Courtesy of University Archives
Raise your Buckeye history IQ
Brush up on your Ohio State know-how with a free online course offered in honor of the university’s 150th anniversary.
You can wear your Pajamas to Buckeye Biography: 150 Years of Ohio State, a class in which you’ll explore the history of the university with Associate Professor of History David Staley ’86, ’88 MA, ’93 PhD and University Archivist Tamar Chute. The class is available through the spring semester to anyone interested in learning more about the Ohio State story. We asked Staley what we can expect.
Best in class
No tuition fee, no need to set an alarm. Just visit 150.osu.edu to enroll in Buckeye Biography.
- How is the course curriculum organized?
I always teach in my history classes that to be a historian means to read and analyze documents. Because we’re working with University Archives on this, we have four to six documents for each module, and we ask the participants to “be a historian” and analyze those documents. For instance, for the module on the Thompson era, we have two speeches: one he gave at the beginning of his tenure as president — he served over 25 years and was our longest-serving president — and one toward the end of his presidency.
- What does this course cover that alumni might not know about?
I think something people will learn they weren’t expecting is how differentiated and hierarchical gender was. Attitudes toward gender really don’t start to change until the late 1960s and early 1970s, but literally there were separate facilities for women. There were two student unions, for instance. Women weren’t permitted in the men’s union — certainly not to dine. It wasn’t until they built a separate union for women that they had something like a student union.
- What do you hope those who take this course come away with?
A better understanding that Ohio State is a leading research university. We’ve been a member of the Association of American Universities, which is composed of the elite research universities, since 1916. Yes, we have a proud tradition of athletics, but we’re more than just a football school. We also have a unique student life. The flavor and texture of this university is determined as much by its student life as anything else.
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