Tuesday, February 18, 2003

Ohio Bicentennial Moment

University at Athens goes back to beginning

On Feb. 18, 1804, the General Assembly passed an act to establish Ohio University - the first seat of higher learning in the state - in Athens.

Lawmakers had actually passed an act to create the American Western University at Athens in 1802, when Ohio was still part of the Northwest Territory. The 1804 act renamed the school Ohio University and established a board of trustees that included the governor.

The university opened in 1808 in a two-room brick building with one instructor and three students. One of its first graduates was Jacob Ewing, who later became a U.S. senator and cabinet member to two presidents. In 1828, OU graduated its first African-American, John Newton Templeton, the third black man in the country to graduate from college. Margaret Boyd became the first female graduate in 1873.

- Rebecca Goodman

Ohio Moments will appear here daily during 2003. Have a suggestion? Contact Rebecca Goodman at rgoodman@enquirer.com or (513) 768-8361.

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Ohio Moments: University at Athens goes back to beginning
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