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, ,
United States

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, Spirit
Sporting affiliations
Website OOjs UI icon edit-ltr-progressive.svg
Ottawa University wordmark.svg

Ottawa University (OU) is a private Baptist university with its main campus in Ottawa, Kansas, a second residential campus in Surprise, Arizona, and adult campuses in several locations throughout the United States. It was founded in 1865 and is affiliated with the American Baptist Churches USA. The residential campus in Ottawa has approximately 750 students, while the OUAZ campus in Surprise boasts nearly 700, in addition to approximately 4,000 students across all of its campuses and online. [2]



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]


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.

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

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


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]


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

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

Ottawa University is the Alpha chapter of Pi Kappa Delta, [7] the national speech and debate honorary. In 1913, Ottawa became the founding member and continues to invest in forensic activities over 100 years later.

Free and open to the Ottawa, Kansas, and surrounding communities, the music department holds a number of concerts throughout the year both on campus and in local venues. The theatre department offers a variety of productions for the community. The University serves as a host for community related events throughout the year.


The team in Kansas 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 university provides 30 varsity athletic teams—13 men's teams, 14 women's teams, 3 co-ed teams, and a varied intramural programs. [8] Men's sports include baseball, basketball, bowling, cross country, football, golf, lacrosse, powerlifting, soccer, tennis, track & field, volleyball, and wrestling; while women's sports include basketball, beach volleyball, bowling, cross country, flag football, golf, lacrosse, powerlifting, soccer, softball, tennis, track & field, volleyball, and wrestling. Co-ed teams include competitive cheer, dance and esports.

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 Athletic 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

The campus in Ottawa, Kansas, offers more than 30 student groups, clubs and organizations, including the oldest student-run newspaper in Kansas, The Campus. The school offers drama, music, fraternities and sororities, honor societies, campus ministry opportunities, and other activities. [9]

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

Related Research Articles

University of Northwestern – St. Paul Evangelical Christian college

University of Northwestern (UNW) is a private Christian university in Roseville, Minnesota. It was founded in 1902. UNW also owns a chain of radio stations across the Midwest and Eastern United States, broadcasting listener-supported Christian music and teaching programs. Noted evangelist Billy Graham served as the school's second president from 1948 to 1952.

Kings College (Pennsylvania) liberal arts college located in Wilkes-Barre, Luzerne County, Pennsylvania, United States

King's College, formally The College of Christ the King, is a Roman Catholic liberal arts college in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania. It is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education and located within the Diocese of Scranton.

Post University For-profit university in Waterbury, Connecticut

Post University is a private, for-profit university in Waterbury, Connecticut. It was founded in 1890 as Post College. From 1990 to 2004 it was affiliated with Teikyo University in Tokyo, Japan and during that time it was named Teikyo Post University. The university offers over 25 undergraduate and graduate programs in day, evening, and online courses, and has three satellite centers in Meriden, Danbury, and Wallingford.

University of Mount Union liberal arts university in Alliance, Ohio

The University of Mount Union is a private university in Alliance, Ohio. Founded in 1846, the university was affiliated with the Methodist Church until the spring of 2019. Mount Union has an enrollment of 2,209 undergraduate students, divided approximately equally between men and women.

Lawrence Technological University private university in Southfield, Michigan, United States

Lawrence Technological University (LTU), frequently referred to as Lawrence Tech, is a private university in Southfield, Michigan. Lawrence Tech was founded in 1932 in Highland Park, Michigan, as the Lawrence Institute of Technology (LIT) by Russell E. Lawrence. The university moved to Southfield in 1955 and has since expanded to 107 acres (0.43 km2). The campus also includes the Frank Lloyd Wright-designed Affleck House in Bloomfield Hills and the Detroit Center for Design + Technology in Midtown Detroit.

Concordia University Ann Arbor University in Michigan

Concordia University Ann Arbor (CUAA) is a satellite campus of Concordia University Wisconsin located in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Its 187-acre (76 ha) campus sits on the banks of the Huron River, about ten minutes outside downtown Ann Arbor. Concordia is affiliated with the Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod (LCMS) and is a college of the Concordia University System. CUAA merged with Concordia University Wisconsin, located in Mequon, Wisconsin, in 2013.

