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The Office of Multicultural Development was established in 1991. The first office was located on the second floor of the McIntosh Center and was staffed by a director and a student worker. The office developed and implemented programs and services both co-curricular and extracurricular. One of the highlights was the People in Celebration of Diversity series. In this series there was a different topic addressed each month and a program presented on that topic. Some of the programs were presented in partnership with academic departments and actually took place in the classroom. Other programs were co-sponsored by student organizations and presented in formats that were open to the entire campus.
Throughout the years, there have been changes in personnel and location of the office, but the mission has remained the same. The Office of Multicultural Development seeks to lead the campus community in a celebration of diversity through academic and social programming. The other main purpose is to support the activities of various student organizations, including the Asian-American Student Union, Black Law Student Association, Black Student Union, Indian Student Association, Latino Student Union, Muslim Student Association, Open Doors and World Student Organization. In the Fall of 2012, the Office of International Student Services also joined the Office of Multicultural Center.
The Multicultural Center, established in 1991, was the “brain-child” of the Black Student Union. The students saw the need for a place where they could fellowship and bond. They were seeking a welcome space that would foster their growth, socialization and development.
The first Multicultural Center was established in fall of 1995 in a small house located on South Union Street. The center housed an office for the director of multicultural development, one for the director of international recruitment and a secretary. There was a multi-purpose space used for student meetings and social gatherings. In fall of 2004 the center moved one door down to 307 S. Union Street, a larger space.
Today, the Multicultural Center is housed in the Lehr-Kennedy House (the retirement home of Dr. Henry Solomon Lehr, the founder of Ohio Northern University). The Multicultural Center acts as the center of operations for the diverse student population of ONU. The Center continues to grow and be utilized by students, faculty, and staff. Currently, office space has been established within the Center for all of the student organizations under the Office of Multicultural Development. The Center also offers a Welcome Center, a conference room, a kitchen, and two multi-purpose spaces that are used by students, faculty, and staff for meetings, dinners, studying, programs and other social events.
We encourage all to drop by the Center throughout the day to visit with friends and make new ones. We want the Multicultural Center to be the “home away from home” for all, whether your home is down the street or across the globe!