Ohio University

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Ohio University
Ohio University seal.svg
Latin: Universitas Ohiensis
MottoReligio Doctrina Civilitas, Prae Omnibus Virtus
Motto in English
Religion, Learning, Civility; Above All, Virtue
Type Public
Space grant
EstablishedFebruary 18, 1804
Academic affiliations
University System of Ohio
Endowment $569 million [1]
President Duane Nellis [2]
Provost Chaden Djalali [3]
Academic staff
Students20,073 (Athens)
34,871 (all campuses) [4]
Undergraduates 17,107 (Athens)
28,632 (all campuses) [4]
Postgraduates 2,394 (Athens)
5,256 (all campuses) [4]
Location, ,
United States

39°19′26″N82°06′07″W / 39.324°N 82.102°W / 39.324; -82.102 Coordinates: 39°19′26″N82°06′07″W / 39.324°N 82.102°W / 39.324; -82.102
Campus College town
1,850 acres (7.5 km²)
Colors Cutler Green and Cupola White [5]
Nickname Bobcats
Sporting affiliations
NCAA Division IMAC
Mascot Rufus the Bobcat
Website www.ohio.edu
Ohio University Logo.svg

Ohio University (Ohio or OU) is a public research university in Athens, Ohio. [6] The first university chartered by an Act of Congress [7] and the first to be chartered in Ohio, [8] it was chartered in 1787 by the Congress of the Confederation and subsequently approved for the territory in 1802 and state in 1804, [9] opening for students in 1809. [10] Ohio University is the oldest university in Ohio, the eighth oldest public university in the United States and the 30th oldest among public and private universities. [11] As of fall 2018, the university's total enrollment at Athens was 20,000, while the all-campus enrollment was just under 35,000. [4]


Ohio University maintains a selective admission rate with further admission requirements for its Journalism and other select schools. [12] [13] The Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine maintains separate select admissions criteria. [14] Ohio University offers more than 250 areas of undergraduate study. [15] On the graduate level, the university grants master's degrees in many of its major academic divisions, and doctoral degrees in selected departments. [16] Ohio University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. [17] The university is classified among "R2: Doctoral Universities – High research activity." [18]

Ohio's athletic teams are called the Bobcats and compete in the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) at the Division I level as charter members of the Mid-American Conference. [19] Ohio football has participated in 13 bowl games through the 2019 season, while the men's basketball team has made 13 appearances in the NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Championship. [20]


The open domed room anchors the student union building atop the hillside where the Hocking River had cut. Baker Dome.png
The open domed room anchors the student union building atop the hillside where the Hocking River had cut.

First charter

George Washington stated "the settlement of southeastern Ohio was not accidental, but the result of the careful deliberation of wise, prudent, and patriotic men." The Confederation Congress, which operated under the Articles of Confederation, did not work with an executor or cabinet. [21] Executive roles transacted from committees of Congress or appointed persons. The Ordinance of 1787 made Ohio University the first ever to be chartered through acts of Congress, with the very purpose of expanding education. [22] Additionally, the 1787 ordinance stated: "Religion, morality and knowledge being necessary to good government and the happiness of mankind, schools and the means of education shall forever be encouraged." This epithet is engraved on the university's main college gateway. [1 1]

The Ohio Company

The university was first envisioned by Manasseh Cutler, credited as the school's founder along with Revolutionary War Brigadier General Rufus Putnam. Cutler had served as a chaplain in Washington's Continental Army. The institution's first name was American University. [1 1] President Thomas Jefferson's policy initiatives included a westward expansion of the new nation, with the addition of several territories to U.S. statehood.

In 1797, settlers from Marietta traveled downstream on the Ohio River and up the Hocking River to establish a location for the school, founding Athens due to its location directly between the original capital of Chillicothe and Marietta. In 1802 approval was granted by the territorial government for the establishment of the American Western University, but the school was not operated under that name.

Ohio University was recognized by the new state on February 18, 1804, as its charter was certified by the General Assembly of the new state. This last approval happened eleven months after Ohio was admitted to the Union. The first three students enrolled in 1809. The first two bachelor's degrees were granted in 1815. [23]

Manasseh Cutler Hall, completed in 1819, was the first academic building in the Northwest Territory. Manasseh Cutler Hall, Ohio University.jpg
Manasseh Cutler Hall, completed in 1819, was the first academic building in the Northwest Territory.

