Youngstown State University

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Youngstown State University
Youngstown State University Seal.svg
Motto Animus Liberatus ('The mind freed', or 'The spirit freed')
Established 1908
Endowment $223.3 million (2016)[1]
President Jim Tressel
Academic staff
2,105 (Fall 2005)
Undergraduates 13,381 (Fall 2013)
Postgraduates 1,203 (Fall 2013)
Location Youngstown, Ohio, United States
41°06′20″N 80°38′50″W / 41.10556°N 80.64722°W / 41.10556; -80.64722Coordinates: 41°06′20″N 80°38′50″W / 41.10556°N 80.64722°W / 41.10556; -80.64722
Campus 140 acres (0.57 km2)
Colors Red and White
Athletics NCAA Division I FCS
Horizon League (primary), MVFC
Nickname Penguins
Mascot Pete the Penguin
Youngstown State University wm.svg

Youngstown State University (YSU), founded in 1908, is an urban research university located in Youngstown, Ohio, United States. As of fall 2010, there were 15,194[2] students and a student-faculty ratio of 19:1. The fall 2010 enrollment figure is the highest since 1990, when the number of students on campus was 15,454. Records show that 11,803 of the students are undergraduates. Beyond its current student body, YSU claims more than 94,000 alumni.


The university's origins trace back to 1908, when the local branch of the YMCA established a school of law within the Youngstown Association School.[3] In 1921, the school became known as the Youngstown Institute of Technology and offered its first evening courses.[3] In 1928, a year after establishing the College of Arts and Sciences, the institute once again changed its name to Youngstown College. In 1955, Youngstown College was renamed as Youngstown University, an indication of the school's broadening curriculum.(note: A private for profit Youngstown College was formed in 1987 and had no affiliation with YSU. The college closed its doors in mid 2000 due to financial issues.[3])

On September 1, 1967, after becoming a public institution, Youngstown University became officially known as Youngstown State University.[3] The following spring, YSU opened a Graduate School and College of Applied Science and Technology. In 1974, the College of Fine and Performing Arts was established.


  • Howard W. Jones (1931–1966)
  • Albert L. Pugsley (1966–1973)
  • John J. Coffelt (1973–1984)
  • Neil D. Humphrey (1984–1992)
  • Leslie H. Cochran (1992–2000)
  • David C. Sweet (2000—2010)
  • Cynthia Anderson (2010—2013)
  • Randy Dunn (2013-2014)
  • Ikram Khawaja (interim) (2014)
  • Jim Tressel (2014– )


As of fall 2010, the student body totaled 15,194. YSU has approximately 2,100 full and part-time employees, and 426 full-time faculty with 543 part-time faculty. 165 faculty members boast full-professor rank, with 79% of the instructors holding doctorates or terminal degrees. The university boasts a student to faculty ratio of 16:1.

Tuition for in-state undergraduate students is $7,712, $7,922 for undergraduate students in YSU's "Affordable Tuition Advantage" coming from western Pennsylvania (Allegheny, Beaver, Butler, Crawford, Erie, Lawrence, Mercer, Venango, PA), $9,891 for undergraduate students from the regional service area (Chautauqua, NY; Armstrong, Clarion, Fayette, Forest, Greene, Indiana, Jefferson, Warren, Washington, and Westmoreland, PA; Brooke, Hancock, Marshall, and Ohio, WV), and $13,669 for all other out-of-state undergraduate students, including international students. Graduate tuition is $7,337/academic year for Ohio residents, while all other graduate students (including international students) pay just $150 per academic year ($8.34 per credit hour) in addition to the in-state tuition. Room and board cost an additional $7,600. YSU will often note that these tuitions are the lowest of any public university in Ohio.

Area between Jones Hall and Maag Library (on right)

YSU is primarily a commuter school, with most students living at home or in residence off campus, but approximately 1,000 students live in residence halls on campus. Another 400 live in the University Courtyard apartment complexes just off campus. About 1.5% of the student body are international students from approximately 45 countries.

