Brage Golding, known as an innovator with an entrepreneurial spirit, was named Wright State University's first president in 1966. He came to the fledgling independent university from Purdue University's School of Chemical Engineering, where he served as dean.
During his six-year tenure as president, the university expanded to include an impressive library, a student center with adjacent student housing, a gymnasium, and a creative arts center. Full accreditation, both at the graduate and undergraduate level, was achieved. Enrollment grew to more than 11,000, and the faculty expanded from 140 to 450. Under Golding's leadership, Wright State University grew to encompass four colleges, three divisions, and a graduate school, with branch operations in Celina and Piqua.
Golding earned his bachelor's and doctorate degrees from Purdue University. He left Wright State to assume the presidency of San Diego State University and later Kent State University.
Although Wright State opened its doors in 1964 as the Dayton Campus of Miami and Ohio State Universities, it wasn't until October 1, 1967, that it became Wright State University, when its charter officially went into effect.
When doors opened for classes in 1964, the campus consisted of one building, Allyn Hall. By 1966, when Golding became president, three buildings stood, and when the university was officially chartered on October 1, 1967, it was home to four academic buildings and a student center. The 1960s were a decade of amazing growth for the campus. Between 1964 and 1967, the student body grew from 3,204 to 5,000, and by the 1970-71 academic year, enrollment ballooned to 11,000.
By the end of the decade, the Ohio General Assembly had approved 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.