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Note: This list is from a 2003 issue. Click here for recent data on UC and current evolution of colleges.

University of Cincinnati history in brief

1819: Founding of Cincinnati College and the Medical College of Ohio.

1870: The city of Cincinnati establishes the University of Cincinnati, which later absorbed the earlier institutions.

1906: The University of Cincinnati creates the world’s first cooperative education program through its College of Engineering.

1968: UC becomes a “municipally-sponsored, state-affiliated” institution. During this time, the University of Cincinnati is the second-oldest and second-largest municipal university in the country.

July 1, 1977: UC becomes one of Ohio’s state universities, the culmination of a transitional period that began in 1968.

Today: As the 18th largest university in the nation, UC offers nearly 600 academic programs to approximately 33,000 students. Furthermore, the last two years cap an upward trend that has transformed UC into a research powerhouse. The university’s National Science Foundation ranking has climbed from a placement of 78th to 46th over the last two decades.

Evolution of current colleges

College of Allied Health Sciences — 1998

  • UC’s only new college in 20 years, formed to unite six health-related programs — 1998
  • College located in renovated Shriners Burns Institute, renamed Hastings and William French Building — 1999

College of Applied Science — 1828

  • Private Ohio Mechanics Institute (OMI) opened with free evening lectures — 1828
  • Ohio College of Applied Science (OCAS) opened to offer day classes for OMI — 1919
  • College joined UC, retained OCAS name — 1969
  • “Ohio” phased out of name — ’90s

College of Business — 1906

  • Private Cincinnati College of Finance, Commerce and Accounts established — 1906
  • School joined UC as College of Commerce — 1912
  • College of Engineering merger created College of Engineering and Commerce — 1919
  • “College of Business Administration” became a separate college — 1946
  • Word “administration” dropped from name — 2003

Clermont College — 1972

  • Clermont General and Technical College founded in Batavia — 1972
  • College merged with UC as Clermont College — 1987
Brothers Albino and Romeo Gorno, professors at CCM’s predecessor, the Cincinnati College of Music, performed with symphony violinist William Knox on WLW radio’s first broadcast (station owner Powel Crosley Jr. at right). photo/courtesy of UC Department of Archives and Rare Books.

Brothers Albino and Romeo Gorno, professors at the Cincinnati College of Music, performed with violinist William Knox on WLW radio’s first broadcast (station owner Powel Crosley Jr. at right). Photo/courtesy of UC Department of Archives and Rare Books.

College-Conservatory of Music — 1867

  • Private Cincinnati Conservatory of Music founded— 1867
  • Private Cincinnati College of Music founded — 1878
  • Two rival schools merged — 1955
  • Merged school joined UC — 1962
  • School moved to campus — 1968

College of Design, Architecture, Art, and Planning — 1922

  • UC’s College of Engineering and Commerce created the Architecture Department — 1922
  • Department became School of Applied Arts — 1925
  • School became College of Applied Arts — 1946
  • Grew to College of Design, Architecture, and Art — 1961
  • Planning programs added, name changed — 1982

College of Education, Criminal Justice, and Human Services — 1905

  • Cincinnati Board of Education and UC founded College for Teachers— 1905
  • Name changed to College of Education — 1925
  • Name changed back to Teachers College — 1937
  • College of Home Economics merger created College of Education and Home Economics — 1959
  • Name shortened to College of Education — 1982
  • Name expanded — 2003

College of Engineering — 1900

  • UC initiated an engineering program — 1874
  • Engineering became its own department — 1900
  • Department became College of Engineering — 1905
  • College of Commerce merger created College of Engineering and Commerce — 1919
  • College split into College of Business Administration, College of Engineering — 1946

College of Law — 1833

  • School merged with Cincinnati College (a UC predecessor) — 1834
  • UC began a law department — 1896
  • Law department and law school affiliated, using the Cincinnati Law School name — 1897
  • Cincinnati College fully merged with UC — 1918

McMicken College of Arts and Sciences — 1870

  • University’s Academic Department formed — 1870
  • Department became McMicken College of Arts and Sciences — 1892
  • Name changed to College of Liberal Arts — 1904
  • Name changed to McMicken College of Liberal Arts — 1906
  • Name reverted to its present one— 1953

College of Medicine — 1819
This is the oldest college that merged with UC, thus providing UC with its founding date.

