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Alumni and Students Invited To Share Historical Artifacts

Arts AnnexThe department of art & design at Ohio Northern University will celebrate its 50th anniversary in 2011 of the art major with “Latitude: Art & Design @ 50,” a yearlong series of exhibitions, lectures and special events.

The department’s roots stretch back to 1878, largely as an outgrowth of course work in drawing for education, engineering and architecture students. In the 1880s, Professor W.A. Smith taught sketching from nature, oil painting, and crayon painting, in addition to classes in mechanical engineering and architectural drawing. Originally designated as an independent academic unit at Ohio Northern, the department’s name was changed to the College of Fine Arts in 1903. In 1907 as the University’s curriculum and enrollment grew, the name was changed to the School of Fine Art. When the program merged with the College of Liberal Arts in 1929, the name was changed to the department of art. And then in 2008, the name was changed again to reflect expanding educational opportunities for students.

“Academic anniversaries are unique opportunities to reflect on and celebrate past achievements, and to speculate and prepare for future possibilities,” said department chair and alumnus Prof. Brit Rowe, a graphic designer who has led the department since 2002.

Alumni and students are invited to share stories, articles, documents, artwork, posters, photographs, t-shirts or any other artifacts in the planning for the 50th anniversary celebration. Alumni willing to submit materials should contact Prof. Brit Rowe by email ( or by mail (Wilson Art Center, 525 S. Main St., Ada, Ohio 45810). If requested, all personal materials can be returned.