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OHIO celebrates Founders Day with an interactive website


This year, Ohio University’s annual Founders Day recognition moves online. Founders Day traditionally marks the passage on Feb. 18, 1804 of an act establishing Ohio University by the newly formed state of Ohio.

Scheduled to go live on Friday, Feb. 17, the Founders Day website will celebrate Ohio University’s long and successful academic legacy, and in particular will mark the 210th anniversary of the passage of the University’s first charter, which was promulgated on Jan. 1, 1802, a year prior to the creation of the state of Ohio.

"This year we decided to celebrate Founders Day through an enhanced website that will be tied to an exhibit in Alden Library,” said Executive Vice President and Provost Pam Benoit. “The web approach allows us to develop unique ways of celebrating the 210th anniversary of the 1802 charter and to draw attention to other aspects of university history.”

Benoit noted that the use of the website frees up funding, which ordinarily would be spent on a Founders Day event, thereby allowing her office to help pay for ongoing conservation costs of objects associated with the University’s early history.

“In years when there is a significant historical University anniversary, I anticipate that we will hold an event, but in other years we can honor Founders Day in creative ways through an interactive web approach,” Benoit said.

The Mahn Center for Archives and Special Collections has placed the 1802 territorial charter on display on the fourth floor of Alden Library. An essay by University Archivist and Records Manager Bill Kimok discussing the history of the charter will be featured on the website.

The website will also contain:

  • An essay by Benoit.

  • Recordings of Doug Partusch, well known voice-about-campus and director of development for university libraries, reading excerpts from the 1802 charter.

  • Insights into the preservation of the 1802 charter from Miriam Nelson, the newly hired head of Ohio University Libraries’ Preservation Department.

  • Descriptions of five of Kimok’s favorite University Archive items.

  • Three films that document the Athens campus and University life in the early 1930s, 1947, and 1974.

  • Previous articles and stories from past Founders Day celebrations.

Update, 2/17/12: The Founders Day website is now live. You can visit it here www.ohio.edu/foundersday/.