UF History Timeline

​Six Decades of Growth

1882 – Founded as Findlay College by the Churches of God, General Conference (then Churches of God in North America) and the citizens of the city of Findlay.

1883 - Work on the foundation walls and basement began in the fall. Foundation rock was hauled by horse and wagon to the College grounds. Limestone, cut stone, brick and lumber from the local area were all used in the construction of Old Main.

1884 - While it was under construction, the building suffered from vandals who punched holes through the plastering and defaced the walls.

1885 - After completing the masonry and roofing by December 1884, Old Main lay dormant for a year for lack of funds to complete it.

1886 - Findlay College opened on Sept. 1, 1886, with the first 70 students holding classes on the third floor while carpenters completed the first and second floors.

1890 - A gymnasium was added in the basement. In 1903, the gym was moved to the southeast wing of the first floor. The floor between the first and second stories was removed to give more space to play basketball.

1890 – A conservatory of music opened.

1892 – Black and orange were adopted as the school colors.

1893 – Findlay College purchased the Findlay Business College and the Conservatory of Music.

1905-06 - A steam heating plant was installed and Old Main was completely rewired.

1912 - The tower, which had begun to settle, was lowered a story and a half because it was deemed unstable.

1912 – Findlay’s first “night school” was listed in the 1912-13 Catalogue.

1912 - The College Church of God, which held worship services in Old Main, remodeled the chapel (now Ritz Auditorium) by adding an elevated floor, enlarging the platform and installing new lights. Three windows on the west wall of the chapel were bricked up. The College provided the new opera chairs by asking alumni and friends to contribute $2 per chair.

1923 - The Griffith Memorial Arch was erected directly in front of Old Main as a memorial to Caddie Griffith ’09, a former student and faculty member, who died of influenza. It was donated by her parents, who lived on Frazer Street and were active members of the College Church of God.

1925 – The Physical Culture Hall was constructed, including a basketball court, showers, dressing rooms and lockers. It was named Renninger Gymnasium in 1982 in honor of former professor, coach and athletic director Donald Renninger ’40.

1933 – The Carrothers Home, the official residence of the President located at 1115 North Main Street, was built. It was named after an early benefactor and trustee, George Carrothers, who had donated a frame house as the home of the President in 1907.

1938 - A fire broke out in the basement of Old Main at approximately 1 a.m. on May 27. Although mostly confined to the basement and first floor from the main entrance south, fire reached the third floor. The entire building suffered smoke and heat damage. Damage was estimated at $75,000 and the cause was never determined.

1938 - Repair and remodeling as a result of the fire included replacing wooden floors with steel girders and concrete. The north and south stairwells were completely enclosed and new ground floor exits were built. The building was rewired, plumbing was improved and a new radiation heating system installed. The entire interior was repainted, mostly in two-color combinations of light green, with the hallways in buff and ivory. The ceilings were white.

1942 – Findlay College established the Winebrenner Graduate School of Divinity and the Music Conservatory closed.

1955-56 -The first major alteration to Old Main was the extension of the first floor towards the west to accommodate an additional 25,000 volumes for the library.

1955 – Myers Residence Hall for men was built.

1957 - A student union, called “The Cave,” was located in the basement of Old main under the new library extension.

1959 – The women acquired a residence hall with the construction of Lovett Hall.

1961 – The Alumni Memorial Union and the William B. Brewer Science Hall were added to campus.

1961 – The graduate school was separated from Findlay College in June to become Winebrenner Theological Seminary.

1963 – The Egner Fine Arts Center opened, with the theatre completed in 1964; and Morey Residence Hall for men was built.

1966 – Fox Residence Hall for men opened.

1968 – Shafer Library opened with President and Mrs. Ivan Frick, 53 faculty members and 460 students moving approximately 55,000 books from the library in Old Main to the new building.

1969 – Croy Physical Education Center opened with a gymnasium and the Sink natatorium and Deming Residence Hall for women was added to Lovett Hall, which included Henderson Dining Hall.

1970 – Bare Residence Hall for men was constructed.

1971 – The College’s radio station, WVFC-AM, began broadcasting on campus. It was a carrier station, sending out its signal only to the dormitories, 40 hours a week. Later that year, station time increased to 63 

hours a week and plans were being made to go FM.

