University of Toledo

From Academic Kids

Template:Infobox University2The University of Toledo began in 1872 as a private arts and trades school offering painting and architectural drawing as its only subjects. In the 125 years since, the university has grown into a comprehensive institution offering more than 250 undergraduate and graduate programs to over than 20,000 students from around the world.
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University Hall - The University of Toledo

In a pamphlet published in 1868 entitled "Toledo: Future Great City of the World," Jesup Wakeman Scott articulated a dream that led him to endow what would become The University of Toledo. Scott, a newspaper editor, expressed his belief that the center of world commerce was moving westward, and by 1900 would be located in Toledo. To help realize this dream, in 1872 Scott donated 160 acres (647,000 m²) of land as an endowment for a university to train the city's young people.

By the 1920s, Toledo University was a growing institution, limited only by the buildings that housed it. Classes were held in two downtown buildings, but both were too small. In 1922, the university moved into an automobile mechanics training facility that had been constructed for World War I on the original Scott land. While twice the size of the old buildings, this location was less than ideal. Its limitations became evident when an enrollment increase of 32 percent in one year produced a critical shortage of classroom and office space.

The prospects for a new, permanent home for the institution improved in 1928 when Dr. Henry J. Doermann became president. His first activity was to initiate plans for a new campus. To pay for the proposed buildings, the city placed a bond levy before Toledos voters. An all-out campaign led to the levys passage by 10,000 votes and just 11 months before the start of the Great Depression.
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The University of Toledo's Glass Bowl Stadium - Home of the UT Rockets

A local architectural firm planned the new campus. Dr. Doermann wanted the buildings to reflect the best design elements of the universities of Europe because he felt such architecture would inspire students. It took 400 men less than one year to complete University Hall and the Field House in the Collegiate Gothic design, with University being an excellent example of collegiate Gothic architecture. Centennial Mall, the picturesque lawn area in the heart of campus, is one of the "100 most beautifully landscaped places in the country," according to the American Society of Landscape Architects. Only 22 college campuses are on the list.

College students became more politically active in the 1960s. The decade produced frequent student protests, including many at The University of Toledo. Most of the UT protests were peaceful, like a food riot by dormitory students in 1968 over the quality of food. More serious protests by students opposed to the war in Vietnam did lead to several arrests. In 1970, the campus remained peaceful following the deaths of four student protesters at Kent State University. A protest by African-American students following the killing of students at Jackson State University in Mississippi temporarily closed University Hall in May of that year, but this ended when the president met with the students and reached a peaceful accord.

The university continued to expand its physical environs in the 1990s. A major expansion of the campus took place when UT renovated commercial buildings at Dorr Street and Secor Road for classrooms. A new Academic Center and Residence Hall (1992) was built to house the Honors Program. Other new buildings included the Student Medical Center (1992), the Center for the Visual Arts at the Toledo Museum of Art (1992), the International House Residence Hall (1995) and Nitschke Hall (1995). And construction began in 1995 on a Pharmacy, Chemistry and Life Sciences complex on the main campus and a Lake Erie Research Center at Maumee Bay State Park.
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International House and Parks Tower - Student Residences at the University of Toledo

Significant growth in the 1990s was not only in buildings, but also in technology. The university joined OhioLINK, a statewide library network, in 1994. Computer labs and hook-ups in dormitories and offices provided Internet access to most. Technological improvements allowed students to register for classes and check their grades by phone, and the university established a homepage on the World Wide Web.

Despite the challenges facing higher education in the 1990s, The University of Toledo marked its 125th year as an amazing success story. The institution has grown from a small, private arts and trades school to become a large state-assisted university. Many of its faculty and academic programs have worldwide reputations, and its campus is an architectural gem.

The University of Toledo's sports teams play in the Mid-American Conference championship. The University's mascot is a rocket and colors are blue and gold.

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