20th century

The 20th century saw dramatic growth in student enrollment, academic offerings, and research facilities. Between 1955 and 1970, undergraduate enrollment tripled (from 7,000 to 20,000). During this era, the campus grew, with the construction of 25 new dormitories located on two new residential college greens, with radio and television stations, research and classroom facilities, and the construction of a 13,000-seat sports arena (the Convocation Center). It is now America's 25th largest[ citation needed ] residential college campus.

In 1964, U.S. President Johnson publicly referenced his Great Society initiative for the first time on the College Green, giving the university exposure across America and internationally.

In 1975, Ohio established its medical school, known as the Ohio University Heritage College of Medicine. Heritage is the only medical college in the state to award the D.O. degree. In 2011, the college received the largest private donation ever to be given to a medical college in the U.S. Approximately 240,000 living alumni now consider Ohio their alma mater, with Governors, Senators, Astronauts and media celebrities amongst its ranks. Ohio is consistently classified among the top public universities in U.S. News & World Report ranking of "Best American Colleges," and named by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching as a Doctoral/High Research Activity institution. Ohio's libraries contain more than 3 million bound volumes. [24]


The university is a residential campus in Athens, Ohio, overlooking the Hocking River. [25] Constructed under the Jefferson presidency, New England and Early Americana Federalist themes are prevalent in the university's earliest architecture. Development of the campus began in 1812 with the erection of the university's central building, Manasseh Cutler Hall, a registered national landmark, and built only 20 years after the White House.

College Green

The historic College Green is the central quadrangle lawn and location of significant campus buildings: Manasseh Cutler Hall, the Office of the President; Wilson Hall, the College of Arts and Sciences; McGuffey Hall, named for William McGuffey; and the College Gateway. [26] These three original primary structures are featured elements of the official current university logo and maintain true to their original design of over 200 years ago. The College Green has changed little in the past two centuries, which contributes to the university's colonial appearance. The green, inspired by the university founders, is based upon the classic layout of traditional English and New England towns and similar to university quadrangles. [27]

The College Green features Galbreath Chapel, the spire of which, topped with a brass weather vane, is modeled after that of the portico of Nash's All Souls Church in London. Other buildings on the College Green include Chubb Hall, home to Undergraduate Admissions as well as the Offices of the Bursar and Registrar; Ellis Hall, home to the departments of English, Classics and World Religions, and Philosophy; Templeton-Blackburn Memorial Auditorium; as well as Bryan Hall, an upperclassman residence hall. The College Green is framed by two main university gateways. Alumni Gateway, built in 1915, features verses well known to the university community which may be read upon entering and leaving campus. [28] The words over the gateway (“That thou Mayest Grow In Knowledge, Wisdom and Love”) are borrowed from the Latin phrase inscribed over a gateway to the University of Padua, Italy, and was dedicated at the beginning of the 20th century upon the 100th anniversary of the university's first graduating class. The newer College Gate, built in the 1960s, features words taken from the Northwest Ordinance of 1787 regarding public education and its founding as one of America's first public universities. The bronze university seal, embedded at the college gate, maintains the tradition that freshman must avoid stepping upon it or risk bad fortune. The nearby chimes and bells from the Cutler bell-tower's cupola ring out on the hour and sound the university Alma Mater at noon, which can be heard throughout the surrounding town and valley, as they have since 1820.

John Calhoun Baker University Center

The John Calhoun Baker University Center, which opened in January 2007, is named after the 14th president of the university. The facility replaced the original Baker Center located on East Union Street across from College Green and serves as the hub of campus activity. Electronic maps and virtual university e-tours, available at center information desks and online, direct visitors across campus. [29]

Hallway of Presidents, often called the Grand Hallway with its piano. The Grand Hallway.JPG
Hallway of Presidents, often called the Grand Hallway with its piano.

The five-story facility has been praised by The Association of College Unions International for its visual appeal and consistency with the campus' historic overall classic theme. The building features Federal architecture and large windows that admit a great deal of natural light and afford expansive views of campus. In contrast to the exterior's red brick and white columns, the interior has a more contemporary style with high domed ceilings, ergonomic furniture and a color scheme of sage, plum and mocha. Terrazzo mosaics of aspects of the earth's globe are embedded in the Grand Atrium of the main entrance to the building, which features a rotunda with curved walls, wood monumental staircase and large free-form chandelier. An unusual acoustical quality of the building is the fact that any individual standing at the exact center of the inlaid arrow on the floor of the entering rotunda and facing its entrance, speaking or even whispering, produces a unique reverberating echo similar to the effect created at the center of the United States Capitol Rotunda in Washington, D.C. Another unique feature is the fountain escalator system, the only operating escalator in southeast Ohio, intersecting the huge atrium and connecting College Green and West Green. An outdoor second floor, featuring terraced patio dining, presides over a picturesque natural pond as well as a partial view of Peden Stadium and Byrd Arena.