1972 – The Board of Trustees approved the proposal that the College's radio station, WVFC-AM, obtain an FM license.

1973 – The FCC approved the license application and the call letters WLFC for the campus radio station.

1975 - Findlay introduced the Intensive English Language Institute for international students to campus. 

1976 – The first “niche” program was established with the beginning of the equestrian studies program, focusing on western riding.

1977 – The Students in Free Enterprise team was established, which went on to earn national championships five times.

1979 – Findlay, which had offered night classes throughout most of its history, began one of Ohio’s first weekend college programs.

1979 – The Oilers football team won the NAIA Division II national championship 

1981 – Findlay’s validation program in bilingual multicultural teacher education was the first to be certified in Ohio.

1981 - The Alumni Board of Governors adopted the chapel in Old Main as a centennial observance project. Alumni and friends donated about 1,500 hours of labor. Improvements included refinishing the floor, painting, hanging three chandeliers from the ceiling and adding eight pan lights along the walls. Alumni contributed $50 per chair for reupholstering the original 1912 opera chairs. Cost of the renovation was more than $36,000. 

1982 - The chapel was rededicated in January and named Ritz Auditorium in honor of Harriette Smith Ritz and her late husband, Dr. Gale Ritz, both of whom had taught at Findlay College.

1982 – Findlay established a one-of-a-kind pre-veterinary medicine program in which students gain practical, hands-on experience with horses, livestock and small animals, beginning with the freshman year.

1982 – The Mazza Collection of original artwork from children’s picture books was founded with four pieces valued at $1,700. Today, it is the largest teaching gallery of its kind in the world with more than 8,000 pieces.

1983 –Fall enrollment was 1,281 students.

1984 – Findlay acquired the Nuclear Medicine Institute from Hillcrest Hospital in Cleveland and the western equestrian farm on Hancock CR 40 from Dale Wilkinson.

1986 – Findlay established the nation’s first bachelor’s degree in hazardous waste management. With an updated curriculum, the program is now called environmental, safety and occupational health management. 

1988 – Fall enrollment topped 2,000 for the first time with 2,075 students (full-time and part-time).

1989 – A master of arts degree in teaching English to speakers of other languages (TESOL) and bilingual education was instituted. 

1989 – On July 1 the institution changed its name from Findlay College to The University of Findlay in recognition of the growth in programs and number of students and the addition of graduate programming.

1989 – After nearly two decades of no construction on campus, the second era of campus expansion began with the addition of the Phil Gardner Fitness Center.

1989 – The Environmental Resource Training Center opened on State Route 12 east of Findlay.

1990 - The front lawn of Old Main was renovated. The old driveway and brick sidewalk were removed. Griffith Memorial Arch was moved and reconstructed 30 feet farther back from Main Street, with the archway inscribed with the institution’s new name, “The University of Findlay.” A new semi-circle drive, wide sidewalks and extensive landscaping were installed.

1990 - Old Main was brought up to current code and made handicapped accessible with the addition of an elevator.

1991 – The Kenneth L. Frost Science Center was added to the William B. Brewer Science Hall.

1992 – Enrollment surpasses 3,000 in fall 1992 with 3,284 students (full-time and part-time) attending classes.

1992 – The Oiler football team wins a second national NAIA Division II national championship.

1992 – English riding was added to the curriculum in addition to western riding, with the expanded facilities at the James L. Child Jr. Equestrian Complex opening in 1993.

1992 – A master of arts degree in education, focusing on teacher leadership and technology, was established.

1993 – A master of business administration degree was added, designed to provide practical knowledge combined with convenient scheduling on weekends for students who are employed full-time.

1994 – The Virginia B. Gardner Fine Arts Pavilion was constructed to house the visual arts programs and the Mazza Museum.

1994 – A master of science degree in environmental, safety and health management was founded.

1995 – Occupational therapy and physical therapy programs opened as weekend college degree completion programs.

1995 – The Roughnecks won the NAIA national wrestling championship and the Oilers won the NAIA Division II national football championship for a third time.

1997 – Continued growth brings fall enrollment head count to 4,018 students.

1997 – The Edward and Joyce Brewer Center for Health Sciences opened with the technologically enhanced W. Robert and Marilyn Y. Brewer Lecture Hall.

1997 – The Oilers scored a fourth NAIA Division II national football championship.

