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COMS seniors hold historical virtual, walking tours of campus

Sydney Otto | Apr 26, 2017

School of Communication Studies capstone students lead a historical walking tour of Ohio University’s College Green, stopping next to Scripps Hall, on Friday, April 21. / Photo by Claire Berlin

COMS seniors hold historical virtual, walking tours of campus

By Sydney Otto

ATHENS, Ohio (April 26, 2017)—At the beginning of the semester, School of Communication Studies' Professor Roger Aden’s senior capstone course started a major project. Students had some help from Ohio University Alumni Relations, who reached out and asked alumni to submit personal stories or memories from their time at Ohio University, such as their favorite or most memorable places on campus.

After collecting several stories, the students worked to match the memories with historical images that they had gathered with the help of the Ohio University Archives and specific information about campus from the University website. The matched stories and photographs were then put onto the website to create virtual walking tours.

The main goal of the project was to teach students about the important and historical connection between human memory and place by creating a physical and virtual tour that would be accessible on mobile devices. Then the student groups led five on campus tours where they gave short presentations on important buildings across campus. Tours included both historical facts interspersed with interesting stories and memories from alumni. Each tour focused on a different part of campus and included West, South, East and College Green as well as the Athletic Mall.

The tour of West Green included stories about the flooding of 1964 where the green was covered in over 5 feet of water. The students recited stories from alumni about friends who jumped off Richland Avenue Bridge into the Hocking River and students who took canoes to classes.

Much of the background was given on buildings such as James and Sargent Hall as well as Boyd Dining Hall. One student talked about how Bromley Hall was once a large hotel with a pool in the basement before the university bought it and permanently turned it into a residence hall.

Click here to view Ohio University information and specific campus tours on or by searching "Athens, OH."