Baker Center contains a large food court called West 82; a pub bistro called Latitude 39; a Grand Ballroom; The Honors Collegium, The Wall of Presidents, the Bobcat Student Lounge, a shop called Bobcat Depot that sells apparel, computers, and accessories; a theater seating 400; study areas; computer labs; administrative offices; and numerous conference rooms. The Frontier Room, a large coffee house named after a former popular university rathskeller, features a stage, artwork and a community fireplace. It serves Starbucks products and university bakery items and is housed on the fourth floor, which opens onto its own outside terrace as well as onto the intersection of Park Place and Court Streets, making it a hot spot for students between classes. Other amenities include a United States Post Office [30] and the Trisolini Art Gallery, named after a prominent fine arts faculty member. [31]

Vernon R. Alden Library

Ohio University Libraries
OU Alden Library.JPG
Location Athens, Ohio
Size3 million+ volumes
Access and use
Population servedOver 20,000
Other information
DirectorDean Neil Romanosky
Staffover 100[ citation needed ]
Website https://www.ohio.edu/library/

Vernon R. Alden Library serves the Athens campus as the central library facility. The collection of the Ohio library contains over 2.3 million units of microfilm material, 13,500 periodical subscriptions and 3 million printed volumes, [24] making it one of the 100 largest libraries in the United States. The university maintains a complex system of archives in its libraries. [32] A university archive maintains and displays rare books and collections, among other treasures is a 13th-century Bible. The Learning Commons, located on the building's second floor, is open 24 hours, 5 days a week allowing students to meet and access library facilities. Laptops and other accessories are available through technology services at the reference desk. The library is organized on the Library of Congress system. Outside Alden Library and directly behind Cutler Hall is Wolfe Garden, a small enclave in the shape of the State of Ohio, and features native Ohio trees and plants, providing a pleasant spot for contemplation.

East Green

There are twelve residence halls on East Green. [33] This area of the university includes three of the steepest walkways at the hilly Athens campus and is the oldest residential green: Morton Hill, the Bryan Hall terrace and staircase, and Jefferson Hill. Each walkway is well-lit[ citation needed ] and affords East Green residents easy access[ citation needed ] to classrooms if they are willing to walk or bicycle. The East Green's Scott Quad, as lore maintains, is a residence hall that provides for a successful relationship to those who kiss beneath its gateway arch.[ citation needed ]

South Green

South Green includes areas near Emeriti Park, and extends along the Hocking River valley. There are eighteen residence halls on South Green, following the addition of four new residence halls in the summer of 2015. [34] [35] The South Green is home to several facilities, including:

Charles J. Ping Recreation Center

Charles J. Ping Recreation Center on South Green OU Ping Center.JPG
Charles J. Ping Recreation Center on South Green

The Charles J. Ping Center is one of the largest recreational facilities in the nation.[ citation needed ] Covering 168,000 square feet (15,600 m2) on three floors, Ping houses a 36-foot (11 m), double-sided climbing wall, five basketball/volleyball courts, two multipurpose gymnasiums, an elevated four-lane indoor running track, eight racquetball courts and an enclosed glass fitness area. Ping Center also provides free weight and cardio rooms, aerobics and fitness classes, combative sports, dance, meeting rooms and personal training.[ citation needed ] The recreation center also houses club sports and intramural sports. Construction began in 1994 and it opened in January 1996. Ping was named in honor of the 18th president of Ohio University, Charles J. Ping. Ping is also one of the largest student employers on campus.

West Green

West Green includes buildings around the western part of the Athens campus. [36] The Ohio Athletic Mall spans the western portion of the campus, near the end of the Athens bike path at the Union street crossing. The mall features lacrosse, baseball, track, field and related athletic venues. Along the surrounding Hocking River is a series of sakura trees planted to commemorate the university's historic partnership with Chubu University. Japanese Students sponsor an annual "Sakura Festival" each year, a cultural event celebrating the visually dramatic blossoming of the cherry trees and their evening lightings. Nearby Bicentennial Park features “Input,” a landscape artwork by famous artist Maya Lin.