There are over 500,000 volumes at the campus' William F. Maag Library, and participation in the OhioLINK program gives access to the collections of 84 other Ohio institutions. The Wilcox Curriculum Resource Center in Beeghly Hall complements the resources available at Maag.

YSU has participated in the Youngstown Early College program, through which students from the Youngstown City School District can take courses for college credit while in high school. Youngstown Early college has had their first graduating class in Spring 2008. YSU is no longer affiliated with Youngstown Early College, while Eastern Gateway Community College has taken over full operations away from YSU in 2013.[4]

Campus facilities[edit]

The YSU clock tower, a distinctive building which also functions as a cellphone tower.

YSU lies on a 140-acre (0.57 km2) campus just north of downtown Youngstown. Although it is not located near any outstanding geographical features, that has not stopped Youngstown State's campus from being noted for its landscaping, which is dissimilar from that of many other urban universities. YSU's geographical center has a park-like atmosphere, featuring a rather-hilly terrain and a variety of trees and plant life, as well as tables and chairs that surround a campus fountain.

Most buildings on campus have been built within the last half-century, making them newer than most buildings in downtown Youngstown, where most buildings were constructed before the Great Depression.

Main Campus[edit]

Jones Hall[edit]

Jones Hall

Jones Hall, often the building that welcomes people coming onto the YSU campus, is also one of the campus' oldest buildings, having been built in 1931, when YSU was known as Youngstown College. Its history as the "main building" of the campus continues today, as it is perhaps the best-known and most photographed building of the whole campus. The building was renamed Jones Hall in honor of the institutions first president, Dr. Howard Jones. Today, the building is used as administrative office space.

Kilcawley Center[edit]

Kilcawley Center is primarily a resource and community center on campus. It features reading and study rooms, computer labs, a copying center, a variety of restaurants (including a Chick-Fil-A, Wendy's and Dunkin' Donuts), and many student-affairs offices. There are also many meeting and seminar rooms, which can be rented out for events by the community.

Alumni House[edit]

In 2013, the former the Wick Pollock Inn located on Wick Avenue next to Bliss Hall was converted into The University President's House. The three-year project to renovate the mansion cost YSU over $4 million.[5]

Bliss Hall[edit]

Bliss Hall, completed in 1977 and featuring two auditoriums, and is the home of the College of Creative Arts and Communication, including the Departments of Art, Communication (including communication studies, journalism, and telecommunication studies), Theater & Dance, and the Dana School of Music. The building also houses the Judith Rae Solomon Gallery.

Moser Hall[edit]

The Rayen School of Engineering and Engineering Technology is housed in Moser Hall, completed in 1967. The university's geological and environmental sciences department shares the space, and also sponsor the Clarence R. Smith Mineral Museum. Science programs are housed in Ward-Beecher Science Hall.

Beeghly Hall[edit]

Beeghly Hall was completed in 1998 at a cost of $14 million. The Beeghly College of Education resides there, and it also hosts several programs open to the community, such as the Community Counseling Center. Beeghly, which is located away from the campus proper, is planned to be linked to the rest of the campus through a main pedestrian pathway, a plan that ran into trouble.[6]

Williamson College Building[edit]

Williamson College of Business Administration is the newest building on campus. It was completed for Fall semester 2010. It houses all of the business classrooms and offices. It was previously housed in the Lincoln Building. The building itself has LEED standard, making it a green build. It was one of the most expensive additions to campus, with a large portion of the funding coming from donations. The building is off of Rayen Ave and was built to purposely connect downtown businesses to the college and to the campus core. Recently, access to the building improved when the Hazel Street Extension opened creating access for vehicle and pedestrian traffic and better connecting the central business district to the university. The Business college holds a AACSB accreditation which is the most recognized form of professional accreditation an institution can earn. This accreditation is held by less than five percent of the worlds business schools.

Christman Dining Commons[edit]

Christman Dining Commons, YSU's main residential dining hall, is located in the Anne K. Christman Campus Green between Cafaro and Lyden Houses.

