Welcome to ONU's latest resource for our parents and families. We hope that this newsletter will provide up-to-date information and a one-stop look at the topics impacting you.
Hello ONU parents!
With fall semester arriving, this special newsletter is dedicated to the reflections of "Summertime at ONU, 2013."
Ohio Northern's president, Daniel DiBiasio, shares his look back plus his excitement for the future:
The old song about the "lazy, hazy" days of summer hardly applies to many campuses today and definitely not to Ohio Northern University. We have had a very busy summer, from summer orientations for prospective students to summer school for current students. Interspersed between these activities were numerous camps, programs and much progress on a variety of University matters.
I would like to give you a sense of the exciting things happening at our University this summer:
Summer camps in many disciplines and sports continue to be a major summer activity. This summer, we hosted the Summer Honors Institute for high school students and a variety of camps for high school students in music, engineering (Girls in Engineering, Math and Sciences, GEMS), leadership and sports, including football, basketball, volleyball and soccer.
Serving the Local Community and Region
Northern is stepping up our commitment to bring the resources of the campus to the surrounding communities. This summer, my wife, Chris, in her volunteer role as director of community relations, continued to plan for a two-day health summit, which will focus on the "Human Cost of Not Eating Healthy." The target audiences for the summit are leaders in education, health care and faith-based organizations; school boards; and elected officials in Allen County. In addition, student affairs staff members were busy this summer identifying sites for service projects in conjunction with Ada Civic Engagement (ACE) Day, a relatively new activity of Fall Orientation for new students. ACE Day seeks to involve new students in service to others right from the start of their ONU experience.
Getting Started on the Campus Master Plan
With the University's sesquicentennial in the year 2021 less than a decade away, we are excited about beginning the process to develop a comprehensive master plan to guide campus growth and development in the future. This summer, the University engaged a Toledo firm, The Collaborative Inc. (TCI), to be our partner and begin that effort. TCI has extensive master planning experience. We are looking forward to working with them on this important initiative related to improving physical and capital resources of the University.
The master plan will include consideration of both academic and non-academic facilities and needs. Fortunately, one of the athletic needs will be completed even before master planning begins. This summer, due to the generosity of several ONU trustees and alumni, the University received donations that will enable us to install artificial turf and lights on the football field as well as artificial turf and, eventually, lights on the infield of the outdoor track to create a new soccer field. As a result, the University can now add lacrosse to its sports offerings. These improvements will give ONU one of the best field turf complexes in the region and will enable us to host high school playoff games in football.
We offered two five-week undergraduate summer sessions with nearly 350 students enrolled. In addition, the College of Law offered a typical summer session as well as two special opportunities: the PLUS program and the Summer Starter Program.
The Pre-Law Undergraduate Scholars (PLUS) program is a three-week residential experience designed to expose students to the fundamental skills necessary to succeed in law school and as a lawyer. The primary goal of the program is to promote diversity in the legal profession. It is directed toward freshmen and sophomores (rising sophomores and juniors) from groups that are underrepresented in the legal profession or face significant financial hardship and familial obstacles in their pursuit of a career in law. This summer, 16 students participated.
The Summer Starter Program is a unique opportunity for students whose outstanding undergraduate performance indicates probable academic success in graduate school despite disproportionate LSAT scores. This eight-week program, consisting of two first-year courses, provides students with the one-on-one attention necessary to be successful in law school. Small classes, individual attention and a greater chance for student participation and class interaction are hallmarks of the Summer Starter Program. Twenty-nine students were enrolled this summer. Judging from the success of past program participants, the latest class is likely to succeed in law school. Summer Starter students are ranked in the top 10 of each class, and the valedictorians of the classes of 2005 and 2008 were Summer Starters.
For the ninth consecutive summer, Northern sponsored an academic transition program for international students in partnership with the Sakae Institute of Study Abroad in Tokyo, Japan. The University welcomed 24 college-bound students from Japan in early July for a five-week immersion in the English language and American life. Two students from the program plan to attend ONU this fall.
Summer Conferences on our Beautiful Campus
While The Inn at Ohio Northern is undergoing improvements, the University continues to attract summer conference activity and provides our visitors with a high-quality experience. This summer, the Executive Board of the American Mock Trial Association (AMTA) held its summer meeting on our campus in mid-July. AMTA hosts 24 regional tournaments and a national championship tournament each season. AMTA also provides a forum for more than 5,300 undergraduate students each academic year to engage in intercollegiate mock trial competitions across the country. ONU frequently hosts a regional tournament on campus in January.
On Aug. 3, we convened the Executive Committee of the University's Board of Trustees for its annual summer meeting. I was pleased to update them on a number of ways we are advancing the University as we implement our recently approved strategic plan: ONU 2021. In addition, we formally announced a new major in risk management and insurance, which will be offered by the Dicke College of Business Administration in 2014, and the addition of men and women's lacrosse for the spring 2015 season.
I am pleased to share these summer happenings with you because they convey the vibrancy of our great University. I look forward to keeping you informed about Northern. As always, I also welcome your thoughts and comments.
Together, we can keep ONU strong, progressing and very special place for our students.
As always, we are trying to more effectively reach out to prospective and admitted students. An idea this past year really sparked a great project that we would like to put in effect annually. We are reaching out to you, as current parents, to help us.
Parents are an important factor in helping their students decide which college is an excellent fit. We need your help in writing postcards to the parents and families of admitted students and, hopefully, future Polar Bears! If you are willing to volunteer to write 10-20 postcards this next spring, please contact Brenna Roy, admissions counselor, at email@example.com your name, address, current student and the best way to contact you.