October 12, 1872,
Jesup Wakeman Scott founded The University of Toledo, as a private arts
and trades school, known as Toledo University of Arts and Trades, offering
painting and architectural drawing as its only subjects. Scott, the editor for
The Toledo Blade newspaper from 1844 to 1847, was a public-spirited
Toledoan who felt the city should have a university to train young people for
responsible positions in the growing community. Scott's dream led him to endow
160-acres of land which later became Scott Park Campus. Scott intended that the
income from the property be supplemented with funds from the city to establish
an university, but in 1874 the city had no money to contribute. Jesup
Scott died in 1874. On January 14, 1875, the University opened in
the basement of the half-finished Unitarian Church, known as Raymond Hall on the
corner of Adams and Tenth Streets. Since the University opened without support
from the city, it could only fund one teacher and two or three courses for the
26 students. The school was forced to close in 1878 due to a lack of
funds. The University was really only in existence three out of the 16 years
after its incorporation. In 1883, Toledo became interested in the new
manual training schools for high school students and the Board of Directors
proposed that the University cooperate with the city in offering practical
On January 8, 1884, the assets of the
university were turned over to the city of Toledo establishing it as a municipal
school. The city accepted the land from the Scott trust and levied a tax to
support the University, which reopened in two rooms in Central High School in
the fall of 1884. The city council stipulated, "The first department of
such University shall be designated as The Manual Training School, and shall be
devoted to instruction in the Practical Arts and Trades."
It is interesting to note
that John Dowd was the first man to give tangible subsistence to the infant
University. Dowd served as superintendent of Toledo Public Schools (1880 –
1886) as well as member of the Board of Directors. He is the one who offered
the University a room in Central Catholic high school.
Dowd later became the fourth President of the University.
In 1885, the classes moved to a new building known as the Scott Manual
Training School Annex to the Central High School, and in compliance with the
terms of the Scott trust, the Manual Training School admitted girls in 1886.
The courses included sketching and technical drawing, wood working, metal
working, cooking, and housekeeping. Toledoans believed the school to be one of
the first and best of its kind in the nation. In 1904, it affiliated
with the Toledo Medical College, a fledgling institution in its won right.
While the medical college was forced to close its doors in 1914 because
it could not meet new physician licensing standards, the University gained a
College of Pharmacy from the brief relationship. The University's curriculum
began to move away from a secondary school focus to become a baccalaureate
degree granting institution. The formal opening of the new University building
on the corner of Eleventh and Illinois Street was on January 30, 1914.
The University later changing its name to Toledo University. By the fall of
1922, the decision had been made to move day classes from the Illinois
Street Building to the Scott farm tract out on Nebraska Avenue. This brick
building, later designated as the Science Building, had been constructed by the
U.S. Government during World War I for the purpose of training engineers in an
automobile mechanics training facility. After the Toledo voters passed a bond
levy in 1928, main campus was moved north to the land located on Bancroft
Street, with University Hall being the first building constructed in 1931.
On July 1, 1967, The University was given
the status of a state-funded university by the Ohio General Assembly and became
known as The University of Toledo. The University of Toledo has since grown to
house 8 colleges, a student population of 20,000, and four campuses on more than
450 acres of land.
On July 1,
2006, The University of Toledo will merge
with the Medical University of Ohio and remain known as The University of
The University of Toledo is an extremely historic
university, which remains rich in tradition while continually striving to
improve and remain as one of the top schools in the nation.