Ottawa University

Last updated
Ottawa University
Ottawa University seal.svg
Former names
Roger Williams University
Veritas vos liberabit
Motto in English
The Truth Will Set You Free
Type Private
Endowment $14.3 million (2016) [1]
Chancellor Kevin Eichner
President Reggies Wenyika
Provost Terry Haines
Rector John Holzhüter
Undergraduates 600
Postgraduates 30
Location, ,

38°36′09″N95°15′56″W / 38.602589°N 95.265542°W / 38.602589; -95.265542 Coordinates: 38°36′09″N95°15′56″W / 38.602589°N 95.265542°W / 38.602589; -95.265542
Colors Black and Gold
Nickname Braves
Sporting affiliations
Ottawa University wordmark.svg

Ottawa University (OU) is a private, non-profit, Christian liberal arts university with traditional, residential campuses in Ottawa, Kansas with a satellite campus in Surprise, Arizona. It was founded in 1865 and is affiliated with the American Baptist Churches USA. Ottawa has approximately 700 students on its residential campus in Ottawa, 500 on its residential campus in Surprise, and about 4,000 students across all of its campuses and online. [2]

Ottawa, Kansas City and County seat in Kansas, United States

Ottawa is a city in, and the county seat of, Franklin County, Kansas, United States. It is located on both banks of the Marais des Cygnes River near the center of Franklin County. As of the 2010 census, the city population was 12,649.

Surprise, Arizona City in Arizona, United States of America

Surprise is a city in Maricopa County, in the U.S. state of Arizona. The population was 30,848 at the 2000 census; however, rapid expansion has boosted the city's population to 117,517 at the 2010 census, an increase of 281%. As such, it is the second-fastest-expanding municipality in the greater Phoenix metropolitan area and, between 1990 and 2000, it was the sixth-fastest-expanding place among all cities and towns in Arizona. Census estimates in 2017 continue this accelerated growth pattern, with the population now estimated at 134,085.

American Baptist Churches USA

The American Baptist Churches USA (ABCUSA) is a Baptist Christian denomination within the United States. The denomination maintains headquarters in Valley Forge, Pennsylvania. The organization is usually considered mainline, although varying theological and mission emphases may be found among its congregations, including modernist, charismatic and evangelical orientations. It traces its history to the First Baptist Church in America (1638) and the Baptist congregational associations which organized the Triennial Convention in 1814. From 1907 to 1950, it was known as the Northern Baptist Convention, and from 1950 to 1972 as the American Baptist Convention.



The origins of Ottawa University date back to the 1860s when Baptist missionaries established the First Baptist Church in the area that would eventually develop into Ottawa, which at the time was occupied by Native Americans. Elsewhere, Kansas Baptists had managed to charter an institute of higher learning that they were planning on calling the "Roger Williams University". In the early 1860s, they were looking for a place to establish it and at the 1860 Baptist State Convention in Atchison, Kansas, Rev. John Tecumseh "Tauy" Jones made a case for the university coming to Ottawa; he proposed that the Baptists work with the Native Americans in the area, who had land that they might be willing to sell for the purpose of creating a college. After discussions with the Native Americanswho were amenable to the ideait was agreed that 20,000 acres of land would be set aside for the express purpose of constructing a college. On August 20, 1862, the first board of trustees (made up of four Native Americans and two white Baptists) met and decided to purchase 5,000 acres of the aforementioned land so as to establish a campus. In 1865, the name "Roger Williams University" was decommissioned in favor of "Ottawa University". Eventually, the campus was whittled down to about 640 acres. [3]

Atchison, Kansas City and County seat in Kansas, United States

Atchison is a city and county seat of Atchison County, Kansas, United States, and situated along the Missouri River. As of the 2010 census, its population was 11,021. The city is named in honor of David Rice Atchison, United States senator from Missouri, and was the original eastern terminus of the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway. Atchison was the birthplace of aviator Amelia Earhart, and the Amelia Earhart Festival is held annually in July. Atchison is also home of Benedictine College, a Catholic liberal-arts college.


Aerial view of Ottawa University Aerial view of Ottawa University Ottawa Kansas 09-04-2013.JPG
Aerial view of Ottawa University
Tauy Jones Hall is Ottawa University's oldest building, built in 1869. Tauy Jones close1.jpg
Tauy Jones Hall is Ottawa University's oldest building, built in 1869.

The original campus is in Ottawa, Kansas and is referred to as OUKS.

A second residential campus opened in August 2017 in Surprise, Arizona, and is referred to OUAZ.

In addition to the residential college, OU has adult campuses in Overland Park, Kansas; Phoenix, Surprise and Queen Creek, Arizona; Brookfield, Wisconsin; and Jeffersonville, Indiana. [4]

Overland Park, Kansas City in Kansas, United States

Overland Park is the second most populous city in the U.S. state of Kansas. Located in Johnson County, it is the second most populous city in the Kansas City metropolitan area. As of the 2010 census, the city population was 173,372; growing to 191,278 by 2017. It is home to the Sprint World Headquarters Campus.

