Ottawa University (OU) is a not-for-profit educational institution in Kansas, affiliated with the American Baptist Churches USA. It was founded in 1865.
The current president is Mr. Kevin C. Eichner, who begins his duties on July 1, 2008.
, Reverend Jotham and Elanor Meeker worked to improving the lives of the Ottawa Native Americans
. Their work with the tribe inspired "a hunger for education and Christianity." Another missionary, John Tecumseh (Tauy) Jones continued the Meekers' commitment to the tribe after the Meeker's death. Jones worked and served as an interpreter and Baptist minister--through his efforts, he was able to set up a meeting between the Baptists and the Ottawa Indians.
The meeting resulting in the Ottawa tribe donated 20,000 acres for "a university to ensure the education of their children." The Baptists agreed to build and also to operate the school and promised "free education to the Ottawa Indians." As of 2008, Ottawa University offers tuition-free undergraduate education to descendants of the Kansas Ottawa Native Americans.
Ottawa University was officially established in 1865. The first building on campus was destroyed by fire in 1875 and was rebuilt in 1876. That building, Tauy Jones Hall, is still standing as of 2008.
Adult Campus Expansions
Ottawa University was one of the early schools promoting adult education in the United States and opened its first adult campus in Kansas City in 1974. Additional campuses centering on the demands of working adults have been established in Arizona (1977), Wisconsin (1992) and Indiana (2002). Degree-completion programs were also developed internationally beginning in 1986.
The agreement and land trade with the Ottawa tribe came under criticism in the 1800s. Critics argued that the tribe gave up its land and all its wealth, then was moved hundreds of miles away and the university was only used for the benefit of white people.
Today, Ottawa University offers Bachelor degree programs in over 25 disciplines. A Master of Business Administration as well as Master of Arts programs in Human Resources, Counseling and Education are also available.
The following Bachelor's degree programs are offered at the school:
- Business Administration
Research and cultural resources
Department of Church Relations
The Department of Church Relations maintains the University's long-standing relationship with the clergy and churches within the American Baptist Churches USA. Church Relations also works to recruit students from American Baptist Churches across the country.
Music, Drama, and other events
The Music and Drama department offer productions for the community and serve as host for community related events.
Ottawa University athletic teams are known as the "Braves" and participate in the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics
and the Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference
. The school provides seven intercollegiate sports for men, seven intercollegiate sports for women, and a varied intramural program. The school is the home of recently-renovated Peoples Bank Field
The main campus is located in Ottawa, Kansas
and is referred to as the "Residential College" by the staff.
In addition to the residential college, OU has adult campuses in Overland Park, Kansas; Phoenix and Chandler, Arizona; Milwaukee, Wisconsin; Jeffersonville, Indiana.
Ottawa views attending college as an opportunity to interact with people, learn new skills and discover new talents. The university offers over 30 student groups, clubs and organizations including a radio station and the oldest student-run newspaper in Kansas. Additionally, the school offers Drama, music, honor societies, campus ministry opportunities, and other activities.
Notable among a number of songs commonly played and sung at various events such as commencement
, and athletic games are the Ottawa University Fight Song, O'er The Stands
. O'er the stands of shining yellow OU banners fly; Cheer on cheer like volley'd thunder echoes through the sky. See, the OU tide is turning, gaining more and more. So fight, fight, fight, for a win tonight: OU forever more.
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