McDonough Museum of Art[edit]

The McDonough (pronounced Mc-Dow) is one of the two art museums located in Youngstown, Ohio, and the one more closely affiliated with the University, acting as outreach for the College of Fine and Performing Arts.[7]

Sport facilities[edit]

Stambaugh Stadium[edit]

The Arnold D. Stambaugh Stadium is the multi-purpose stadium on the YSU campus. Built in 1982, the area is primarily used as a home for the Youngstown State Penguins football team. Between 1996 and 2013, the stadium also was home to the YSU Women's soccer team. At present, the total capacity of the stadium is in excess of 20,000 people.

Beeghly Center[edit]

The Beeghly Physical Education Center, commonly called "Beeghly Center" is a 6,300 seat multi-purpose arena built in 1972. It includes an olympic-sized swimming pool, racquetball and squash courts, as well as administrative offices. The center hosted a Barack Obama campaign rally in February 2008.

Andrews Wellness and Recreation Center

Andrews Wellness and Recreation Center[edit]

The Andrews Wellness and Recreation Center is the main recreation facilities on campus, and is available to all students and staff members. The AWRC is also hosts intramural sports, as well as training and exercise classes

Eastwood Field[edit]

Eastwood Field is a minor-league baseball stadium, that hosts the Youngstown State Penguins Baseball team.

Watson and Tressel Training Site[edit]

The Watson and Tressel Training Site, completed in 2011, is one of the largest and newest complex in the Horizon league. WATTS facilities include a turf football field, track, long-jump and high-jump pits. It offers practice sites for baseball, football, women and men's track, softball, golf, and soccer.

Other buildings on campus include:

  • Meshel Hall (Department of Computer Science and Information Systems)
  • Fedor Hall (housing student newspaper The Jambar, student magazine The Yo, student literary magazine The Penguin Review, the Rich Center for Autism, and the Youngstown Early College)
  • Cushwa Hall (College of Health and Human Services, WYSU-FM)
  • Lincoln Hall (Mathematics, part of STEM)
  • Phelps Building (Geography, Urban and Regional Studies)
  • Maag Library
  • Tod Hall (administrative offices)
  • DeBartolo Hall (College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences, a.k.a. CLASS)
  • Sweeney Hall (Undergraduate Admissions)
  • E.J. Salata Complex (maintenance services)
  • Clingan-Waddell Hall (YSU Police Department)
  • Alumni House (Alumni and Events Management and the YSU Foundation); the oldest building on campus

Residence Halls[edit]

  • Cafaro House – Cafaro House, completed in 1995, offers priority to students in the Youngstown State University Honors College, academic learning communities, and the BS/MD program. The building houses 274 students, with free laundry facilities, game room, fitness room, student lounge, music practice rooms, and academic seminar spaces. The building is located alongside Lyden House, north of the main campus. It is located at 205 Madison Ave.
  • Kilcawley House – Kilcawley House is attached to Kilcawley Center, is co-ed by floor, and is equipped with a game room, lounges, fitness space, and two music practice rooms. It is located at 117 University Plaza.
  • Lyden House – Lyden House, completed in 1991, can house up to 300 students, is co-ed by wing, and has several lounges throughout the building, alongside fitness and game rooms.
  • Wick House – Wick House, built in 1906, is located near the Butler Museum of Art, and the Arms Family Museum of Local History. This four-story mansion can house up to 33 upper class students. It is located at 656 Wick Ave.
  • Weller House – Weller House is located along Wick Avenue, and offeres apartment-style, on-campus living, with each unit having a full bathroom and fully furnished kitchen.
  • Buechner Hall – Buechner Hall is a privately owned and operated woman's residence hall located near the heart of campus. The building houses up to 75 women in single and double rooms. This building also provides its own dining services, offering 15 meals per week in house.
  • University Courtyard Apartments – The University Courtyard Apartments, on the east side of the campus (behind Bliss Hall), were built in 2004, and are privately owned and operated apartments, not affiliated with housing services at YSU.[8]

