Ohio Northern University

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Ohio Northern University
Motto “Ex diversitate vires" (out of diversity strength)
Type Private
Established 1871
Affiliation United Methodist Church
Endowment $152.8 million[1]
President Daniel A. DiBiasio
Provost Maria L. Cronley[2]
Academic staff
Students 3,721 (2008)
Undergraduates 3,290 (2007)
Location Ada, Ohio, U.S.
Campus Rural
Latin motto "Ex Diversitate Vires"
Colors Orange, Black, White
Nickname Polar Bears
Mascot Klondike
Website www.onu.edu

Ohio Northern University is a private, United Methodist Church-affiliated university located in the United States in Ada, Ohio, founded by Henry Solomon Lehr in 1871. ONU is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission and the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools. ONU is a sister university with Dankook University, a private university in Seoul, South Korea. In 2008, 2009, 2010, and 2013 U.S. News & World Report listed Ohio Northern as Regional Universities (Midwest), #2.[4][5]


Early years[edit]

An Ohio historical marker outlining the university's history
The Music Department of Ohio Northern University, with Administration buildings in the background.

Post-war education boom[edit]

Plaque commemorating Dr. Martin Luther King's speech at ONU on January 11, 1968, one of the last campus visits made by Dr. King before his assassination.

Throughout the 1960s, a number of ONU students and faculty/staff participated in the American Civil Rights Movement. ONU hosted Dr. Martin Luther King on January 11, 1968, four days before his 39th birthday and just three months before his assassination.[6] During his visit at ONU, Dr. King famously spoke regarding the myth that many immigrant and/or ethnic groups successfully pulled themselves up by their bootstraps, whereas African Americans were incapable of doing so.[7][8]

Undergraduate student housing, Ohio Northern University.

Recent growth[edit]

Entrance to ONU College of Law at night

Growth continued under Dr. DeBow Freed through the 1980s and 1990s with additions to the Taggart Law Library, Presser Hall, Dukes Memorial, Wilson Art Building, Biggs Engineering, Heterick Memorial Library, and Meyer Hall of Science, and the construction of the Freed Center for the Performing Arts and a new president’s on-campus home. Under Dr. Kendall Baker, campus additions include Dicke Hall, an expansion of the Robertson-Evans Pharmacy building, and the Dial-Roberson Stadium. Recent construction projects include the Mathile Center for the Natural Sciences annex connecting Meyer Hall of Science with the Pharmacy building and a comprehensive renovation of all on-campus housing. In 2008, Ohio Northern University built and opened The Inn at Ohio Northern University, which contains over 70 deluxe guestrooms.[9]

Technology growth[edit]

Starting in the early 1980s, the university provided computer services to a growing segment of the university’s population, expanding from a centralized mainframe to networked personal computers and a computer network. ONU joined OhioLINK and technology revolutionized academic administrative activities and supported classroom activities. With the addition of the Internet, the university began offering its first distance learning courses in the pharmacy program. Today, there are over 1,200 networked computers and Internet access on campus.

ONU in the 21st Century[edit]

Ohio Northern is ranked second among midwest regional colleges by the U.S. News & World Report. It is considered "more selective", with an acceptance rate of 68%.[10] It has a 53% 4-year graduation rate.[11]

More recently, the university has commenced a search for a new president with the announcement that Dr. Kendall L. Baker will retire effective August 2011.[12] On February 4, 2010, ONU announced that its board of trustees approved the nomination of Daniel A. DiBiasio, president of Wilmington College to become the new president of Ohio Northern. DiBiasio assumed his duties on August 1, 2011.[13]

Environmental efforts[edit]

  • In the 2006–07 academic year, in an effort to reduce wasted resources the university instituted a printing policy, whereby each student was allocated $30 to use throughout the year. The cost of printing one page is four cents.
  • As of 2009, approximately 30% of the campus uses geothermal heating and cooling.
  • In 2010, three 220 feet tall wind turbines were constructed. Each turbine generates 400 kilowatts of power and the three turbines will meet five to ten percent of the University's electricity needs.

Academic programs[edit]

McIntosh Center, the Student Center of Ohio Northern University.

The university comprises five colleges:

Prior to 1973, the law school was known as "the Warren G. Harding College of Law".[14] It was renamed in honor of Claude W. Pettit, a judge and former dean of the college.[15]


ONU's mascot the polar bear

ONU students participate in intercollegiate, intramural, and sports clubs in a variety of sports. The ONU Polar Bears compete in the NCAA Division III Ohio Athletic Conference (OAC). The men's volleyball team participates in the Midwest Intercollegiate Volleyball Association in the Great Midwest Men's Volleyball Conference.

