15:49 PM

President Johnson shares a Founders Day message

The first classes at Ohio State were held Sept. 17, 1873

Ohio State President Kristina M. Johnson delivered a message from the heart of the Columbus campus to celebrate Ohio State’s Founders Day.

“On this very day in 1873, seven faculty members greeted about two dozen students who showed up to embark on their academic careers. University Hall was still under construction. The students sat on benches. They didn’t even have a finished roof over their heads,” she said.

The Ohio Agricultural and Mechanical College was founded on March 22, 1870, when the Cannon Act was passed by the Ohio Legislature. The act created the college and established a Board of Trustees that was tasked with choosing a location, hiring a president and faculty, and deciding the curriculum.

It was three years later when classes would begin. In 1878, the state legislature officially changed the institution’s name from the Ohio Agricultural and Mechanical College to The Ohio State University.

Johnson noted that while much has changed, the goal has not.

“There are some things that haven’t changed, though – like our dedication to academic excellence. And our commitment to Ohio State’s land-grant mission to foster engagement and service, give back to our communities and create the next generation of leaders who will make a significant impact on this state, nation and world,” she said. “I’m so proud to be a part of this incredible legacy and of the ever-growing Buckeye family.”

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

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