OUE’s 60 Years Worth Celebrating

Among the many reasons local residents should be grateful for Ohio University Eastern is one statistic about the school: Nearly one-third of those enrolled at OUE are first-generation college students.

The OUE community is celebrating a milestone. This year is the institution’s 60th. It was in 1957 that the parent university opened a Belmont County branch, in Martins Ferry. Within a few years, OUE had moved to its current location adjacent to Interstate 70, west of St. Clairsville.

Residents of East Ohio and the Northern Panhandle are extremely fortunate in terms of higher education. Virtually no one in our region is more than a few minutes’ drive away from a college campus. Access to high-quality, affordable education is a given for those in our area.

OUE is an integral part of that. But for the local campus, many East Ohio residents simply would not have been able to afford college. OUE has opened a world of possibilities, and many people are taking advantage of them, as that first-generation student statistic illlustrates.

Community support for OUE has been crucial during the institution’s history. Without it, there is no doubt the local university would not have been as successful as it has been.

But it also needs to be noted that the parent institution, Ohio University in Athens, seems to have provided consistent support, too.

It is not saying too much to suggest that OUE has provided something many communities lack — an excellent, affordable university in our backyard. As the institution marks 60 years of service, that is worth celebrating.

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