1998 – The Dr. Frank R. and Mary Jane Cosiano Health Center and the Glenn and Helen Stout Alumni Center opened.

1999 – The Ralph and Gladys Koehler Fitness and Recreation Complex opened, containing the Robert Malcolm Athletic Center and the Wilbur and Maxine Clauss Ice Arena.

1999 – The MBA is the first program at Findlay to be offered entirely over the Web.

2000 – A physician assistant program was accredited. Occupational therapy and physical therapy became master’s degree programs in accordance with the mandates of their professional societies.

2000 – The MBA, master of science in environmental, safety and health management degree, and the business and environmental science degree completion programs were all offered as degrees that could be taken entirely online.

2001 - The master of arts in liberal studies was accredited by the Ohio Board of Regents.

2001 – The MBA program was named one of 39 “Best of the Online Grad Programs” by U.S. World & News Report and UF named one of “America’s Most Wired Colleges” by Yahoo! Internet Life and Peterson’s.

2001 – The capital campaign, “Working Together for Tomorrow,” was completed with a record $36.8 million in gifts.

2001 – The hospitality management major was added.

2001 – The English and western equestrian teams both won national titles at the Intercollegiate Horse Show Association competition.

2001 – The Zahler townhouse apartments were built. 

2002 – Front lawn was relandscaped as gift from UT trustee Richard Hollington and his wife, Sally. The theatre and lobby were renovated and named for John and Hester Powell Grimm in the Egner Center for the Performing Arts. Also, land was acquired for the Russ & Peg Armstrong Sports Complex and the University Townhouses were added. 

2003 – The master of athletic training (MAT) degree was accredited.

2003 – Winebrenner Theological Seminary opened a new facility on North Main Street, adjacent to The University of Findlay campus. Facilities and services are shared between the two institutions to affect cost savings and better serve students.

2003 – The former Winebrenner Village is acquired by The University of Findlay and converted for use as residence rooms, offices and kitchen facilities for the hospitality management program.

2003 – Henderson Dining Hall was renovated and enlarged by 2,338 square feet, increasing seating capacity form 320 to 509.

2004 – The Concert & Lecture Series premiered with a performance by the Toledo Symphony in January.

2004 – The Mazza Museum kicked off a $2.2 million capital campaign in February for a nearly 10,000-square-foot education addition, with a completion goal of 2007 to coincide with the museum’s 25th anniversary.

2005 – The arena at the Center for Equine and Pre-Veterinary Studies was named for Dale E. Wilkinson, founder of UF’s western equestrian program.

2005 – Six new professional-grade tennis courts were constructed at the Russ and Peg Armstrong Sports Complex, which is available to both students and the community.

2005 – A new major in forensics was offered in the fall.

2005 – The western equestrian riding team won its second national Intercollegiate Horse Show Association championship.

2005 – The Master of Athletic Training and the Master of Science in Environmental, Safety and Health Management were accredited by their national accrediting organizations.

2006 – Groundbreaking for the Mazza Museum’s educational addition was held in May after the successful completion of the capital campaign.

2006 – A doctor of pharmacy degree was approved for pre-candidacy status by the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education, the first step in a three-step process.

2006 – The University acquired the adjacent former Findlay campus of Owens Community College on Davis Street and renovated the 60,000-square-foot facility to accommodate the College of Education, the School of Pharmacy and the biology program.

 – A new arena for western riding was added to the Center for Equine & Pre-Veterinary Studies.  

2007 – The University of Findlay celebrated its 125th anniversary with a number of events and special exhibits, beginning with a “Living History” presentation sponsored by the founding Churches of God, General Conference, and a Founding Day celebration on Feb. 7. Celebration festivities concluded at 

Homecoming weekend Oct. 12-14.

2007 – The first Symposium for Scholarship and Creativity was held April 17, including the annual student awards ceremony, alumni speakers representing each of the five colleges and more than 70 students presenting research and creative projects.

2007 – A 9,000-square-foot addition to the Virginia B. Gardner Fine Arts Pavilion provided additional space for the Mazza Museum. Dedicated on May 4, the new wing included a classroom, children’s art studio, art resource library, storage vault, preservation and restoration center and a gift gallery.


2007 – The western equestrian team captured its third national IHSA title, the second in two years, and the English equestrian team captured the reserve national championship in May.

