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Founders Day 2010


A message from1925 echoed through the ONU Chapel as part of Founders Day 2010 on April 7.

Rev. Vernon LaSala, dressed in period costume, presented “The Meaning of Life,” the commencement address made on May 24, 1925 by Ohio Northern President the Rev. Dr. Albert Edwin Smith.

Joining him was Rev. Dr. Wayne Albertson as Rev. Dr. John Wesley Hill.

Rev. Dr. Albert Edwin Smith was president of Ohio Northern University from 1905 until 1930, a quarter century marked by growth of the school both in enrollment and in material facilities. He was one of the outstanding speakers and leaders of the Methodist church and through his work at the university gained widespread recognition in the educational field. He was educated at Ohio Wesleyan University, Delaware, receiving the bachelor of arts degree in 1887 and Ph.D. in 1897. He later received the honorary degrees, doctor of divinity and doctor of laws from various universities. Smith joined the Central Ohio conference of the Methodist church in 1887 and served pastorates at York, Celina, Toledo, Defiance and Marion. He filled the pulpit of the Epworth church while in Toledo. He was a member of four general conferences of the Methodist church and was formerly a member of the denomination's board of education. In 1923 he was a delegate to the world's ecumenical conference in London, England.

Rev. Dr. John Wesley Hill graduated from Ohio Northern University in 1887, later taking his doctor of divinity degree there. He also attended Boston Theological Seminary. In 1908 he received the doctor of laws degree from Upper Iowa University and in 1918 was awarded the degree of doctor of letters at Lincoln Memorial University. Hill was ordained in the Methodist Episcopal ministry in 1889 and served in pastorates in Sprague, Wash.; Ogden, Utah; Helena, Mont.; Minneapolis, Minn., where he founded the Fowler Memorial Church; Fostoria, Ohio; Harrisburg, Pa., and Brooklyn, N.Y., before coming to the Metropolitan Temple. He also supplied the pulpit of the Marylebone Presbyterian Church in London during the summer of 1909 and also served as Grand Chaplain of the Masons, State of New York. Hill was a personal friend of the 27th President of the United States William H. Taft.

Rev. Dr. Wayne Albertson is a graduate of Michigan State University and the Methodist Theological School in Ohio. He also has a Ph.D. in Pastoral Theology from Princeton Theological Seminary. Rev. Albertson is an ordained elder in the West Ohio Conference and appreciates the diversity of service in small town, inner city and college town churches. Rev. Albertson began serving in 1970 at Dark Street in Toledo. He has since served Wesley in Toledo as well as Amanda, Norwood Grace, Sabina, and Ada First where he began serving in 1999. Albertson has also been a lecturer in religion at ONU since coming to Ada.

Rev. Vernon F. LaSaIa graduated from the New Jersey Institute of Technology in 1971 with a B.S. in electrical engineering. He was employed by The Eveready Battery Products Division of Union Carbide Corporation for 15 years before becoming a full-time minister in the United Methodist Church. He formerly pastored at LaBelle View United Methodist Church in Steubenville, Ohio (1991- 1995), and Grace and Trinity United Methodist Churches of Dunkirk, Ohio (1986- 1991). Rev. LaSala earned the M.Div. from United Theological Seminary in Dayton in 1991. He became chaplain to the University in 1995.

Also taking part in the founders day service were associate professor of art, Brit Rowe as organist, Vice President for Student Affairs Adriane Thompson Bradshaw and Director of Residence Life Justin Courtney singing the duet “It Is Well With My Soul,” and the ONU Gospel Ensemble.

Paul Logsdon, director of the Heterick Library, provided the historical research.