  • The school mascot is a polar bear named Klondike.[16]
  • The ONU varsity football team defeated Mount Union College in 2005 to snap the Purple Raiders 110-game regular season winning streak.[17]
  • The ONU varsity men's swim team won their 7th straight OAC Conference Championship in 2011.[18]
  • The ONU women's volleyball team had a NCAA All-Divisions record 36 consecutive winning

National honors[edit]

NCAA championship[edit]

NCAA runner-up finishes[edit]

  • 1989 Women's Volleyball NCAA Division III Runners-up[20]
  • 2012 Men's Soccer NCAA Division III Runners-up[21]

NCAA Final Four appearances[edit]

  • 2001 Men's Basketball NCAA Division III Final Four[22]
  • 2008 Women's Volleyball NCAA Division III Final Four[23]

NCAA "Round of Sixteen appearances--

  • 1999 Football
  • 2000 Football
  • 2010 Football
  • 2015 Football

Club sport championship[edit]

  • 2007 Men's Volleyball NIRSA Division II National Champions[24]

Notable alumni[edit]


  1. ^ As of 2016."U.S. and Canadian Institutions Listed by Fiscal Year 2013 Endowment Market Value and Percentage Change in Endowment Market Value from FY 2012 to FY 2013". 2013 NACUBO-Commonfund Study of Endowments. National Association of College and University Business Officers. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2014-05-18. Retrieved May 19, 2014. 
  2. ^ http://www.onu.edu/institutional_research/just_the_facts
  3. ^ http://www.onu.edu/institutional_research/just_the_facts
  4. ^ "America’s Best Colleges 2007:Comprehensive Colleges-Bachelor's (Midwest): Top Schools". Retrieved January 1, 2007. 
  5. ^ "ONU ranked No. 2 by U.S. News and World Report". Retrieved September 23, 2012. 
  6. ^ Digital Repository of Dr. King's visit to ONU, including original audio file, press releases, and transcript of his speech. Archived May 28, 2010, at the Wayback Machine.
  7. ^ Publications, Eight Cities Media &. "Dr King's Message for Today". Retrieved 18 February 2017. 
  8. ^ http://mlk-kpp01.stanford.edu/index.php/home/pages?page=http://mlk-kpp01.stanford.edu/kingweb/publications/inventory/inv_11.htm Stanford University, Martin Luther King, Jr. Research and Education Institute - Inventory of Dr. King's Speeches in 1968
  9. ^ "The Inn at Ohio Northern University". Retrieved July 6, 2010. 
  10. ^ "U.S. News Rankings". Retrieved 2015-02-26. 
  11. ^ "U.S. News Rankings". 
  12. ^ "Ohio Northern University". Retrieved 18 February 2017. 
  13. ^ "New ONU leader deals with funding, future issues". Toledo Blade. 9 November 2011. Retrieved 22 October 2012. 
  14. ^ "Ohio Northern University at universities.com". Retrieved 21 August 2006. 
  15. ^ "History of the ONU Pettit College of Law". Archived from the original on 2 September 2006. Retrieved 21 August 2006. 
  16. ^ "Ohio Northern University Student Senate: "A New Bear in Town"". 
  17. ^ "USA Today.com: Mount Union's 110-game regular season winning streak snapped". 2005-10-24. Retrieved 2010-05-20. 
  18. ^ "Ohio Northern". Onu.edu. Retrieved 2013-11-18. 
  19. ^ D3hoops.com: 1993 Men's NCAA Tournament Results Archived October 30, 2006, at the Wayback Machine.
  20. ^ Athletics | Ohio Northern University
  21. ^ "Season Review: Men's Soccer caps off record breaking season with run to NCAA III Tournament Championship". Onusports.com. 2013-01-16. Retrieved 2013-11-18. 
  22. ^ The 2001 Division III men's tournament Archived October 30, 2006, at the Wayback Machine.
  23. ^ "Ohio Northern University". Retrieved 18 February 2017. 
  24. ^ http://www.onu.edu/org/mensvb/ Archived January 25, 2009, at the Wayback Machine.
  25. ^ "Little Big Man". Retrieved 18 February 2017. 
  26. ^ http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/people/b/benjamin_brafman/index.html], [http://asp.usatoday.com/community/tags/topic.aspx?req=tag&tag=Benjamin%20Brafman
  27. ^ Benjamin Brafman Archived October 19, 2007, at the Wayback Machine.
  28. ^ "Ohio Attorney General - William J. Brown". Archived from the original on 19 May 2008. Retrieved 27 August 2008. 
  29. ^ Mike DeWine - Congresspedia
  30. ^ "John W. Grabiel". ebooksread.com. Retrieved August 23, 2012. 
  31. ^ "Keeny, John Ephraim". Louisiana Historical Association, A Dictionary of Louisiana Biography (lahistory.org). Retrieved December 27, 2010. 
  32. ^ Jules Heller; Nancy G. Heller (19 December 2013). North American Women Artists of the Twentieth Century: A Biographical Dictionary. Routledge. ISBN 978-1-135-63882-5. 
  33. ^ "TAXES: Taking Aim at a 'Disgrace'". Time. 1977-07-04. Retrieved 2010-05-20. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 40°46′01″N 83°49′30″W / 40.7669°N 83.8249°W / 40.7669; -83.8249