University Hall - black and white photo

University Hall, exterior, 1874.


Few people now can imagine the audacity of the project. From one hundred acres in a cornfield would come the state’s leader in agricultural research. A campus lacking sewers or electric light would gain renown in engineering and physics. A laissez-faire state legislature would commit to funding university education for the children of farmers and factory workers. 

From the moment two dozen young men and women entered the new college’s single building – dormitory, lecture hall, laboratory – to the first graduates’ departure, the Ohio State University was a fledgling, a promise more than a fact. As it grew, making good on its promise, it would change the face of public education.

This digital exhibit examines the formation of the The Ohio State University, and its enduring legacy.