HISTORY AND HERITAGE
Ohio Northern University began with a single person and a single idea. In 1871, Henry Solomon Lehr, with support from the community, founded the Northwestern Ohio Normal School as a teacher training institution.
Two other name changes would follow: first, to Ohio Normal University and second, in 1903, to Ohio Northern University. The evolution from a normal school to a true university reflects an impressive period of growth in both size and scope, one that distinctively combined traditional arts and sciences departments and education with the professional fields of engineering, pharmacy, law and business.
In 1899, the University affiliated with the United Methodist Church and more intentionally embraced the Judeo-Christian values of becoming church-related. From these beginnings, Ohio Northern University has developed a focus on teaching, learning, scholarship and professional practice, and a campus environment that is student-centered, service-oriented and values-based.