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The Freed Center at 25

Take a journey over the past 25 years at the Ohio Northern University DeBow and Catherine Freed Center for the Performing Arts.

Named in honor of Drs. DeBow and Catherine Freed, the Freed Center opened its doors in 1991 and has been the epicenter for arts and culture in the village of Ada and at Ohio Northern University for 25 seasons. The performing arts center is home to a 550-seat proscenium theatre, a 132-seat studio theatre, a 3,000-watt radio station, a cable access channel and an art gallery. More than 1,070 productions performed by ONU students and professional companies have appeared on the stage.


Launch the Freed Center 25th Anniversary Celebration photo gallery

In the last Alumni Journal Clips, we asked our alumni to share their favorite Freed Center memories. Here are a few.

last year, I proposed to my then-girlfriend Lauren (Staley) Brune on the empty theatre stage. she helped manage the box office and was in the spring dance showcase, so She always loved the Freed Center. Happy 25th anniversary freed center! you will always hold a special place in our hearts.

Nathan Brune, BSCE ’15


I remember transporting the Mamas and the Papas to ONU and then hosting them while they were there to perform at the Freed center. Great time!

Seth W. Arkow, BA ’94, JD ’97


As a member of the marching band, Band-O-Rama was my favorite Freed Center memory. Each year, we played a wide assortment of music. Not only did we master all the songs, but we also had to master the entrance and exit. When you consider all the time we spent in the Freed Center, any Band-O-Rama day was a long day.

Courtney Smith, BA ’15


My very good friend Jevin Calvert, BS ’01, and I were just finishing our sophomore year in the spring of 1998. I knew he had wanted to date me for most of the year, but I just hadn't been ready. We were in front of the Freed Center when I finally agreed to be his girlfriend. To celebrate, we waded in the fountain, each found a penny, and exchanged them. We wore each other's pennies on necklaces for some years. Twelve years later, my husband Jevin's funeral procession drove past the Freed Center on its way to the cemetery. In addition to our moment in the fountain, he had enjoyed the relationships he'd made as the house manager while in college. The Freed Center will always hold a special place in my heart.

Jennifer (Smishko) (Calvert) Heimberger, BA ’00