marine Biology Science, Marketing, Mathematics, Mechanical Engineering, Media Studies, Merchandising, Meteorology, Molecular Biology, Music, Music Composition, Music Education, Music History, Music Performance, Music Theory, Music Therapy, Nursing, Other Engineering Fields, Painting, Philosophy, Photography, Physical Education, Physics, Plant Science, Political Science/Government, Pre-Law, Premedical/Dental/Veterinary, Pre-Occupational Therapy, Pre-Pharmacy, Pre-Physical Therapy, Printmaking, Psychology/Behavioral Sciences, Radio & Television, Resort/Restaurant/Hotel & Hospitality Management, Russian, Sculpture, Secondary Education, Social Work/Social Service, Sociology, Sound & Music Recording, Spanish, Special Education/Education of the Exceptional Child, Speech Pathology/Audiology, Theatre/Dramatic Arts, Urban Studies, Voice, Wildlife
  • Campus Setting:Suburban
  • Type of School:Public;4 year
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  • Acceptance Rate:Unknown
  • 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

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