Historical Timeline of WSU Happenings

1961

Stanley Allyn meets with Novice Fawcett concerning a proposed state bond that includes a college in the Dayton area.

1962

Community fundraising drive nets $3 million in seed money to establish a public university in the Dayton area.

428-acre parcel of land next to Airway Road and Wright-Patterson Air Force Base purchased.

1963

Founders Robert S. Oleman and Stanley C. Allyn, with Campus Business Manager Frederick A. White, break ground for WSU's first building, Allyn Hall.

1964

The Dayton Campus of Miami University and Ohio State University opens in Allyn Hall September 8 with 3,203 students registered for classes and 55 faculty members. The campus comprised general college, science and engineering, Dayton academic center of Miami University, and graduate center of Ohio State University.

1965

State Bill #210 passed to create WSU as an independent state university, contingent upon enrollment totals.

A contest attracts dozens of suggestions for the university name, from Buckskin University to Whatsamatta U. The Ohio General Assembly approves the name Wright State to honor Dayton's Wright Brothers.

1966

Dr. Brage Golding, dean of Purdue University School of Engineering, is selected as the first Wright State University president.

1967

Wright State receives independent status when enrollment reaches 5,704.

Graduate studies department created.

1968

Wright State University holds its first commencement ceremony on Founders Quadrangle.

Lake Campus branch opens in Celina.

Soccer becomes WSU's first intercollegiate sport. A team of walk-ons, under Coach Bela Wollner, compiles a 8-3-2 record.

WSU receives full accreditation by the North Central Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools.

1969

The Ohio General Assembly approves the largest single physical expansion in 20 years with a $14 million appropriation to build the University Library, Creative Arts Center, and Physical Education Building.

John Ross is hired as the first men's basketball coach and varsity games are played at Stebbins High School.

Student Caucus sponsers WrightStock, modeled after Woodstock, on Achilles Hill at the eastern edge of campus.

1970

Hamilton Hall opens, housing the first 242 students to live on campus.

Enrollment reaches 11,000.

1971

The first WSU October Daze is held. The three-day party features a battle of bands, nightly film classics, helicopter rides, and a flea market.

C.J. McLin dedicates the Bolinga Black Cultural Resources Center, which opened on Martin Luther King Jr.'s birthday to promote understanding of the culture and heritage of black Americans.

1972

WSU established its first women's intercollegiate sports teams: tennis and softball.

Graduating class numbers 2,500.

When President Golding leaves to become president of San Diego State University, vice president and "first employee" Frederick White becomes acting president.

1973

Dr. Robert J. Kegerreis becomes Wright State's second president.

The new University Library and Physical Education Building open.

The School of Nursing admits its first students.

1974

Students organize a drive to raise funds and gather food, clothing, and blankets for victims of the April 4 Xenia tornado. More than $3,000 and 69 van-loads of groceries are collected.

The Creative Arts Center opens, marking a dramatic expansion of the performing arts.

1975

WSU's first appearance in a postseason NCAA tournament comes when the Raider men's baseball team comes in third at the Mideast Regional Tournament. It is Ron Nischwitz's first season as head coach.

First Alumni Teaching Excellence Awards are presented at June commencement.

1976

First students admitted to the School of Medicine.

Controversy swirls around a student request to show the film, Deep Throat. Ironically, while the university seeks an injunction against the showing, Bob Woodward speaks at WSU about Watergate and...Deep Throat.

1977

Governor James Rhodes response to the national energy crisis by ordering businesses to cut their hours and public schools to close. Universities are among the few "essential" institutions allowed to continue regular operations in the 24-county area served by DP&L. Thermostats are lowered, hot water taps turned off, and lights dimmed across campus.

WWSU hits the airwaves as an FM station (88.5) for the first time on April 4. The station originated as a closed-circuit, campus-only station in 1968, extending an AM signal to Hamilton Hall in 1971. (WWSU now broadcasts on 106.9 FM).

Enrollment reaches 14,362.

1978

In January, the heaviest Miami Valley snowfalls since 1918 close the campus from January 16 through 18, and again January 26 and 27.

WSU holds its first Campus Scholarship Campaign, with faculty and staff donating more than $39,000 to provide scholarships for continuing students.

1979

First students admitted to the School of Professional Psychology.

WSU Theater's production of Look Back in Anger is invited to perform at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts by the American College Theatre Festival. Only the top-10 college productions in the nation are invited each year.