2007 – The pharmacy program was granted candidate certification by the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE).

2008 – The 125th Endowed Funds Drive was announced Feb. 7, with the goal to create 125 new endowed funds to support scholarships, faculty development and academic programs


2008 – The Master of Physical Therapy degree transitioned to a doctoral degree in the fall with a 3+3 program.

2008 – The undergraduate program in environmental, safety and occupational health management was accredited by the American Board of Engineering Technology. 

2008 – The highly successful pre-veterinary major was renamed animal science to reflect the broad applications and career potential in the field.

2009 – The School of Environmental and Emergency Management (SEEM) was renamed The All Hazards Training Center, continuing to provide occupational, emergency and security training.

2009 – The University hosted its first Economic Summit on Feb. 6, 2009, coordinated and hosted by Dennis Foster ’67, and featured a panel of 18 local and national business experts.

2009 – The Oilers men’s basketball team won the NCAA Division II national championship in overtime with a score of 53-56 in Springfield, Mass., on March 28. Ranked number one all season, the team had a perfect 36-0 record. The team has the most wins in a single season in NCAA Division II history. Head coach Ron Niekamp earned National Coach of the Year honors and senior forward Josh Bostic was named the NCAA Division II National Player of the Year. Assistant coach Charlie Ernst contributed to the team’s defensive skills.

2009 – Faculty and staff moved into the Dr. C. Richard Beckett Animal Science Building, a new 31,000-square-foot facility that combines a working barn with a well-equipped academic wing.

2009 – The Corporation for National and Community Service selected The University of Findlay for a place on the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll for exemplary service, the highest federal recognition for service-learning and civic engagement.

2009 – The western equestrian team won its fourth IHSA national championship and the men’s basketball team won the national NCAA Division II championship.

2009 – Kirby Blackley was named to the NCAA Today’s Top VIII as one of the top athletes in the nation based on athletic ability and achievement, academic achievement, character, leadership and extracurricular activity involvement.

2009 – The School of Pharmacy transitioned to the College of Pharmacy, reflecting growth of the program.

2009 – Dr. DeBow Freed announced in October that he would be stepping down as president by July 1, 2010, and a national search began, headed by Dr. C. Richard Beckett, chair of the Board of Trustees.

2009 – The University of Findlay participated in Sodexo’s Helping Hands Across America campus competition, collecting 17,825 pounds of food during a 24-hour period on Nov. 12, more than any other college in the nation. Students, faculty, staff, businesses and community members helped contribute and the donated food was given to Chopin Hall.

2009 – The $1.9 million estate gift of Emerson and Laura Pelton created the largest endowed scholarship fund at the University. The Peltons farmed for many years near Bloomdale, Ohio, and retired to Arizona. Emerson passed away on Feb. 27, 1999, and Laura died July 5, 2009.

2010 – The physician assistant program transitioned to a Master of Physician Assistant and began offering classes in January.

2010 – Dr. Katherine Rowe Fell was named on March 25 as the 17th president of The University of Findlay, effective July 1.

2010 – The western equestrian team won its fifth IHSA national championship and the English team was named reserve champion.

2010 – The first class of 49 pharmacy students graduated with the first-professional doctor of pharmacy degree.

2010 – The Dr. and Mrs. DeBow Freed Contemporary Christian Lecture Series was endowed in their honor by donors from the Churches of God, General Conference, Winebrenner Theological Seminary and The University of Findlay.

2010 – The Clauss Ice Arena in the Koehler Fitness and Recreation Complex was converted to a student recreation center to serve the student body with a rock-climbing wall, game room, lounge, two basketball courts, weight room, racquetball courts and Derrick’s, a casual, quick-serve restaurant.

2010 – The University of Findlay was named for the second consecutive year to the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll by the Corporation for National and Community Service for exemplary service.

2010 – A graduate certificate program in health informatics was established.

2010 – The Glenn and Helen Stout Alumni Center moved in September from 1316 North Cory St. to a historic, but newly renovated, house at 1015 North Main St., across from the main campus.

2010 – The “Give Voice to Your Values” comprehensive campaign was launched publicly on Sept. 30 with a goal of $40 million in private support to fund capital projects for modern learning environments, endowment support and annual operations. Nearly $20 million was raised during the campaign’s quiet phase.   

