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OUR HISTORY: A LIVING VISION

Ohio Valley University started with a dream. Long before the first day of classes, many people in the region dreamed of a Christian college in the northeastern quadrant of the United States.

One group included Keith and Joan Stotts, Glenn and Shirley Boyd, Bill and Vee Craddock, Bill Curry, Jim Massey, Glen Olbricht, and Bob Roe.  Known as the Ohio Group, they prayed and planned for a way to provide Christian higher education to young people living in the Ohio area.  At that time the majority of the Church of Christ affiliated colleges were in the south or southwestern US, young people wishing a Christian education traveled a thousand miles or more away from home. Many would-be students simply could not make such a commitment. Those who did often stayed in the south after college. A college in the northeastern quadrant of the United States would provide a place for students to find quality Christian education close to home and reduce the loss of the best and brightest in the Church to the south.

On September 12, 1960, vision became reality when the first students and faculty of Ohio Valley College gathered in the Mid-Ohio Valley. This group of 39 young men and women and two full-time faculty met for class in a recently vacated church building. Over the decades the student body, faculty, staff, and physical campus grew exponentially. And so did the vision.

In 1978, the North Central Association granted Ohio Valley full accreditation. The school added its first four-year baccalaureate degree three years later. In 1993, Ohio Valley merged with Northeastern Christian Junior College which brought more students, faculty, staff, and resources. Shortly afterwards  the school purchased the former St. Joseph’s Seminary, which included 134 acres of land conveniently located less than a mile from the original campus and expanded to fill both campuses. In 2005, Ohio Valley College became Ohio Valley University.

Nine presidents have served Ohio Valley University:

Don Gardner 1959-1964
Lewis Case 1964-1966
J.M. Powell 1966-1970
Justin B. Roberts 1970-1977
E. Keith Stotts 1977-1998
Robert W. Stephens, Jr. 1998-2005
James A. Johnson 2005-2009
E. Keith Stotts 2009-2011
Harold Shank   2011-present


A 32 member Board of Trustees, from 12 different states, provides governance for the institution.