Anchoring the West Green quadrangle is the Stocker Center, which houses the Russ College of Engineering.

West Green Quadrangle WestGreenWinter.jpg
West Green Quadrangle

There are eight residence halls on the West Green. [37] The West Green also includes:

Other facilities


University Gateway, on College Green, is the entrance way for freshmen upon their convocation Ohio University Gateway.JPG
University Gateway, on College Green, is the entrance way for freshmen upon their convocation
Manasseh Cutler, Founder of Ohio University ManassehCutler.jpg
Manasseh Cutler, Founder of Ohio University
University rankings
Forbes [40] 416
Times/WSJ [41] 454
U.S. News & World Report [42] 185
Washington Monthly [43] 239
QS [44] 801-1000
U.S. News & World Report [45] 658

The total university student enrollment is in excess of 36,000, encompassing its main campus in Athens and regional campuses; its body mostly hails from the Mid-Atlantic and Midwest and graduated from public high schools. The university is cited for academic quality and value by publications Fortune, [46] U.S. News and World Report, [47] BusinessWeek, [48] Forbes, [49] America's 100 Best College Buys, Princeton Review's Best Colleges, and Peterson's Guide to Competitive Colleges. The John Templeton Foundation has also recognized Ohio University as one of the top character-building institutions in the country. [50] The Chronicle of Higher Education has recognized the university as one of the top producers of U.S. Fulbright scholars by type of institution, with the highest number of recipients in the state as well as the Mid-American Conference in 2011–12. [51] Ohio University was recognized by the U.S. Department of State's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs as a top producer of 2014–2015 Fulbright U.S. Students. [52]

The university admits 69% of applicants. Total surveyed student demographic: African-Americans account for 5%; (1,061); Asian Americans 1.3% (270); Caucasians 84.6% (17,926); Hispanic 1.9% (411); International 6.8% (1,437); and Native American and American Indian 0.4% (77). The university honor code includes the traditional pillars of character, citizenship, civility, commitment, and community. [53] Freshman formally enter the university with their annual convocation and march beneath Alumni Gateway along with university officials.

Ohio faculty has achievements ranging from Francis Bundy's work on early synthesis of diamond [54] to Paul Murray Kendall's celebrated biography of Richard III. Some sense of research achievements at Ohio University can be seen in the biographies of the Edwin and Ruth Kennedy [55] Distinguished Professors [56] appointed annually since 1959.

Colleges and schools

The university is divided into several colleges:

Kennedy Museum of Art KennedyMuseum OhioUniv.jpg
Kennedy Museum of Art
The Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine Heritage College.JPG
The Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine

Research centers

The Contemporary History Institute housed in Brown House OU Brown House.JPG
The Contemporary History Institute housed in Brown House

Several research programs and institutes allow students to learn from scientists and scholars who are actively engaged in advancing their disciplines. Ohio University's Board of Trustees-approved research centers and institutes include:

University College

University College was established in 2004. [89] The college comprises students who design a major program with faculty approval and awards the Bachelor of Specialized Studies (B.S.S.) degree. The University College faculty are from various disciplines.

Regional campuses

More than 9,800 students attend Ohio University's five regional campuses:

Ohio University also has two educational centers:

Ohio University also has one extension campus:

Ohio University Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine operates two campuses in addition to Athens:


Ohio Bobcat at Peden Stadium Ohio Bobcat Peden.JPG
Ohio Bobcat at Peden Stadium
Peden Stadium Peden Stadium Interior.jpg
Peden Stadium

University sports began in 1894 with an 8–0 loss to Marietta College in football. The university competes in the major National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) at the Division I level and is a charter member of the Mid-American Conference (MAC), established in 1946, and remains the sole charter member competing in the conference. University intercollegiate athletics include six men's squads and eight women's squads. At the national level, Ohio University defeated 4th-seeded Michigan in the 2012 NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Tournament. They followed up that with a 62–56 win over 12th-seeded South Florida, reaching the Sweet Sixteen for the first time since 1964.

