The University of Akron, Buchtel College

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Summary

The University of Akron is a public research university located in Akron, Ohio, United States. The university is part of the University System of Ohio and is regarded as a world leader in polymer research. As a STEM-focused institution, it focuses on industries such as polymers, advanced materials, and engineering. In the last decade it has sought to increase its research portfolio and gain recognition for its productivity in technology transfer and commercialization.

Details

In 1867, at the annual Convention of the Universalist Church of the state of Ohio, the Committee on Education expressed an interest in founding a college compatible with Universalist religious principles. It was announced that the location would be given to those who could find an appropriate location and also supply $60,000 for the college. John R. Buchtel, a prominent Akron businessman and Universalist, promptly contributed $25,000 to the endowment fund and $6,000 to the building fund. This led other Akronites to donate, setting the goal and securing Akron as the location for Buchtel College, named after its greatest supporter. John R. Buchtel would continue to be the college's most significant contributor, giving $500,000 over his lifetime, approximately equivalent to $16 million today. When the university opened for business in 1872 it was a single building campus, housed in what is now known as "Old Buchtel." George Washington Crouse donated $10,000 of the $20,000 needed to build a new gymnasium, completed in 1888. It was named Crouse Gymnasium in his honor, and was known as "the finest gym west of the Alleghenies."

Tragedy struck the small college on December 20, 1899, when Old Buchtel burned to the ground. Insurance only covered $65,000 of the estimated $100,000 in loss. While new campus buildings were being constructed, the Crouse Gymnasium was divided into seven classrooms and served as the college until a new Buchtel Hall was opened in 1901. The new Buchtel Hall, which itself was gutted by fire in 1971, survives to this day but had some blackening on the exterior up until a 2011 restoration.

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External Links

  • WikipediaOfficial websiteBuchtel College at Ohio History CentralOfficial Athletics website

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