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Ashland University is a mid-sized, private, non-profit university in Ashland, Ohio, United States. The university consists of a 135-acre (55 ha) main campus and several off-campus centers throughout central and northern Ohio. It was founded in 1878 and is affiliated with the Brethren Church. Judeo-Christian values are the foundation of the educational and social environment of the university.

Today, the university offers nearly 70 undergraduate majors and nine pre-professional programs. The majors include actuarial science, toxicology/environmental science and entrepreneurship, which are unusual for an institution of its size. In addition, it offers most traditional liberal arts majors as well as a wide range of majors in business and education. The education program, which offers pre-K through doctorate level courses, is one of the largest among independent and state institutions in Ohio. Academic programs are enhanced by an Honors Program and the John M. Ashbrook Center for Public Affairs.

The university consists of four Colleges—the College of Arts and Sciences, the Schar College of Education, the Dauch College of Business and Economics, and the Schar College of Nursing and Health Sciences—and a large Graduate School offering degree programs in Master of Business Administration (MBA), Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing (MFA), Master of American History and Government (MAHG), Master of Arts in Health and Risk Communication, Master of Education (MEd), Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) and Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) programs. In addition, Ashland Theological Seminary, a division of Ashland University, offers a doctor of ministry degree as well as a number of master's degrees.

In addition to the main campus in Ashland, the University operates centers in a variety of locations throughout the state, including Cleveland, Columbus, Elyria, Massillon, Mansfield, Medina and Westlake.

History


On May 28, 1877, a town meeting was held in Ashland, Ohio, where the citizens were to consider a proposal from members of the German Baptist Brethren Church to establish an institution of higher education. The Ashland Press reported that the citizens were promised the college would locate there if their city would raise $10,000. The church and community fundraising campaign proved to be a success and on Feb 17, 1878, a meeting was held to add up their campaign funds and make final plans. The success of the campaign was announced, the College was chartered on February 20 and a church-related, co-educational institution was established.

In April 1878, the board of trustees decided to purchase the “most desirable plot in town – 28 acres on the hill.” The first buildings to be constructed were Founders Hall and Allen Hall, constructed from bricks made on the site. Classes opened at Ashland College on Sep 17, 1879, with somewhere around 60 students and eight faculty members. The new institution grew slowly during its first few decades, but enrollment reached the 200 mark shortly after the turn of the century. By the 1950s, the College had added many new programs of study and experienced rapid growth from about 300 students to more than 2,500 in 1970.

By 1972, Ashland faced a financial crisis as a result of a decline in enrollment and stagnating economy. But shortly after this, several new programs, including a master of education and master of business administration, were created and a number of off-campus centers were developed.

In 1988, the North Central Association had renewed its accreditation of Ashland's educational programs, and it was a time of renewal for the college. Enrollment grew by leaps and bounds, a campus beautification was begun and the future looked very bright. In 1989, college officials decided to change the name of the institution to Ashland University. This change to university status reflected more accurately what the institution had become, with total student enrollment around the 5,600 mark and almost evenly divided between graduate and undergraduate students.

Progress continued on campus during the 1980s and 2000s with the construction of several new academic buildings, a new Recreation Center, Student Center and Athletic Complex, and the expansion of centers in Columbus and Massillon/Stark. In addition, in 2010, the University acquired MedCentral Health System's College of Nursing in Mansfield and began a campaign to raise money to construct a 49,000-square-foot academic and nursing building on the University's Balgreen Campus in Mansfield.[citation needed] The building opened for classes on June 20, 2014.

Mission statement ---------------------------------

The Ashland University Mission Statement, adopted by the Board of Trustees, states, "Ashland University, guided by our Christian heritage, is a comprehensive, private university that provides a transformative learning experience, shaping graduates who work, serve and lead with integrity in their local, national, and global communities."