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Mount Union Historical Timeline

Below are merely a few of the moments that have shaped Mount Union over the past 175 years.

Timeline of events (by decade)

  1. 1840s


    Orville Nelson Hartshorn, a 23-year-old graduate of Allegheny College, visits the village of Mount Union where his sister is ill. After meeting with the Alliance community, he begins his “Select School” on October 20 with six students enrolled.


    The “Select School” is renamed “Mount Union Seminary” with an increased enrollment of 76 students.

  2. 1850s


    “Mount Union Seminary” is officially chartered on January 9 under the laws of the State of Ohio as Mount Union College

    The first college commencement is held on June 17. Jane Weston, the first female student at Mount Union, graduates with a B.S. degree and becomes its first female faculty member one semester later

  3. 1860s


    “College Hall,” now known as Chapman Hall, is dedicated on December 1. Former United States Supreme Court Justice Salmon P. Chase speaks at the dedication prior to his appointment.


    Miller Hall, Mount Union’s first residence hall, is built and named in honor of Lewis Miller.


    Hartshorn’s dream of building a great museum comes true with Chapman Hall becoming home to an Egyptian mummy and stuffed gorilla.

  4. 1870s


    Mount Union becomes one of the first higher education institutions to offer a summer term.

  5. 1880s


    Mount Union’s first Greek letter organization, the Alpha Nu chapter of Alpha Tau Omega, becomes one of 14 national chapters established.


    The Sigma Boys, a group of members of Delta Tau Delta, form the Sigma chapter of Sigma Alpha Epsilon.


    Wayne Manzilla, the first African-American to graduate from Mount Union, receives his degree. The Manzilla Diversity Internship Program and Manzilla Multicultural Award are named in his honor.

  6. 1890s


    The lyrics to the Alma Mater are written by student John Vizzard Haskell. Though sung at special college occasions until the turn of the century, it is not officially adopted as the Alma Mater.

    President Marsh campaigns for a school newspaper, and the first issue of The Dynamo is published in June.


    Mount Union’s men’s basketball team plays its first game in the newly-constructed Morgan Gymnasium. It is one of the first college basketball teams in the country.


    A rivalry between Alpha Tau Omega and Sigma Alpha Epsilon develops, leaving President Marsh to a third fraternity on campus could ease the tension. Thus, the Beta Iota chapter of Sigma Nu is established in July, the first Sigma Nu chapter in Ohio.

  7. 1900s


    While traveling to a game in Oberlin, the football manager realizes the team did not have the school colors of turquoise and lavender with them. He goes to the nearest dry goods store to purchase ribbons with the team’s colors. When neither are available, he purchases purple, leading to the school colors of today.


    On August 20, the SL Club becomes the Gamma chapter of Alpha Xi Delta.


    By the beginning of the century, enrollment rises to more than 300 students.

  8. 1910s


    The new football stadium is dedicated and soon named Hartshorn Stadium. The named is later changed to Mount Union Stadium, which is recognized as the oldest college football stadium in Ohio.


    In February, the National Phrencon Association, which was a non-Greek letter fraternity established on campus in 1915, becomes the Epsilon chapter of Phi Kappa Tau. It is the fifth chapter to be established in the United States.

  9. 1920s


    In June, the local Phi Delta Pi sorority becomes the Alpha Eta chapter of Alpha Chi Omega.


    The college faculty abolishes the “Council of Elders,” a group of upperclassmen who force certain traditions on people and commit to outright hazing. A new body of government, Student Senate, is created a few months later.

    Soldiers’ Memorial Hall is built in honor of the 687 men and women from the Mount Union family and the other 1,965 from the Alliance area who took part in uniformed service during WWI.


    Enrollment continues to rise to more than 500 students over a 20-year period.


    On October 6, the Mount Union football team takes on the University of Michigan.

  10. 1930s


    The first night football game in the Ohio Conference is held at Mount Union with the use of a white ball. Mount Union defeated Kent State University 18-6.


    Dancing is sanctioned by Mount Union leadership for the first time, not long after smoking regulations in the residence halls is lifted.

  11. 1940s


    Mount Union becomes a training center for Air Corps students. Due to lack of housing, one group of cadets is housed in Elliott Hall.


    In March, Zeta Kappa Phi local sorority becomes the Gamma Theta chapter of Alpha Delta Pi.


    Through the efforts of student Jack McIntosh, “The Escape Hatch” snack bar is opened in the basement of Miller Hall.

  12. 1960s


    During the summer, the Hoover-Price Campus Center is completed and named in honor of the Hoover Company of North Canton and Mr. and Mrs. H.C. Price, the principal donors for the new building.


    The Conservatory of Music, which was purchased by Mount Union in 1884 and later housed the first four presidents, is torn down. Cope Music Hall, now named The Giese Center for the Performing Arts, stands in its place.


    Chapman Hall celebrates its 100th year in existence. The building is gutted and rebuilt resulting in many improvements.


    The Timken Foundation of Canton announces the presentation of $750,000 to Mount Union to be used toward the cost of a new physical education building and to be matched by the institution through alumni and community support.

