Several firsts and significant advancements happened at Ohio Northern University in 2023. In no particular order, here are some of the top news stories:
Forward Together Campaign
Concluding in October, this fundraising campaign was the largest in ONU’s history, with more than $112.7 million raised. The money will go toward increasing scholarships and financial aid for students, helping the University continue to attract world-class faculty, and upgrading facilities.
On April 12, President Melissa J. Baumann, Ph.D., was inaugurated during an investiture ceremony. Higher education's enduring value featured prominently in her speech. President Baumann is ONU’s 12th president and first female president.
Don Wood Foundation Grant
The Fort Wayne private foundation awarded the T.J. Smull College of Engineering a $1.05 million grant to add a state-of-the-art metals lab to supplement it’s already-strong machine shop. Additions will include a 3D metal printer, laser cutting machine, a laser welder and associated manufacturing tools. Students will use the equipment for coursework and projects, including senior-level capstone design projects.
Creating tools to assist those who are differently abled was the focus of ONU’s engineering design capstone completed during the spring semester by 169 first-year students enrolled in most of the T.J. Smull College of Engineering disciplines. A total of 34 teams designed projects that ranged from mobility assistance devices to educational games to trainers for skills like handwriting.
Klondike’s 100th Birthday
ONU’s beloved mascot celebrated his big milestone birthday in March. Take a look back to learn about his birth and to see how his style has evolved over the years.
ONU rose from No. 4 to No. 2 in U.S. News & World Report’s Best Regional Colleges Midwest list for 2024, making it No. 1 in Ohio. The University also ranks highly in other key categories, including 3rd (first in Ohio) in regional Best Value Schools, No. 12 in electrical/electronic/communications, and No. 23 nationally and No. 1 in Ohio for undergraduate engineering programs (no doctorate). ONU was ranked No. 33 in the nation and No. 1 in Ohio for “salary impact” by the WSJ/College Pulse 2024 Best Colleges in the U.S.
The Getty College of Arts & Sciences' political science department issued two important polls last year that offered crucial Ohio election information prior to voters heading to the polls in August and November. National publications, political leaders and pundits mentioned the polls on numerous occasions.
Public Relations Pinnacle
Alisa Agozzino, BA ‘01, Ph.D., APR, associate professor of public relations in the James F. Dicke College of Business, received the Outstanding Educator Award at Public Relations Society of America’s national conference held recently in Nashville, Tennessee.
Law School Rankings
For the third consecutive year, U.S. News & World Report placed the Pettit College of Law in the top 25% of law schools throughout the nation for trial advocacy, coming in at No. 47. The ranking tied ONU with ten other elite institutions such as George Washington University, University of Notre Dame and William & Mary Law School. ONU Law also moved up in overall rankings, which places it in a higher tier than a year ago, at No. 146.e.
Senior Kaitlyn Sullivan interned this summer at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, ranked by Newsweek in 2023 as the world’s top hospital. Mikay Mariano, a fifth-year pharmacy major double majoring in biology from Oregon, Ohio, spent her summer as a radioisotope research intern at Oak Ridge National Lab (ORNL) in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, working side-by-side with some of the best academic minds in the country. Now considered the largest science and energy lab in the U.S. Department of Energy’s national system, ORNL was one of the primary sites for the World War II-era Manhattan Project.
In November, the ONU Men’s Soccer team made it to the NCAA Division III Sweet 16 tournament but fell 1-0 to Colorado College in double overtime. The tigers scored the lone goal of the game in the first of the two 10-minute, non-sudden-death overtime periods. The Polar Bears were unable to get an equalizing goal the rest of the way, thus ending their season with a 13-6-4 overall record.
Student Health Center
ONU and Mercy Health announced a new strategic partnership to improve access to high-quality health care on ONU’s campus. Under a new 10-year agreement, ONU’s Student Health Center is now being staffed and managed by Mercy Health.
Center for Corporate Engagement
ONU’s Center for Corporate Engagement (CCE), the region’s first-of-its-kind resource for professional training and leadership growth, opened enrollment in the fall for its numerous programs, which provide practical approaches with immediate applications.
Bryan Boulanger, Ph.D., received the 2022 Nocturnal Habitat Protection Award from the International Dark-Sky Association, which is the leading organization combating light pollution worldwide. Boulanger and many of his ONU students have spent years developing and implementing methods to preserve the night sky throughout the United States, particularly at national parks.