The Archives are located off site so availability is by appointment during the week.
If you are interested in the Archives or Special Collections please contact the Curator.
Curator, Special Collections
Ashland University Library, Main Floor
509 College Ave
Ashland University Archives contains historical records from Ashland University and some related organizations. Although coverage varies we have some records from the early days through the present.
The purpose of the Ashland University Archives is to collect, organize, preserve, index, and make available for research use historical information related to the following organizations: Ashland University, the Ashbook Center, and the Brethren Church.
Most of the collection is searchable online at https://ashland.pastperfectonline.com/. If you are looking for something specific and cannot locate it please reach out to the Curator (Jessica Byers).
The Ashland University Archives contains photographs, yearbooks, and institutional files from Ashland University as well as collections from the Ashbook Center and the Brethren Church.
Our former longtime Archivist, Dave Roepke, has created some pages that are of interest about Ashland University.
On June 28, 1877, a town meeting was held in Ashland, Ohio, where the citizens of Ashland were to consider a proposal from members of the German Baptist Brethren Church to establish an institution of higher education. The Ashland Press reported that the citizens were promised the college would locate there if their city would raise $10,000.
The church and community fund raising campaign proved to be a success and on Feb. 17, 1878, a meeting was held to add up campaign funds and make final plans. The success of the campaign was announced, the College was chartered on Feb. 20 and a church-related, co-educational institution was established.
In April of 1878, the board of trustees decided to purchase the “most desirable plot in town - 28 acres on the hill.” The first buildings to be constructed were Founders Hall and Allen Hall, constructed from bricks made on the site. Classes opened at Ashland College on Sept. 17, 1879, with around 60 students and eight faculty members.
The new institution grew slowly during its first few decades, but enrollment reached the 200 mark shortly after the turn of the century. By the 1950s, the College had added many new programs of study and experienced rapid growth from about 300 students to more than 2,500 in 1970. In 1989, college officials decided to change the name of the institution to Ashland University to reflect more accurately what the college had become – an institution almost evenly divided between graduate and undergraduate students.
Progress continued on campus during the 1990s and 2000s with the construction of several new academic buildings as well as a new Student Center, Recreation Center, and Athletic Complex. In 2010, the University acquired MedCentral College of Nursing in Mansfield and constructed the state-of-the-art Dwight Schar College of Nursing and Health Sciences facility in Mansfield, which opened for classes in 2012.
Today, situated on a beautiful 135-acre campus with trees, brick walkways and flower gardens, Ashland University affords close proximity to the big city while offering the advantages of an intimate campus experience in a small-town setting. Deeply rooted in tradition, yet always moving forward, AU provides unparalleled opportunities for students to learn, grow and find their place in the world.
The University has grown to 6,600 total students and is ranked in the top tier of the colleges and universities in U.S. News and World Report’s National Universities category. Ashland University continues to value the individual student by offering a unique educational experience that combines the challenge of strong, applied academic programs with a faculty and staff who build nurturing relationships with their students.
The Ashland University eagle statue refers to the small 4-foot tall eagles which are placed around the Ashland campus. The tradition of placing eagle statues on the campus dates to 1941 when the first eagle statue appeared through the effort of the student body. Initially, the statues were the trade mark for the Case Implement tractor company. Local Case tractor dealers had the eagle statue located outside of their business. Through the mischievous efforts of the Ashland student body these eagle statues began to appear on the campus. In 1965 The Case Implement Company donated the rights to produce the statue along with a large 20-foot eagle statue known as “Old Abe” to Ashland University.
The location and names of the 27 eagles on campus are as follows:
In Honor of
for the Humanities
for the Arts-Arts & Humanities
Clayton, Ashland president 1965.
named Sam, later re-named CK for Circle K Club 1971.
Jacobs-Ashland president 1958.
Consumer Sciences Center
Davis-manager of the Eagles Nest 1963.
Puterbaugh alias Charlie in memory of Charles Kettering 1963.
Parton-2000 director of the Ashbrook Center.
Myers-benefactor for Myers Hall 1959.
Phi Psi House
Cadley-2000 education professor.
Sheets Rybolt 2006.
Richard E. And Sandra J. Dauch
College of Business and Economics
In honor of Richard E. Dauch.
Schar College of Nursing and
Health SciencesMansfield, Ohio
In honor of Martha Schar 2012
Martinelli-physical education professor and coach 2009.
Historical information regarding the campus and its buildings.
Buildings listed by year of construction
Destroyed by fire in 1952.
Rebuilt in 1955
First building on the Ashland campus.
Jack and Deb Miller Chapel
Groundbreaking on September 29, 1950
Dedicated August 22, 1952
Constructed with Monies raised by the Women’s Missionary Society of the Brethren Church.
Renovated 2006 with support from Jack and Deb Miller-building renamed in their honor.
Phyllis Jacobson Kates Center for Family and Consumer Sciences
Rededicated September 24, 1977.
Initially constructed as the student union in 1953.
Groundbreaking October 23, 1954.
Corner stone laid June 1, 1955.
Named for Dr. Edwin Jacob’s, Ashland University president.
Groundbreaking May 9, 1958.
Named for longtime Ashland University benefactor, Kate Moore Myers.
Center for the Humanities
Constructed originally with one floor; used as the Central Services building from 1965 to 1968.
1968 two additional floors added.
Renamed for Dr. Raymond Bixler, Ashland University president on November 1, 1970.
Building renovated and renamed the Center for the Humanities 2007.
Used as the university library until 1972.
Renovated and renamed Patterson Student Center 1974
Converted into the Technology Center 1997.
Kettering Science Center
Groundbreaking October 5, 1962
Dedicated March 14, 1964
Renovated and expanded 2006
Named for local area inventor Charles F. Kettering.
Groundbreaking June 5, 1963
Dedicated October 1964
Redwood Dining Hall
Groundbreaking September 23, 1964
Named for both Dr. Glenn L. Clayton, Ashland University president, and former
Formerly the Pontiac Garage built in 1924.
Clark and Kilhefner Halls
Groundbreaking May 22, 1965
Dedicated October 30, 1966
Named for the families of J. L. Clark and Isaac Kilhefner, former members of the Ashland University board of trustees.
Buildings are located on the former site of Redwood Stadium.
Physical Education Center
Conard Field House
Groundbreaking May 22, 1965.
Conard Field House named for John and Pearl Conard.
Mr. Conard was a former member of the Ashland University board of trustees.
Named for Dr. May Pyle Andrews, professor of English.
Kem and Amstutz Halls
Named for former trustees, Myron S. Kem and Harvey J. Amstutz.
Gill Center for Business and Economic Education
Donated to Ashland University August 1968
Former home of R. C. Garettson.
Arts and Humanities Building
Center for the Arts
Groundbreaking February 24, 1968
Dedicated February 22, 1970
John C. Myers Convocation Center
Dedicated November 1, 1970
Named for John C. Myers longtime Ashland University benefactor.
Completed January 1, 1972
130 feet tall, it is the tallest building in Ashland County.
Wurster Fitness Center
Groundbreaking December 11, 1989
Named for the family of Tom and Ann Wurster.
Tom Wurster graduated from Ashland University 1964.
Hawkins-Conard Student Center
Groundbreaking April 21, 1995
Dedicated October 12, 1996
Named for Earl and Betty Hawkins
John and Pearl Conard
Richard E. and Sandra J. Dauch
College and Business and Economics
Groundbreaking May 10, 2002
Dedicated November 14 and 21, 2003
Funded by Richard E. and Sandra J. Dauch family foundation Burton D. Morgan foundation
Rybolt Sports Sciences Center
Dwight Schar College of Education