    In January, four students begin WRMU 590 AM in the basement of Miller Hall. The college station, now 91.1 FM, attracts listeners from across the country today. 


    A Select School, the history of Mount Union College, is written by N. Yost Osborne, the college librarian.

    Several Mount Union women study abroad during the winter at the University of the Americas in Mexico City.

    Notable Performers & Speakers: Dionne Warwick


    The Black Student Union, at the instance of student John Wright, is organized. That same year, African-American student Hayes Willis is elected Student Senate president, and in April, is named Outstanding Senior Man.

    Notable Performers & Speakers: Neil Diamond & The Sandpipers


    Notable Performers: The Four Seasons

  13. 1970s


    The new physical education building is constructed and named the Timken Physical Education Building.

    The Association of International Students (AIS) is created.


    Beeghly Hall is built and Judd House is torn down.

    Notable Performers: The Byrds


    Judd House, a three-story, 24 bedroom “hotel” which houses students, becomes the administration building in 1936. In 1972, Beeghly Hall is built and Judd House is torn down.

    Notable Performers: Ted Nugent and the Amboy Dukes


    A group of men, led by Mark Haidet, remove roughly five truckloads of algae from the campus lakes in a restoration effort.

    Under Head Coach Jim Wuske, the Mount Union Cross Country Team scores 105 points at the Chicago Country Club, winning the Division III National Championship.

    Black students at Mount Union establish a chapter of the Alpha Phi Alpha, the oldest Black fraternity in the nation. The local chapter is the only Black fraternity on any small Ohio campus.


    The Non-Traditional Studies program is introduced, in which adults can work toward their college degree by meeting on their own time and interests.


    Notable Performers: The Michael Stanley Band

  14. 1980s


    The faculty votes to add a Department of Computer Science, which has 150 students within a few years.

    Notable Performers: The Donnie Iris Band

    The Baika program is initiated on campus, which is designed to create interaction between Mount Union students and students from Baika Women’s College in Japan.


    Lamborn Science Hall, built in 1914, is torn down after Tolerton-Hood Hall of Science is built.

    Notable Performers: Huey Lewis and the News


    Dr. John D. Brumbaugh donates land six miles south of campus in honor of his grandfather, Mr. John T. Huston. The land, used as a center for environmental education, is named the John T. Huston-Dr. John D. Brumbaugh Nature Center.


    Notable Speakers: Former U.S. President Gerald Ford


    Notable Speaker: Carl Sagan

  15. 1990s


    The Delta Sigma Tau sorority was established on campus on January 21. 


    The Dynamo announces that it is printing the newspaper on recycled paper. Not long before, Campus Concerned and Students for Environmental Awareness organize a recycling operation where recycling barrels are placed in all residence halls and are emptied every Sunday.

    Notable Speakers: Rev. Jesse Jackson


    Head Coach Larry Kehres ’73 leads the Mount Union football team to its first NCAA Division III National Championship, defeating Rowan College 34-24. It is the first of 13 national championships for the football team to date.


    Hoiles-Peterson Residence Hall, a gift from Donald ’39 and Josephine (Hoiles ’40) Peterson of Alliance, is dedicated.


    Following the razing of Soldiers’ Memorial Hall due to declining conditions, the plaques commemorating the service of local soldiers are moved around the Bicentennial Bell Tower.


    The Board of Trustees authorizes three new projects totaling $19.5 million that were not part of the original campaign- Kolenbrander-Harter Information Center, Dewald Chapel, and Shield Residence Hall.  

    Endowment reaches the $100 million mark. 

    Notable Speakers: Sandra Day O’Connor and Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.


    Ground is broken on the Dewald Chapel, Kolenbrander-Harter Information Center and Shields Residence Hall.  


    Bica-Ross Residence Hall is dedicated.  

    The Progress with Tradition campaign ends with $63.6 million raised .

  16. 2000s


    Kolenbrander-Harter Information Center is opened and dedicated.  

    Shields Residence Hall and the Eckler Garden are dedicated at Alumni Weekend. 

    Jim and Vanita (Bauknight ‘63) Oelschlager committed to provide a major gift for a new natural sciences facility and President Ewing facilitated a comprehensive planning process involving the entire science faculty.  

    Purple Raiders Football Team wins the NCAA Division III National Championship. 


    The Gulling Training Center was completed and dedicated on campus. 

    Renovations to Mount Union Stadium included an expansion of the covered stands adding seating for 600 more people.  

    Purple Raiders Football Team wins the NCAA Division III National Championship. 


    The College added a new major field of study, biochemistry. 

    Purple Raiders Football Team wins the NCAA Division III National Championship. 

    Notable Speakers: Archbishop Desmond Tutu


    Mount Union received continued accreditation without conditions for the next 10 years from the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (NCA). 

    Bracy Hall, a new natural science facility, opened for the fall semester.  

    The new Black Cultural Center was dedicated.

    Purple Raiders Football Team wins the NCAA Division III National Championship.   


    U.S. Congress passed and appropriations bill, awarding $1 million to the College for a Center for Public Service. 


