On May 11, 1962, thirty-eight-year-old Vernon R. Alden was inaugurated as the 15th president of Ohio University. This year, Ohio University Libraries is celebrating the 50th anniversary of Emeritus President Alden’s inauguration with events and accolades.
The celebration will include art exhibits, and special anniversary dinners and events with esteemed guests such as President of Ohio University Roderick McDavis and Emeritus President Charles J. Ping. Student reunions including groups such as the Ohio Fellows and former library student employees will also be part of the year-long 50th anniversary celebration.
Alden served as president from 1962-1969. During that time, he had a profound impact on the university. His administration saw a doubling of enrollment and faculty, a 750-acre expansion of campus including the development of the South Green, the completion of the West Green, and the construction of the iconic Convocation Center and a new regional airport. He also helped to improve economic growth in southeastern Ohio by working to reroute the flood-prone Hocking River and aiding in the construction of the Appalachian Highway Network. During his time as president, six regional campuses of Ohio University were built including Ohio University Zanesville and Chillicothe.
Alden not only expanded the University geographically, but also academically. He pioneered innovative educational programs such as the Ohio Fellows Program, the Cutler Program of Individualized Studies, the Honors College and a Black Studies Institute. He was also instrumental in expanding international exchange student programs.
“One cannot visit this campus without sensing the feeling of expectation that even higher levels of accomplishment and service will be achieved. The essential elements exist for continued growth,” said Vernon R. Alden during his inaugural address. Fifty years later, Vernon R. Alden still plays an integral role in the University’s continued growth acting as the Honorary Chair of the University Libraries’ “Promise Lives” Capital Campaign Committee and as a member of the Ohio Bobcat Club National Board of Directors
On behalf of all the librarians, staff, student employees and Friends of the Libraries, we congratulate President Emeritus Vernon R. Alden on the 50th anniversary of his inauguration and thank him for his continued dedication to Ohio University.