Newark Branch, undated
Continuing our series on the regional campuses, we now head west to The Ohio State University at Newark. Newark was established alongside Marion in 1957, and it operated in much the same manner in its first decade. The campus’s first classes occurred at Newark High School in the evenings and consisted of 80 students and 8 faculty members. Classes continued to take place in Newark High School until early January of 1969, when its first building, Founders’ Hall, was dedicated.
The campus remained primarily a commuter campus until 1984, when Newark approved the construction of two residence halls which would allow students of the branch to live on campus. Alongside this construction project, while trying to clear new land for an accompanying parking lot, the construction company uncovered several archaeological sites dating back to the Middle Woodland period—about 1,400-2,000 years ago. In 2006, the Newark Earthworks Center was established to conduct research and increase the understanding of “American Indian cultures that produced the monumental Midwestern earthen architecture in order to advance understanding of the cultural and scientific achievements of American Indians to the world.”
Geography Class at Newark,1979
Nowadays, the Newark campus has 11 buildings, which include two residence halls and a recreation center, and it offers six complete Bachelor’s degree programs as well as two Master’s programs in Social Work and Teaching and Learning.
Fun fact: in May 1990, Newark hosted “Clown Town ‘90” which was a three-day convention targeted toward both beginning and experienced clowns that offered seminars and instructional workshops on a range of topics from make-up techniques to balloon making.
Written by Hannah Nelson.
 Newark Earthworks Center: https://newark.osu.edu/initiatives/newark-earthworks-center.html
Marion Harding High School, 1962
To kick off our series on Ohio State’s regional campuses, we’ll take a brief look at one of the first regional campuses to be created: Marion. Along with Newark, the Marion campus was approved for establishment by the Board of Trustees in 1957. The decision to establish these campuses came as a result of the growing number of people in Ohio and the need to provide access to higher education for those who didn’t have the means to leave their home area.
When the Marion branch first opened in 1957, it operated out of Marion Harding High School. The campus offered nighttime courses to high school students and other members of the community. In 1965, the land on which the Marion campus would sit was donated to the university. Governor Rhodes and University President Fawcett were present at the groundbreaking in 1966. The first building on the campus opened two years later in 1968. Eventually that building was renamed James Lewis Morrill Hall in honor of the former vice president of Ohio State. Today, Marion has 8 buildings that sit on 186 acres, a campus which also encompasses an 11-acre reconstructed prairie with trails that are used for biology courses and open to the general public for hiking.
James Lewis Morrill Hall, 1968
The Ohio State regional campuses were originally intended for students in their first two years of study towards a Bachelor’s degree. in 1978, the Ohio Board of Regents approved the Associate of Arts degree to mark the completion of two years of study. Marion awarded its first Associate of Arts degrees to a group of 14 students in 1981, and since has awarded degrees to hundreds more.
Fun fact: in 1994, Marion hosted Springfest, which was an outdoor activities festival that included roller-skating, Twister, sailing, a student versus staff volleyball game, sumo wrestling, human bowling, Velcro wall jumping, and a battle of the bands.
Written by Hannah Nelson.