    The College added a new major field of study, Neuroscience. 

     The dedication of a new house for the Sigma Nu fraternity ushers in an era of campus revitalization.

    Purple Raiders Football Team wins the NCAA Division III National Championship. 


    Mount Union takes steps to create what is referred to as a 24/7 campus – one that provides students with the modern conveniences they require in order to feel “at home” at Mount Union.  

    Purple Raiders Football Team wins the NCAA Division III National Championship. 


    The College added a new major field of study, Criminal Justice. 

    The University welcomes a record-breaking class of more than 700 new students, a number that would be surpassed in both 2008 and 2012.  

    The Hoover-Price Campus Center, the Brown Village, Hartshorn Village were all constructed in 2007.  

    Notable SpeakersKen Burns


    The College added a new major field of study, Environmental Science. 

    Mount Union’s physician assistant (PA) studies program, the first graduate pro- gram on campus in nearly a century, is granted provisional accreditation from the Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant, Inc. (ARC-PA).    

    Purple Raiders Football Team wins the NCAA Division III National Championship. 


    A number of new diversity-related organizations, including current organizations such as Active Minds, the Association of Internation- al Students, the Black Student Union, Brothers Building Bonds, Gender Equity Matters, Hispanic Organization Latin America (HOLA), PRIDE, Sister Circle, and Spiritual Life Leadership . 

    The McPherson Academic and Athletic Complex and the Gartner Welcome Center were constructed in 2009.  

  17. 2010s


    The College added a new major field of study, Civil Engineering and Mechanical Engineering.  

    August 1, 2010, marks the official change to the University of Mount Union.  

    Oak Hall and the Academic Mall were constructed in 2010.  


    Mount Union partner with the City of Alliance to establish a September 11 Memorial at Silver Park. 

    The members of the Mount Union Board of Trustees approve the addition of men’s and women’s lacrosse teams to the University’s intercollegiate athletic program.  

    The Union Avenue West Village was constructed in 2011.  


    Purple Raiders Football Team wins the NCAA Division III National Championship. 

    The University added a new major field of study, Nursing. 

    With a general education curriculum that hadn’t been revised in nearly three decades, the Mount Union faculty develops and launches the Integrative Core – a collection of foundational courses that ensures a well-rounded educational experience.  

    Phi Kappa Tau Fraternity House was renovated in 2012.  


    The University added a new major field of study, Human Development and Family Science. 

    Alpha Tau Omega Fraternity House, Delta Sigma Tau Sorority House, Mount Union Stadium, and the Mount Union Stadium Plaza were all renovated in 2013.  

    Notable Speaker: Senator Cory Booker


    Mount Union launches the Investment Alliance initiative. Through the program, the top 15 students of each Alliance High School graduating class who meet the eligibility requirements of the program are awarded full-tuition undergraduate awards to Mount Union that are renewable for up to four years. 

    Galleher Hall, KHIC Learning Commons, and Riggs Plaza were renovated in 2014.  

    Men’s Outdoor Track Team win the NCAA Division III Championship.


    The year also featured the dedication and opening of the Richard F. and Sandra L. Giese Center for the Performing Arts. 

    Wable Park, Tolerton and Hood Hall, the third floor of KHIC, van den Eyden Hall, The Giese Center for Performing Arts, and Rafeld-Rogers Field were all either constructed or renovated in 2015.  

    Purple Raiders Football Team wins the NCAA Division III National Championship. 


    The development of the Faculty Senate and Administrative Advisory Committee (to complement the existing Support Staff Advisory Council) was created to strengthen leadership development and succession processes within the Board of Trustees. 


    The University starts the Dick Merriman and Margot Kelman President’s Rescue Fund. This fund is designed for juniors and seniors who have explored all financial aid and loan options to support their education, but still need a little help to get them to the finish line.  

    Purple Raiders Football Team wins the NCAA Division III National Championship. 

    Notable Speakers: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar


    The University added a new major field of study, Biomedical Engineering, Computer Engineering, and Electrical Engineering.  

    Men’s Outdoor Track Team wins their second NCAA Division III Championship. 

    Men’s Indoor Track Team wins their first NCAA Division III Championship, in addition to numerous individual titles.  

    Competitive Cheer and Dance Teams are added.


    Mount Union reorganizes its academic structure into three distinct colleges within the institution. The College of Applied and Social Sciences, College of Arts and Humanities, and College of Natural and Health Sciences are established as a result.  

    The University would announce the creation of the Mount Union Pell Opportunity Grant, which would bridge the entire gap between tuition costs and what families of modest financial means can afford to pay toward a college degree.  

    The University added a new major field of study, Risk management and Insurance.  

    Wable Park, Tolerton and Hood Hall, the third floor of KHIC, van den Eyden Hall, and Rafeld-Rogers Field were all either constructed or renovated in 2019. 

    Men’s Volleyball Team was added to the athletic program.  

    Esports is added. 

    Notable Speaker: Margaret Atwood


    The Capers Football Coaching Center was constructed in 2020.