WSU men win the Third Annual National Intercollegiate Wheelchair Basketball Tournament.

1980

Theatre in Ohio 1980 survey, published by the Ohio Theater Alliance, lists WSU Theater's audiences as the largest of any college or university in the state. Attendance during 1980 is over 38,000.

1982

The WSU delegation to the National Collegiate Model United Nations returns for the first time with the top award, beginning an unparalleled 16-year streak of bringing home top awards at the annual event.

1983

The WSU men's basketball team, under the direction of Coach Ralph Underhill, wins the NCAA Division II national tournament.

Paraplegic Nan Davis walks at June commencement by means of computer-controlled, electric stimulation research done at Wright State. Dr. Jerrold Petrofsky and his staff gain national attention for their work with paralyzed patients.

The Alumni Association presents its first Outstanding Alumni Achievement Award.

1984

The WSU international student exchange program wins the G. Theodore Mitau Award for Innovation and Change in Higher Education. The award is based on Wright State's unique jobs program for students to fund their participation in exchange programs with Japanese and Brazilian universities.

The WSU Department of Theater Arts wins the first of two Ohio Program Excellence Awards.

1985

Dr. Paige E. Mulhollan becomes the university's third president.

Faculty members Thomas Whissen and David Garrison compose the WSU Alma Mater as part of the university's 20th anniversary celebration. It is performed for the first time at commencement.

1986

WSU Board of Trustees approves a new mission statement, identifying WSU as a "metropolitan university" committed to providing leadership in addressing the educational, social, cultural, economic, and technological needs of the Miami Valley.

Wright State forms a partnership with six area educational institutions and area businesses to form EMTEC, the Edison Materials Technology Engineering Center.

An eight-student team wins the National Intercollegiate Mock Trial Tournament in Iowa, defeating Northwestern University in the finals.

Enrollment nears 17,000.

1987

The College of Education and Human Services, and Dayton Public Schools agree to jointly operate the E.J. Brown School as a "living, learning laboratory."

WSU athletics move to NCAA Division I.

Enrollment hits 17,066.

1988

The Motion Pictures area of the Department of Theater Arts wins an Ohio Program Excellence award.

1990

WSU hosts the first national conference of metropolitan universities and launches an academic journal as a forum for metropolitan universities.

The Financial Services program in the Department of Finance, Insurance, and Real Estate wins an Ohio Program Excellence award.

The Nutter Center opens with commencement and a performance of the Boston Pops Espanade Orchestra.

WSU research funding tops $20 million.

1992

The Kellogg Foundation announces a $2 million grant to WSU to fund The Partners for Community Health Development Project. The project is designed to improve health care delivery to underserved residents of both east and west Dayton, and to develop innovative ways to train health care professionals in medicine, nursing, and psychology.

The largest academic building on campus, the Fritz and Dolores Russ Engineering Center, opens, serving as a centerpiece of engineering and computer science research in the region.

Accounting students take top prize in the nation in the annual Case Competition. (WSU students win again in 1994.)

1993

The Center for Teaching and Learning opens, offering programs and assistance to faculty in improving teaching.

The Women's Center opens.

On-campus housing reaches the 2,000 student level with the addition of The Village, apartment units for graduate and married students.

The men's basketball team wins the MidContinent Conference title and advances to the NCAA tournament.

1994

Dr. Harley E. Flack becomes Wright State's fourth president.

WSU, the University of Dayton, and the Air Force Institute of Technology sign an agreement to create the Dayton Area Graduate Studies Institute (DAGSI) to provide the community with a top-notch advanced engineering education and research center.

Fund-raising efforts exceed $2.7 million.

1996

Virginia Kettering endows $1 million scholarship for geriatric medical education.

External funding tops $26 million.

WSU granted new Ph.D. program in engineerign by Ohio Board of Regents.

Enrollment totals 15,697.

1997

WSU's original production of 1913: The Great Dayton Flood opens the 29th Annual American College Theatre Festival at the Kennedy Center.

WSU breaks ground on a new academic building, which will house the College of Nursing and Health, School of Graduate Studies, and administrative offices.

The Information Technology Research Institute, a cooperative research and development organization, established.

For more information, please see WSU's "Celebrating 40+ Years of History."

3640 Colonel Glenn Highway, Dayton, Ohio 45435. Phone: (937) 775-2525