2010 – On Oct. 1, Dr. Katherine Fell was inaugurated as the 17th president of The University of Findlay. The inauguration was held on the front lawn of Old Main at 4 p.m., with a community reception following that evening at the new student recreation center in the Koehler Fitness and Recreation Complex.

2010 – The campus FM radio station, WLRC 88.3, increased its station signal from 100 watts to 4,600 watts on Oct. 9 through the gift of a new antenna in North Baltimore, Ohio, by Toledo Radio LLC.   

2010 – Renovation of the Carrothers Home for the President at 1115 N. Main St. was completed and open houses were held in December and January. The renovation included a new catering kitchen, remodeling of the basement for student meetings and activities, and a new two-car garage as part of an addition on the north side. The grounds were landscaped to accommodate outdoor entertaining, and off-street parking was added.

2011 – The purchase of the former Hubbard Press building, located at the corner of Trenton and Morey Avenues, was announced in January. The 17,000-square-foot building was renovated to accommodate the nuclear medicine technology and the clinical laboratory science (formerly medical technology) programs, as well as new diagnostic imaging programs in ultrasound and positron emission tomography/computer tomography (PET/CT). Magnetic resonance imaging may be added in the future.   

2011 – Julius Coles, former president of Africare, was the University’s first Woodrow Wilson Visiting Fellow on Feb. 6-11. He gave a public presentation on “Africa in the New Millennium.”

2011 – The first class of 50 students in the Doctor of Physical Therapy program graduated in May.

2011 – The College of Pharmacy received full accreditation for the Doctor of Pharmacy (Pharm.D.) degree from the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education in June.

2011 – Construction began on the new science addition to the Davis Street Building. It will house 12 cutting-edge laboratories, a computer lab, four high-technology classrooms and a lecture hall, 15 faculty offices, a conference room and a student lounge.

2011 – Oiler Pointe, at the corner of Morey Avenue and West Foulke Avenue, was acquired and renovated for fall semester as the newest housing option for students desiring substance free-living.

2011 – A master of science in health informatics was approved in fall 2011.


2011 – Byron Pitts, contributing correspondent for “60 Minutes” and CBS News chief national correspondent, was the inaugural speaker on Nov. 4 for the Dr. and Mrs. DeBow Freed Contemporary Christian Lecture Series.   


2011 – Noted children’s book author and artist Steven Kellogg donated his life’s work of 2,700 pieces of original artwork to the Mazza Museum. The acquisition was made possible, in part, by a $350,000 gift from Kellogg’s close friend Anthony Edwards, the actor best known for his role as Dr. Mark Greene in the hit television series “ER.” Kellogg was awarded an honorary doctor of humane letters during a campus visit on Nov. 12.   


2011 – The University of Findlay, with help from community members, faculty, staff and students, collected a record 37,271 pounds of food on Nov. 9 during Sodexo’s Helping Hands Across American food drive. Donations were given to Chopin Hall in Findlay. UF collected a total of 101,600 pounds since the event began in 2006.   


2011 – The campus celebrated reaching the goal of the 125th Endowed Funds Drive in December, with Ronald and Doris Niekamp establishing the 125th endowed fund, the Ronald and Doris Niekamp Basketball Endowment Fund in support of the men’s varsity basketball program.   


2012 – Terry and Betty Terhark committed $1 million, in conjunction with the Give Voice to Your Values Campaign, to upgrade and update Old Main, where the College of Business is located, to make it more energy efficient and attractive, and to create a $300,000 endowed scholarship fund designated for Liberty-Benton High School students attending The University of Findlay.   


2012 – The Thomas and Kathleen Donnell Broadway Concert Series Endowment Fund, established by the Donnells, along with the James H. Brannigan Musical Theatre Guest Artist Endowment Fund, established by Peggy McGinty Brannigan in memory of her husband, were created to bring a second Broadway guest artist to campus each academic year to provide community entertainment and opportunities for UF students to learn from accomplished professionals.   


2012 – The sixth annual Symposium for Scholarship and Creativity was held on April 12, featuring the University awards ceremony; honors and awards ceremonies for each of the six colleges, along with presentations by alumni guest speakers; and presentations and poster sessions given by more than 300 students demonstrating their research and creative projects.