Ohio State University was established in 1870 as an agricultural and mechanical college, but with a wide-ranging curriculum that included English and ancient and foreign languages. This legacy has continued to the present day, with the university still offering a broad liberal arts education.
With just 24 students in its initial cohort in 1873, the public university is now one of America’s largest higher education institution. More than 50,000 students study across 15 colleges at its main 1,900-acre campus. Four buildings on campus are listed on the National Register of Historic Places: Hale Hall (originally Enarson Hall), Hayes Hall, Ohio Stadium, and Orton Hall.
The university is renowned for its academic medical centre and cancer hospital and research centre. It also boasts more than 10 museums and galleries, a 60-acre arboretum and a four-acre park dedicated to cancer survivors with sculptures, a walkway and plaques. In 2013-14, the university’s total research expenditure topped $982 million.
Students can also benefit from culture in Columbus, which features a Center of Science and Industry, three historic theatres and a zoo, and hosts a wide range of festivals.
Ohio State University now has more than 500,000 living alumni. Notable former students include pop artist Roy Lichtenstein, businessman Les Wexner, actor Patricia Heaton and writer R. L. Stine.
The university has more than 1,000 student organisations; intercollegiate, club and recreational sports programmes; student media organisations and publications, fraternities and sororities; and three student governments.
The university particularly excels in sports and alumni from Ohio State University have gone on to win 100 Olympic medals (46 gold, 35 silver, and 23 bronze).