Co-authored by Kate Mason
Ohio University’s Founders Day, observed annually on Feb. 18, commemorates the 1804 establishment of the institution when the general assembly of the state of Ohio wrote: “that there shall be an University instituted and established in the town of Athens… by the name and style of Ohio University.”
In celebration of OHIO’s 213th year, University Archivist Bill Kimok collaborated with a team of regional campus librarians
in the curation of the Libraries’ Founders Day exhibit titled, “Honoring the Branches: The Founding of Ohio University’s Regional Campuses.”
The Founders Day exhibit, curated by Kimok, annually features one facet of Ohio University’s unique history using photos, newspaper clippings, newsletters, programs and pamphlets from, in most cases, University Archives, to help tell the story.
In 1946, Ohio University opened its first three branch campuses in Chillicothe, Portsmouth and Zanesville—right after World War II ended and young men returned home from the military to their Southeastern Ohio roots, wrote Kimok in a recently published Compass story about this year’s exhibit.
“It was not originally Ohio University’s intention to make the branches a permanent fixture of the University concern. But even as enrollment declined temporarily in the early 1950s during the Korean conflict, the branch system had attained such prominence in the local communities,” Kimok continued, that OHIO soon added four more regional programs.
The exhibit is available to view on the fifth floor of Alden Library through Friday, April 21.
Be sure to read the full story of the history of the regional campuses by Kimok in Compass.