The Bobcats football team plays in the horseshoe-shape 28,000-seat capacity Peden Stadium, the oldest stadium in the Mid-American Conference, which features a student academic center that doubles as a ticket and hospitality concourse during football games and adding viewing capacity. Peden Stadium is a designated Ohio Historical Site. The impressive 13,080-seat Convocation Center serves as home to the university's men's and women's basketball and women's volleyball teams. It has also served as a venue for music performances featuring famous bands such as The Beach Boys, Led Zappelin and Peter, Paul and Mary.

All university sporting events are open to students at no additional charge. [90]

Ohio's men's and women's athletics teams compete under the official colors of hunter green and white. The school mascot is Rufus the Bobcat, and a life-sized sculpture of a bobcat stands poised at the entrance to Peden Stadium. The mascot name "Rufus" was selected via a campus-wide election, after an alumnus, Michael A. Massa, made the suggestion to the university.

Club sports

There are 36 active club sports programs at Ohio, run out of the Department of Campus Recreation. Club sports include sports for both genders, including co-ed sports. [91] [92]

Student activities


Students operate a newspaper, television, and radio stations at Ohio University. The main newspaper, The Post , publishes in print once a week and online all days of the week while the university is in session, and is officially independent of the university and its administration.

Ohio University Public Television is a PBS affiliate broadcasting on WOUB Athens/WOUC Cambridge. In addition to national PBS programs, WOUB features Newswatch, a nightly news broadcast with student reporters. Other student produced programs include Gridiron Glory (following the Southeastern Ohio and parts of West Virginia high school football season, the recipient of many Emmys) and Bobcat Blitz (following the Ohio Bobcats during the year). WOUB also airs The OUtlet, [93] a radio show and podcast featuring stories wherever "campus meets community."

WOUB-FM 91.3 Athens, WOUC-FM 89.1 Cambridge, WOUH-FM 91.9 Chillicothe, WOUL-FM 89.1 Ironton, and WOUZ-FM 90.1 Zanesville broadcast the same programs throughout southeastern Ohio. Separate public radio programming is also heard in Athens on WOUB AM 1340. ACRN ("The Rock Lobster"), founded in 1971, is an Internet radio-only station and the university's only student-run radio station. [94]

Ohio University has an amateur radio (also known as ham radio) club, the Ohio University Amateur Radio Club, call sign W8PZS, that operates out of Stocker Center. [95]

The university also publishes the OHIO News page, [96] the institution's official online news and information resource.


Students maintain a variety of organized and independent service events. [97] The Community Service Leadership Council involves students to oversee a Project of the Week every Saturday. The projects have included work with Good Earth Farms, Last Chance Corral, Cadillac Ranch, Habitat for Humanity, Alpha Delta Pi, Alpha Phi Omega, Pi Beta Phi, Project C, Rotaract, the Survivor Advocacy Program, and the Thursday Supper Volunteer Corps, among others. Charities at Ohio University have involved flag football tournaments and the 5K Flour Run, and have benefited O'Bleness Health System's Women's Health Fund and the Athens Backpack Program, respectively. Student Senate's Beautification Day regularly receives a large turnout and is particularly unique in the Spring. [98] In early 1962, President Vernon Alden signed the first of several contracts with the federal government to facilitate Peace Corps volunteer training programs. Today, Ohio University hosts a recruiting office for the Peace Corps in a tradition affiliated with that organization since Sargent Shriver's visit. [99]

Law enforcement

Like many universities in Ohio, Ohio University maintains its own police department. [100] Operating out of Scott Quadrangle, the Ohio University Police Department (OUPD) is a fully-fledged, independent law enforcement agency with 31 sworn officers, five dispatchers, and two administrative support personnel. [101] They have patrol and investigative divisions, two explosive detective canine teams, [102] a SWAT team, [103] and are members of the Athens-Hocking-Fairfield Major Crimes Unit. [104]

OUPD was certified with the Ohio Collaborative on January 27, 2017. [105]


Ohio has over 240,000 living alumni. Alumni have been recognized by a variety of prestigious awards and positions. Among these are Sir Venkatraman Ramakrishnan, recipient of the 2009 Nobel Prize in Chemistry and president of the Royal Society; George Voinovich, former Ohio governor and U.S. senator for Ohio; and Thomas Ewing, first graduate of Ohio University, the first Secretary of the Interior, a U.S. senator for Ohio and Secretary of the Treasury under U.S. President William Henry Harrison, to name a few of many distinguished graduates. [106] Thirty-eight Scripps College of Communication alumni have won Pulitzer Prizes.

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