Ohio Dominican University

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Ohio Dominican University
Logo for Ohio Dominican University.jpg
Former names
College of St. Mary of the Springs
Motto "Contemplare et contemplata aliis tradere" (Latin)
Motto in English
To contemplate truth and to share with others the fruits of this contemplation
Type Private
Established 1911
Affiliation Roman Catholic (Dominican Order)
President Dr. Peter Cimbolic
Academic staff
Students 3,052
Undergraduates 2,280
Postgraduates 772
Location Columbus, Ohio, USA
39°59′34″N 82°56′28″W / 39.992727°N 82.941123°W / 39.992727; -82.941123Coordinates: 39°59′34″N 82°56′28″W / 39.992727°N 82.941123°W / 39.992727; -82.941123
Campus Urban, 75 acres (300,000 m2)
Colors Black and gold          
Athletics NCAA Division IIGLIAC
Nickname Panthers
Affiliations ACCU
Website www.ohiodominican.edu

Ohio Dominican University is a private four-year liberal arts institution, founded in 1911 in the Catholic and Dominican traditions. The main campus spans over 75 acres (300,000 m2) in the North Central neighborhood of Columbus, Ohio, United States just minutes from Ohio State University and Easton Town Center. The university has just over 3,000 students and offers undergraduate degrees in over 50 majors as well as six graduate degree programs.


Ohio Dominican University is a private Catholic liberal arts university, guided in its educational mission by the Dominican motto, taken from the writings of St. Thomas Aquinas, "Contemplare et contemplata aliis tradere," which means, "To contemplate and to share with others the fruits of this contemplation." Today, embracing the Dominican ideals of "Veritas," or Truth, the University holds to a slightly modified motto, "To contemplate truth and to share with others the fruits of this contemplation." The Dominican tradition of spirituality used to be rooted in common life at the university: liturgical prayer and meditation, study, and ministry of the Word. These values no longer guide the steps of the majority of faculty, students, or staff at Ohio Dominican University.

Ohio Dominican University was chartered in 1911 as the College of St. Mary of the Springs. It was founded as an all-women’s school, becoming coeducational in 1964. The college changed its name to Ohio Dominican College on July 1, 1968. Ohio Dominican became a university on July 1, 2002, under an ambitious strategic plan to become one of the country’s preeminent small Catholic universities.[1]


The Ohio Dominican University logo consists of the name of the university and the date it was founded around an escutcheon, or shield. At the center of the shield is a flame.

The colors of Ohio Dominican are white, black and gold, which are the colors of the Dominican Order and the Papacy. The black and white colors signify the university’s tie to the 800-year-old tradition of the Order of Preachers, whose members are known for their commitment to the life of study and service through excellence in preaching and teaching the Word. The inclusion of the papal gold signifies the university’s service to the Church.

The shield is two-thirds black and one-third white, which suggests the habit of the Dominicans. The habit is white and the cappa, or cloak, is black. The flame, superimposed upon a field of white, carries several meanings. Just as light enables sight, liberal education enables insight and human development. As an institution of higher education, the university offers to all sincere seekers of the Truth the chance to do so through the liberating education it offers.

A legend about Saint Dominic tells that before he was born, his mother had a dream in which she saw a dog carrying in its mouth a flaming torch, the torch of Truth, that his Order would eventually carry into the world. The flame also symbolizes the fire of the Holy Spirit, Who gives wisdom, understanding, good counsel, courage, knowledge, piety and fear of the Lord. The hope of Ohio Dominican is that this fire will burn in the hearts of all of its students so that they, using their gifts, might engage in the renewal of the world.


The university offers more than 50 undergraduate degree programs and six graduate degree programs. These programs are organized into five divisions: Arts and Letters, Business, Education, Mathematics, Computer and Natural Sciences, Social and Behavioral Sciences.

Erskine Hall is a landmark building on the Ohio Dominican University campus.

Campus life[edit]

Student organizations and activities at ODU offer events and activities that relate to areas of academic interest, student government, performance, multicultural, media, athletic, social, honorary, religious and service organizations.

The Charles School[edit]

The Charles School at Ohio Dominican University opened in 2007 with the goal to significantly improve college success for young people in Central Ohio. The public charter high school is part of a nationwide network of Early College High Schools initiated through funds from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and other organizations. The Charles School (TCS) is open to all Ohio students entering the 9th grade, with a target population of students who have a desire to go to college and would be the first in their family to do so.

Students have the opportunity to graduate with a high school diploma and up to 62 hours of college credit and/or an associate degree, at no cost to the student. TCS curriculum is enriched by extensive technology and online support in all aspects of teaching and learning. Several students from the inaugural TCS class are now successfully taking ODU courses.


Official athletics logo.

The Ohio Dominican teams, nicknamed the Panthers, compete in the NCAA Division II as members of the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC).[2] ODU joined the GLIAC in 2010 as part of the transition to NCAA Division II from the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA).[3] The university offers 18 varsity sports including: men’s and women’s basketball, baseball, cheerleading, men’s and women’s cross country, football, men’s and women’s golf, men’s and women’s soccer, softball, men’s and women’s tennis, men's and women's track and field (indoor and outdoor), and women’s volleyball.

Notable alumni and faculty[edit]




The Dominican Sisters of St. Mary of the Springs (now the Dominican Sisters of Peace) were founded in Somerset, Ohio, in 1830 and moved to Columbus in 1868. In 1911, the sisters received a charter from the state of Ohio to establish a women’s college. A successful teaching congregation for almost 100 years, the Dominicans wanted to build on the excellence of their academy and provide college classes in an area where there was no Catholic higher education available to their graduates and to the candidates for the order. After a decade of experimenting, the Sisters opened the College of St. Mary of the Springs in 1924 as a Catholic four-year liberal arts college for women. Until the college formally separated from the congregation, the congregation’s prioress, who served three-year terms, also served as the college’s president. In 1968, under Sister Suzanne Urhane’s leadership, the college changed its name to Ohio Dominican College. In 2002, under the leadership of Ohio Dominican’s first male and first lay leader, Jack P. Calareso, Ph.D., the college changed its status again to become Ohio Dominican University.

Name Dates
Sister Stephanie Mohun 1911 - 1914
Sister Constance Keelty 1914 - 1917
Sister Justina Hogan 1917 - 1920
Sister Maria Theresa 1920 - 1923
Sister Regina Murphy 1923 - 1926
Sister Adele Heffley 1926 - 1932
Sister Bernardine Lynam 1932 - 1935
Sister Aloyse Fitzpatrick 1935 - 1944
Sister Anacletus Oger 1944 - 1947
Sister Angelita Conley 1947 - 1964
Sister Suzanne Uhrhane 1964 - 1978
Sister Mary Andrew Matesich 1978 - 2001
Jack Calareso, Ph.D. 2001 - 2007
The Most Rev. James A. Griffin 2007 - 2008
Brian Nedwek, Ph.D. 2008 - 2009
Ronald J. Seiffert 2009 - 2010
Peter Cimbolic, Ph.D. 2010–present


  1. ^ "About ODU". Ohio Dominican University. Retrieved March 28, 2011. 
  2. ^ Pickle, David (July 13, 2011). "Five new active members join Division II". NCAA. Archived from the original on July 16, 2011. Retrieved July 17, 2011. 
  3. ^ "GLIAC Expansion Official". GLIAC. July 7, 2010. Retrieved March 28, 2011. 

External links[edit]