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University to celebrate Founders Day

ATHENS, Ohio (Jan. 23, 2007) -- Members of the Ohio University community will participate in a Feb. 2 Founders Day observance that honors the institution's rich history, celebrates the current contributions of individuals who make it an outstanding academic institution and looks ahead to a vibrant future.

The day at a glance

10 a.m. Ceremony recognizing achievements of faculty and students, Baker University Center Ballroom

11 a.m. Reception honoring the contributions of faculty, staff and students to Ohio University's academic mission, Baker University Center Ballroom reception area

1:30-4:30 p.m. Poster session to show Vision OHIO Implementation Teams' work to date and plans for the future, Baker University Center Multipurpose Room, second floor

7:15 p.m. Lecture by 2006-07 Distinguished Professor Tad Malinski, Walter Hall 135

Highlights will include a ceremony recognizing students and faculty who have won nationally competitive awards in the past year; a poster presentation tied to the Vision OHIO academic plan; and an evening lecture by the winner of this year's Distinguished Professor Award.

"This day gives us an opportunity to recognize the highest achievements of our faculty and students," Provost Kathy Krendl says. "And it lets us give an update on where we are in terms of our goals and objectives related to the academic plan."

This year's observance comes a little early: Ohio University recognizes Feb. 18 as its Founders Day because on that date, in 1804, the Ohio General Assembly passed an act establishing "an university in the town of Athens." Four years later, the university opened in a two-room building with one instructor and three students.

The Feb. 2 celebration will begin with a special 10 a.m. ceremony in Baker University Center Ballroom that recognizes students who have won nationally competitive awards such as the Fulbright and university-level awards such as the Templeton and Appalachian scholarships. Winners of the Presidential Teacher and Distinguished Professor awards will be among faculty recognized for their important contributions.

The ceremony will include a keynote address by President Roderick McDavis as well as a historical presentation by Trustee Professor Samuel Crowl (see sidebar). In addition, Krendl will announce funding to support graduate education and research. Up to $250,000 will be awarded to support programs selected in each of two areas: the Future Growth Fund, which focuses on the development of graduate and research initiatives that will generate new revenue; and the Graduate Program Enhancement Fund, which is intended to raise the level of excellence among existing programs. Additional strategic investments will be announced in March.

A historical perspective
Sam Crowl to focus on Ohio University's influential beginnings

"Ohio University has a rich history dating back more than 200 years." You've heard that phrase or something similar bandied about on campus dozens of times. You might even own a sweatshirt noting the university's 1804 founding. But how much do you really know about our institution's influential beginnings? 

Sam Crowl gives you a chance to catch up or perhaps learn a few more fun facts at a Feb. 2  Founders Day presentation. The Trustee Professor of English Literature will share a variety of details about the institution's history, including university co-founder Manasseh Cutler's central role in the creation of the Northwest Ordinance of 1787. 

"This is a way of tying Ohio University's history with the founding of the country," he says. 

Crowl, a Shakespeare scholar who has taught here since 1970, will explain how Cutler was a key player in the creation of the ordinance, considered to be one of the landmark pieces of legislation in the history of the country. The ordinance established a policy for western expansion of the union, banned slavery in new territories and opened the door for the founding of Ohio University.

"This (talk) is something I've been doing every morning at Precollege for 20 years as a welcome for the university to the freshmen and their parents," says Crowl, former dean of University College. "It seems to me natural that we would celebrate such a historical connection on Founders Day."

A reception outside the ballroom will immediately follow the ceremony to recognize Ohio University faculty, staff and students for their contributions to the university's core mission.

In the afternoon, the university community is invited to learn about the implementation of the Vision OHIO academic plan by attending a poster session presented by the chairs and co-chairs of the initiative's 10 implementation teams. Attendees can ask questions about the groups' work in the areas of interdisciplinary initiatives, research and partnerships. The session will take place from 1:30 to 4:30 p.m. in Baker University Center's second-floor multipurpose room.

The evening event will provide an opportunity to learn about the research of Tad Malinski, this year's Distinguished Professor. Considered the university's highest academic honor, the lifetime designation recognizes scholarly accomplishment, professional reputation and contribution to the university. 

Malinski is the Marvin and Ann Dilley White Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry as well as chair of the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry. A two-time Nobel Prize nominee, Malinski developed a nanoscale medical sensor for the early diagnosis of cardiovascular dysfunctions, heart attacks, strokes and Alzheimer's disease and to measure the efficiency of organ transplants. He will speak about nanomedicine and nanotechnology for the heart at 7:15 p.m. in Walter Hall 135.

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Media Contact: Media Specialist George Mauzy, 740-597-1794 or mauzy@ohio.edu

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