Founded in 1871, ONU consistently has reflected founder Henry Solomon Lehr’s vision of providing a “community of learning, rich with opportunities for intellectual and personal development.” The University has been affiliated with the United Methodist Church since 1899, instilling core values into its teachings while offering religious freedom on campus. Today Ohio Northern has an enrollment of around 3,000 students from 34 states and 22 countries and offers more than 60 programs of study. Capitalizing on its historic reputation for quality, ONU is poised to move to a position of significantly greater regional and national prominence.
The University’s mission today is to “provide a high quality learning environment that prepares students for success in their careers, service to their communities, the nation, and the world, and a lifetime of personal growth inspired by the higher values of truth, beauty, and goodness.” This mission is achieved via a distinctive academic program with mutually supporting liberal and professional education components that integrate practice with theory, complemented by excellent co-curricular education.
Entering ONU students have an average High School GPA of 3.6 with 26% in the Top 10th of the graduating class and 90% in the top half of the graduating class. The enrollment by gender is almost even with 51% men and 49% women. ONU’s placement rates (percentage of graduates who either land a job or are accepted to graduate school within six months after graduation) have averaged more than 94% for each of the past seven years, a rate higher than the national average.
Ohio Northern competes at the NCAA Division III level as part of the Ohio Athletic Conference. There are 23 varsity sports (12 for men and 11 for women), and nearly as many club and intramural sports, including eSports. ONU has won a combined total of 17 OAC All-Sports Trophies. Our school colors are orange and black, and our mascot is Klondike the Polar Bear. Students utilize modern athletic facilities totaling 177,000 square feet of building space and 20.5 acres of outdoor space.
The beautiful 342-acre campus is made up of 60 plus modern residences and academic buildings including the Freed Center for the Performing Arts that showcases dozens of theatre, dance, speaker, and musical events each year. Guests of the University, as well as the public, enjoy the luxury and comfort of The Inn at Ohio Northern. More than $100 million in capital projects over the last several years have helped maintain the beauty and functionality of the campus.
This year (2019) the campus welcomed the addition of the James Lehr Kennedy Engineering Building which houses the classrooms, laboratories and offices for the departments of Civil Engineering, Electrical & Computer Engineering and Computer Science, and Mechanical Engineering. This facility includes student project spaces, collaboration areas, a maker space, and a machine shop.
Ohio Northern University is situated in rural northwest Ohio in the historic village of Ada (population 5,582). There is an array of restaurants, shopping, and culture both locally and in several nearby larger communities of Findlay and Lima. The cities of Columbus, Dayton, and Toledo are within easy reach.
The University enjoys an excellent relationship with the local community and with the broad base of ONU alumni. This is evidenced, in part, by strong fundraising, and alumni and community participation in the life and support of the institution.