Sept. 5, 2007
By Crystal Lorimor
Tuesday marked the beginning of Ohio University-Eastern's 50th year, prompting a lunchtime celebration complete with cake and music from 1957.
While celebratory events are planned throughout 2007-08, the official anniversary kickoff is a fall festival on Oct. 13. Plans include an antique car cruise-in, campus tours, inflatable attractions for children, entertainment by the Fabulous Bender Boys and a laser light show to wrap up the evening. Admission is free, and food will be available for purchase. Free commemorative calendars will be distributed later this month.
Ohio University started offering evening courses at Martins Ferry High School 50 years ago this month. Over the next 10 years, the university offered evening courses at St. Clairsville High School and day classes in the building that now houses the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services on National Road. In 1967, the Eastern campus relocated to its current site, atop the hill on National Road. Wilson Shannon Hall, the Georgian-style building that can be seen from the interstate, was named for Wilson Shannon, Ohio's 14th governor, a native of Belmont County and an Ohio University alumnus.
"This school year is an important milestone for our campus," said campus Dean Paul E. Bibbins Jr. "As we look back to the days at Martins Ferry High School, we also look ahead to continue to create opportunities for Ohio Valley citizens -- opportunities that can only come if people are educated and continue to learn and grow."
Thousands of Ohio University alumni have earned degrees by attending the Eastern campus. E.R. Bovenizer, who was director of the campus in 1957, noted that alumni from the first few years are now professors, state officials and leaders in public education.