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Ohio State celebrates 149th Founders Day

University commemorates history, looks to the future

On Saturday, The Ohio State University celebrates Founders Day – a reminder of the early days of education on the Columbus campus.

While Ohio State was founded in 1870, known then as the Ohio Agricultural and Mechanical College, classes did not begin until September 17, 1873. Founders Day has held a special place in the university community’s heart ever since.

“For me, Founders Day is a time to reflect on the lessons and successes that got us to this point in Ohio State’s history and celebrating how those traditions and milestones will carry us forward,” said President Kristina M. Johnson. “It’s an opportunity to recommit ourselves to our shared values, our vision, and our mission. Universities should always recognize where we came from, acknowledge how far we have progressed, and take every opportunity to look forward into the future to improve and innovate.”

When classes began in 1873, nearly two dozen students – including two women – began their journeys as Buckeyes. Since then, the university has grown in size and scale, with five regional campuses joining the Columbus campus and more than 67,000 students in 2021.

A few years after the founding, in 1878, the state legislature officially renamed the Ohio Agricultural and Mechanical College to The Ohio State University.

This year, Founders Day falls on a Saturday, when the Buckeyes face the University of Toledo Rockets in Ohio Stadium. The marching band will be hosting the Alumni Marching Band for their annual game. The halftime show will celebrate the 100th anniversary of Ohio Stadium.

University Libraries has more information about Founders Day and the history of the university.

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