The university has been looking to increase the amount of available student housing on campus. As of September 2015, there were less than 1,500 student beds available for the more than 12,200 students enrolled. In June 2015, it was announced that a $7.8 million, 162-bed, four-story, privately owned, student housing complex named University Edge YSU would be built on West Rayen Avenue between Fifth and Belmont avenues by Hallmark Campus Communities of Columbus and Fortress Real Estate Co. of Atlanta. Construction started in late September 2015. The apartments are expected to be open by Fall 2016.[9][10] In December 2015, it was announced that another apartment complex would be coming to YSU. LRC Realty announced that the $10 million, 163-bed, five story, privately, owned retail/student housing complex, which will be called The Enclave, will be built on nearly 2 acres between Lincoln and Wick avenues in Youngstown.[11] A Representative for LRC Realty said that the building will include a fitness center and a rooftop deck for student residents. The complex will open for occupancy in August 2017. If both projects go as planned, two student-housing complexes will have opened in the span of two years.

Ward Beecher Planetarium[edit]

The university's planetarium, located in Ward Beecher Hall, opened in 1967 and was recently renovated. The $750,000 upgrade included new seats (145), a SciDome fulldome video projector from Spitz, Inc., as well as a Chronos star projector from GOTO. The star projector, which replicates the night sky onto the planetarium's 40-foot (12 m) diameter dome, cost $489,000.

The planetarium is the location of the introductory astronomy courses at YSU, which registers almost 1,000 students every year. It has housed over 500,000 students, as well as 750,000 visitors as of 2007. Organized shows are available for groups during the week, and scheduled shows available Friday and Saturday evenings (with a show geared toward a younger crowd Saturday afternoons). All shows are free of charge.


The University comprises the following colleges as of the Summer 2007 academic reorganization:

  • College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences[12]
  • Beeghly College of Education[13]
  • College of Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics[14]
  • College of Creative Arts and Communication[15]
  • Bitonte College of Health and Human Services[16]
  • Williamson College of Business Administration[17]
  • School of Graduate Studies[18]

YSU offers doctoral degrees in educational leadership and physical therapy, as well as a doctorate in mathematics in cooperation with Rhodes University. Together with the University of Akron and Kent State University, YSU sponsors the Northeast Ohio Medical University, a BS-MD program. YSU engineering students may pursue doctoral studies in cooperation with the University of Akron and Cleveland State University. In addition, YSU has 35 masters programs and over 100 undergraduate majors.

The Dana School of Music at Youngstown State University was deemed an "All-Steinway" school in 2004. The Dana School of Music is one of the oldest non-conservatory schools of music in the United States.[citation needed] It is housed in Bliss Hall. Additionally, the Youngstown State University Symphonic Wind Ensemble performed at New York City's Carnegie Hall in March 2005 and again in November 2015.

Youngstown State University is also home to the Center for Working Class Studies and offers a Regional and American Studies program, which was the first of its kind in the United States. The school assisted the University of Chicago in developing a similar program. The center is operated by John Russo and Sherry Lee Linkon.

Centers and institutes[edit]

YSU operates several Centers of Excellence and designated research and economic development programs, including the Center for Transportation and Materials Engineering, the Center of Excellence in Materials Science and Engineering, the Center of Excellence in International Business, the Center for Applied Chemical Biology, the Institute for Applied Topology, and effective in 2012, the Natural Gas and Water Resources Institute.


Greek life[edit]

Youngstown State University is home to three greek councils. IFC, NPC, and NPHC. They are:

Interfraternity Council[edit]

Panhellenic Conference[edit]

Pan-Hellenic Council[edit]


Labor relations[edit]

Labor unions are very active at YSU and include most non-administrative faculty and staff on campus. In August 2005, just before the start of the 2005–06 academic year, two of four campus unions were on strike. Following the conclusion of the strike, relations remained strained, with some faculty and staff calling for the resignation of YSU President David Sweet in May 2007.[19] Others on campus thought some individuals on both sides were engaged in less than professional behaviors. Due to the animosity between the parties, a special committee was set up to examine labor relations. This committee recommended that the negotiations teams for all sides be replaced before the next round of contract negotiations. Subsequent to these recommendations the Vice President for Administration was replaced as well as the Executive Director of Human Resources.

Relations have improved since that time and are now typical of what one would expect of a unionized campus in a region that has always been at the center of US union activism.

Notable alumni[edit]


External links[edit]