Located on Ohio University's historic College Green, the Templeton-Blackburn Alumni Memorial Auditorium (commonly referred to as Memorial Auditorium, or simply MemAud) plays host to a wide variety of events-- from nationally-touring concerts, plays, and musicals, to new student admission sessions and keynote speakers.
Since opening in 1928, the 2,000 seat auditorium has hosted many distinguished visitors such as Martin Luther King Jr., Eleanor Roosevelt, and U.S. Presidents Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson, Carter, and Obama.
MemAud is named in honor of John Templeton and Martha Jane Hunley Blackburn. Templeton was born a slave in 1805 and freed in 1813. He graduated from Ohio University, with an A.B. in 1828, being the first black man to do so and the fourth African-American to graduate from a U. S. college. He was an educator and co-edited "The Mystery" a black newspaper.
Blackburn was the first black woman to graduate from Ohio University, with a B.S. ED. in 1916. She majored in English and Literature with a minor in Home Economics. She taught Home Economics in Ohio and West Virginia.