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OWU President, Ohio Politicians Among Speakers Set for Elliott Dedication


May 15, 2003

[ Elliott Hall Photo ] DELAWARE, OHIO -- This year's Alumni Weekend festivities at Ohio Wesleyan University (May 16-18) will include something brand new. An Ohio Historical Marker honoring OWU's Elliott Hall, Ohio's oldest collegiate Greek Revival building, will be dedicated on Saturday, May 17, at 2 p.m. in front of Elliott Hall.

Speaking at the dedication program will be OWU President Tom Courtice, Congressman David Hobson, a 1958 OWU alumnus, State Representative Jon Peterson, a 1976 OWU alumnus, Carmelita Boyer, central regional coordinator of the Ohio Bicentennial Commission, and Kristina Markel, field services specialist from the Ohio Historical Society.

Elliott Hall dates back to 1833 when it was the Mansion House Hotel, and is a symbol of the collaborative effort that took place to found the University. In 1841, three Methodist leaders, including Dr. Charles Elliott, agreed on the need to establish a university "of the highest order" in central Ohio. When the Mansion House Hotel and its surrounding property went on the market later that year, Adam Poe, Pastor of the William Street Church in Delaware, encouraged citizens of Delaware to purchase the property. Together, 172 citizens raised a $10,000 contribution. The University's official charter was granted from the legislature on March 7, 1842.

"Ohio Wesleyan's original building is worthy of this recognition," said Courtice. "However, its significance extends far beyond its structure and presence. This building exists today because the citizens of Delaware joined forces with Charles Elliott, Adam Poe and others to envision this University. Elliott Hall stands as a symbol of the important 'town-gown' spirit that is still an important part of our character and appeal."

Today, Elliott Hall houses the University's politics and government, history, and sociology/anthropology departments as well as student classrooms. In 1990, a $1.2 million donation enabled an extensive renovation to take place.

Administered by the Ohio Historical Society, the Historical Marker Program enables Ohioans to commemorate and celebrate local history and to learn more about the state. Designed to be highly visible and permanent, the historical markers are large cast-aluminum signs that tell stories about aspects of Ohio's history. Markers were awarded based on a set of criteria, including historical significance, geographic diversity and historical periods.

In addition to University support, the marker was funded by a grant from the Longaberger Legacy Initiative and the Ohio Bicentennial Commission.