By Betty Hollow
In 1787, New Englanders Rufus Putnam and Manasseh Cutler were eager for better lives in the Northwest Territory, the country's new frontier. As members of the Ohio Company, they purchased a tract of land north of the Ohio River. The purchase as approved by the Continental Congress included the gift of two townships to support a university.
In 1804 the Ohio University was chartered; in 1808 it opened its door to three students. Over the next two centuries, this public institution in the small town of Athens, Ohio, became known as a place of beauty buoyed by a democratic spirit, unswerving individualism, and dynamic appeal.
In Ohio University, 1804–2004, a collaborative history published in celebration of the university's bicentennial, Betty Hollow's lively narrative depicts the historical, academic, and cultural events that shaped the school's growth.
Short sketches describe the colleges, programs of special interest, people of note, and activities unique to Ohio University. Hundreds of illustrations allow readers to experience the ambiance of Ohio University's campus and to appreciate the exuberance of the students' activities- from tugs of war and mud wrestling to Homecoming and Halloween.
In personal reminiscences from alumni, faculty, staff, and friends—sometimes amusing, sometimes poignant—the people and values of Ohio University become more than abstractions. Through them we hear the true voice of Ohio University.
In all, from the school's humble beginnings on the frontier to the university's emergence as a renowned research institution, Ohio University, 1804–2004 is a fascinating mosaic of the people and processes that created the special character of the institution, beloved by so many over its long and singular history.
An avid reader and local history buff, Betty Hollow has been on the staff at Ohio University since 1975. She enjoys both small-town life and the liveliness of the busy campus.
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