Brookfield, Wisconsin City in Waukesha

Brookfield is a city located in Waukesha County, Wisconsin, United States in the Milwaukee metropolitan area. It had a population of 37,920 in the 2010 census. Brookfield is the third largest city in Waukesha County.

Jeffersonville, Indiana City in Indiana, United States

Jeffersonville is a city in Clark County, Indiana, along the Ohio River. Locally, the city is often referred to by the abbreviated name Jeff. It is directly across the Ohio River to the north of Louisville, Kentucky, along I-65. The population was 44,953 at the 2010 census. The city is the county seat of Clark County.


Ottawa University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. Its education programs in Kansas are accredited by the National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education and the Kansas State Department of Education. [5]

Higher Learning Commission university accreditation organization in the U.S.A.

The Higher Learning Commission (HLC) is an organization tasked with the regional accreditation responsibilities for post-secondary education institutions in the central United States. The Higher Learning Commission oversees the accreditation of degree-granting colleges and universities in nineteen mostly Midwestern and South-Central states, namely Arkansas, Arizona, Colorado, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, North Dakota, Nebraska, Ohio, Oklahoma, New Mexico, South Dakota, Wisconsin, West Virginia, and Wyoming. The headquarters of the organization is based in Chicago, Illinois.

Kansas State Department of Education

Kansas State Department Board of Education (KSDE) is Kansas's Board of Education, headquartered in Topeka. The board of education that controls the department is a constitutional body established in Article 6 of the Kansas Constitution. The ten members of the Board of Education are each elected to four-year terms. The Board helps determine educational policy for the state's primary and secondary schools.

Academic profile

Ottawa University offers bachelor's degree programs in more than 25 disciplines. Current graduate program offerings include Master of Business Administration (MBA), Master of Arts in Education (MAEd), Master of Arts in Human Resources (MAHR), and Master of Arts in Counseling (MAC).

In 2017, U.S. News & World Report ranked the school as the 3rd-highest regional private college in Kansas; the site also ranked Ottawa University as 42 out of 150 in a ranking of Midwest Regional Colleges. [6]

Research and cultural resources

Department of Church Relations

The Department of Church Relations maintains the university's long-standing relationship with the clergy and churches within the American Baptist Churches USA. Church Relations also works to recruit students from American Baptist Churches across the country. [7]

Forensics, music, drama and other events

Ottawa University is the Alpha Chapter of Pi Kappa Delta, [8] the national speech and debate honorary. In 1913, Ottawa became the founding member and continues to invest in forensic activities over 100 years later.

The Music and Drama Departments offer productions for the community and serve as host for community related events.


OUKS teams are known as the Braves. The university is a member of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) and competes in the Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference (KCAC). The school provides eleven intercollegiate sports for men, ten intercollegiate sports for women, and a varied intramural programs. [9] Men's sports include baseball, basketball, cross country, football, golf, lacrosse, soccer, tennis, track & field, volleyball, and wrestling, while women's sports include basketball, cross country, golf, lacrosse, soccer, softball, track & field, tennis, volleyball, and wrestling.

OUAZ teams are known as the Spirit. They are also a member of the NAIA and most of the athletic programs compete in the Golden State Athletics Conference (GSAC); football will compete in the Sooner Athletic Conference. Men's sports include baseball, basketball, cross country, football, golf, soccer, tennis, track and field, and volleyball. Women's sports include: basketball, beach volleyball, cross country, golf, soccer, softball, tennis, track and field, and volleyball.

Student life

Ottawa views attending college as an "opportunity to interact with people, learn new skills and discover new talents". [10] The campus in Ottawa offers over 30 student groups, clubs and organizations, including the oldest student-run newspaper in Kansas, The Campus. The school offers drama, music, honor societies, campus ministry opportunities, and other activities. [11]

The campus in Surprise offers music ensembles, academic and professional clubs, campus ministries, and club teams such as bowling, lacrosse and outdoor adventures.

Notable alumni

See also

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  1. "Ottawa University". U.S. News & World Report . Retrieved October 4, 2017.
  2. "Ottawa University History and Ottawa Tribe Heritage". Ottawa University. Retrieved October 4, 2017.
  3. Connelley, William (1919). A Standard History of Kansas and Kansans. 2. Chicago, IL: Lewis Publishing Company. pp. 1041–2.
  4. "Adult Education". Ottawa University. Retrieved October 4, 2017. Note: However over the tab reading "Locations" to see campus locations.
  5. "University Accreditation". Ottawa University. Retrieved October 4, 2017.
  6. "Best Regional Colleges Midwest Rankings". U.S. News & World Report . 2017. Archived from the original on October 4, 2017. Note: U.S. News & World Report ranks regional colleges and universities separately.
  7. "Church Relations". Ottawa University. Archived from the original on March 2, 2009.
  8. Norton, L. E. "The History of Pi Kappa Delta" (PDF). Speech and Debate. Retrieved October 4, 2017.
  9. "Ottawa Braves". Ottawa University Braves. Retrieved October 4, 2017.
  10. "Student Life". Ottawa University. Archived from the original on July 2, 2007.
  11. "Fast Facts". Ottawa University. Archived from the original on July 2, 2007.