Chowan University

Chowan University is a private Baptist university in Murfreesboro, North Carolina. Although the university is affiliated with the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina, it accepts students of all backgrounds. It is the second-oldest Baptist school in North Carolina. The university offers Associate, Bachelor's, and Master's degrees in 70 academic disciplines and is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. The university enrolls about 1500 students.

Johnson & Wales University (JWU) is a private career-oriented university with its main campus in Providence, Rhode Island. Founded as a business school in 1914 by Gertrude I. Johnson and Mary T. Wales, JWU currently has 12,930 graduate, undergraduate, and online students enrolled in arts & sciences, business, culinary arts, engineering & design, food systems, health & wellness, hospitality, media communications, travel & tourism, and sustainable practices across its campuses. The university is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education.

Limestone College

Limestone College is a private, non-denominational Christian liberal arts college in Gaffney, South Carolina.

Wingate University

Wingate University is a private "Judeo-Christian" university with campuses in Wingate, Charlotte, and Hendersonville, North Carolina. It was founded in 1896.

Westfield State University

Westfield State University is a public university in Westfield, Massachusetts. It was founded in 1838 by Horace Mann as the first public co-educational college in America without barrier to race, gender, or economic class.

Alvernia University is a private Franciscan Roman Catholic university in Reading, Pennsylvania. Once known as Alvernia College, the school gained university status in 2008.

Padua Franciscan High School Private, coeducational school in Parma, , Ohio, United States

Padua Franciscan High School is a private co-educational Franciscan high school in Parma, Ohio. It is a part of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Cleveland.

Lincoln High School (Gahanna, Ohio) Public, coeducational high school in Gahanna, Ohio, United States

Lincoln High School is a public high school in Gahanna, Ohio.

Nichols College

Nichols College is a private college in Dudley, Massachusetts. Founded in 1815 as Nichols Academy, Nichols College offers 12 concentrations in its business program and seven majors in its liberal arts program. The college offers bachelor's and master's degrees as well as certificate programs.

Gonzaga Preparatory School Private school in Spokane, Washington, United States

Gonzaga Preparatory School in Spokane, Washington, is a private, Catholic high school in the Inland Northwest. As a Jesuit institution, "G-Prep" has been recognized for its college preparation education and community service.

Marian University (Wisconsin) private university in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin

Marian University is a Roman Catholic university in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin. It was founded in 1936 by the Congregation of Sisters of Saint Agnes, which continues to sponsor the university today.

Kansas Wesleyan University American university

Kansas Wesleyan University is a private Christian college in Salina, Kansas. Founded in 1886, it is affiliated with the United Methodist Church. About 800 students attend KWU, with approximately 700 of them studying on the 28-acre campus. The university is accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.

Midland University

Midland University is a private Lutheran liberal arts university in Fremont, Nebraska. It has an approximate enrollment of 1,400 students on 33-acre (13 ha) campus. The university offers more than 30 undergraduate bachelor's degrees and three graduate master's degrees, including Master of Business Administration (MBA), Master of Education in Leadership, Master of Science: Adult and Organizational Learning, and Master of Athletic Training.

Lindenwood University–Belleville, also known as Lindenwood Belleville, is a private, four-year liberal arts university. It is a full-fledged, standalone sister college of Lindenwood University with an enrollment around 2,300 students. Lindenwood Belleville is located in Belleville, Illinois and occupies the campus that was formerly Belleville West High School. Lindenwood Belleville offers a day program, as well as evening programs for working adults. Lindenwood Belleville now offers 30 different undergraduate and graduate degree options.


  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.[ permanent dead link ] 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. Norton, L. E. "The History of Pi Kappa Delta" (PDF). Speech and Debate. Retrieved October 4, 2017.
  8. "Ottawa Braves". Ottawa University Braves. Retrieved May 7, 2020.
  9. "Fast Facts". Ottawa University. Archived from the original on July 2, 2007.