Founder's Day 2012

An Act to Establish an University in the Town of Athens

Whereas institutions for the liberal education of youth are essential to the progress of arts and sciences important to morality, virtue and religion friendly to the peace, order and prosperity of Society and honorable to the Government that encourages and patronizes them – And whereas the congress of the United States did make a grant of two townships of land within the purchase made by the Ohio company of Associates for the encouragement and support of an university therein; and whereas the interference of the legislature is rendered necessary to point out and direct the mode in which the same shall be brought into operation that the benefits of the grant may be applied to the purposes designed; therefore.

Sec. 1.  Be it enacted by the Legislative Council and House of Representatives in General Assembly and it is hereby enacted by the authority of the same that there shall be an University instituted and established in the Town of Athens in the ninth Township of the fourteenth range of Townships within the limits of the tract of land purchased by the Ohio company of Associates by the name and style of the American Western University for the instruction of youth in all the various branches of the liberal arts and sciences for the promotion of good education, virtue, religion, and morality and for conferring all the degrees and literary honors granted in similar institutions.

Sec. 2.  And be it further enacted that there shall be and forever remain in the said University a body politic and corporate by the name and style of “The President and Trustees of the American Western University”, which body politic and corporate shall consist of the president ex-officio and not more than seventeen not less than ten trustees to be appointed as hereinafter is provided.

Sec. 3.  And be it further enacted That the honourable Rufus Putnam, Joseph Gilman, Return Jonathan Meigs Junior and Paul Fearing esquires, the reverend Daniel Story, Griffin Greene, Robert Oliver, Ebenezer Sprout, Dudley Woodbridge and Isaac Pierce esquires together with the President of said University for the time being to be chosen as herein after directed be and hereby are created a body politic and corporate by the name of “The President and Trustees of the American Western University” and that they and their successors and such others as shall be duly elected members of the said corporation shall be and remain a body politic and corporate in law by that name forever.

Sec. 9.  And be it further enacted That the president and such professors tutors and instructors as the corporation shall appoint for that purpose shall be styled “The Faculty of the University” and shall have power and authority from time to time to ordain, regulate and establish the mode and course of education and instruction to be pursued in the University and also to make public and execute such code of rules, regulations and bye laws as they shall deem necessary for the well ordering and good government of the university and to repeal or amend any part thereof which rules, regulations and bye laws shall continue in force till altered or disapproved of by the corporation.  And it shall be the duty of the Faculty to lay before the corporation from time to time accurate statements of all their proceedings and the Faculty shall direct and cause to be holden in the said university quarterly in every year a public examination at which time the faculty shall attend when each class of the Students shall be examined relative to the proficiency they shall have made in the particular arts and sciences or branches of education in which they shall have been instructed.

Sec. 12.  And be it further enacted That the clear annual rents, issues and profits of all the estate real and personal of which the said corporation shall be seized or possessed in their corporate capacity shall be appropriated to the endowments of the said University in such manner as shall most effectually promote virtue, morality, piety and the knowledge of such of the languages and of the liberal arts and sciences as shall hereafter be directed from time to time by the said corporation.  Provided nevertheless That in case any donation shall hereafter be made for particular purposes relative to the design of this institution and the corporation shall accept and receive the same; every such donation shall be applied in conformity to the intention and direction of the donor or donors.

Sec. 18.  And be it further enacted That the Legislature of the Territory or the Legislature of the State within which the said University is or may be founded may grant any further and greater powers to or alter, limit or restrain any powers by this Act vested in the said corporation as shall be judged necessary to promote the best interest and prosperity of said University with all necessary powers and authority for the better aid, preservation and government thereof.


Click the arrow above to listen to the Ohio University charter.
(Narration courtesy of Ohio University Libraries.)

Founder's Day