  • Daniel Drake established the Medical College of Ohio, only the second west of the Alleghenies — 1819
  • UC’s Medical Department formed from affiliation with Medical College of Ohio, after it absorbed most of the medical staff and students of Miami University, Cincinnati College and Cincinnati Hospital — 1896
  • UC College of Medicine created when Medical College of Ohio and Miami Medical College totally merged with UC — 1909
  • Cincinnati General Hospital merged its College of Medicine with UC — 1916

College of Nursing — 1889

  • Private Cincinnati Training School for Nurses began — 1889
  • School joined the Cincinnati General Hospital College of Medicine — 1896
  • General Hospital’s College of Medicine merged with UC, School of Nursing became a separate UC college — 1916
  • Four-year nursing baccalaureate program began, country’s oldest — 1938
  • Name changed to College of Nursing and Health — 1942
  • Name shortened — 1999

College of Pharmacy — 1850

  • Private Cincinnati College of Pharmacy formed — 1850
  • College merged with UC, affiliated with biology — 1954
  • College joined the Medical Center — 1967

Raymond Walters College, Blue Ash — 1967

  • Raymond Walters General and Technical College opened as UC’s first branch campus — 1967
  • Name was quickly shortened to Raymond Walters Branch, then Raymond Walters College

School of Social Work — 1982

  • Social-work programs offered at UC through Community Chest — 1923
  • UC courses offered as part of an Ohio State University branch program — 1959-72
  • School became part of UC College of Community Service — 1978
  • College dissolved into a free-standing school — 1982

Colleges that came and went

College of Commerce — 1912-46

  • A phase in the evolution of the College of Business

College of Community Service — 1969-82

  • UC formed a “community renewal” college — 1969
  • College dissolved, distributing planning departments to DAAP, criminal justice programs to education, social work programs to School of Social Work — 1982

College of Applied Arts — 1946-61

  • A phase in the evolution of the College of Design, Architecture, Art, and Planning

College of Liberal Arts — 1904-53

  • A phase in the evolution of the College of Arts and Sciences

Ohio College of Dental Surgery — 1845-1926

  • The world’s second private dental college opens in Cincinnati — 1845
  • College affiliated with UC — 1887
  • After temporary closings, college finally dissolved — 1926

School of Household Administration — 1927-43

  • UC created School of Household Administration — 1927
  • Name changed to College of Home Economics — 1943

Teachers College, College of Home Economics

  • A phase in the evolution of the College of Education, Criminal Justice, and Human Services

College of Evening and Continuing Education — 1975-2002

  • Evening classes began at UC — 1902
  • Classes organized as the UC Evening College — 1938
  • Division of Continuing Education and Metropolitan Services founded — 1975
  • Division and college merged, creating College of Evening and Continuing Education — 1989
  • Programs redistributed to related colleges — 2002-03

University College — 1960-2003

  • New two-year college based in UC’s Armory Fieldhouse — 1960
  • University College to be phased out, programs migrating to related colleges, the bulk consolidated with the College of Applied Science; programs for under-prepared students coordinated in a new Center for Access and Transition — 2003

— D. Rieselman

Celebrities on campus

Note: This is a condensed list that appeared in 2003. Click here for a comprehensive list of celebrities.

Commencement in 1917 was a memorable event on campus with two impressive people attending to receive honorary degrees:

  • Frank Duveneck, HonDoc ’17, painter
  • Orville Wright, HonDoc ’17 (Wilber had already died)


Celebrities are often part of commencement, but they also show up for lectures, presentations and even homecoming parades. Some of the more notable ones follow:

Names familiar in print
Robert Frost, HonDoc ’54, resident poet at UC
Edward Albee, playwright
Maya Angelou, poet
Norman Vincent Peale, HonDoc ’68, minister, author
Allen Ginsberg, poet
Eppie Lederer (Ann Landers), HonDoc ’74, columnist
Jim Borgman*, HonDoc ’91, Pulitzer-winning cartoonist

Faces familiar on screen
Bob Hope, HonDoc ’70, comedian, actor
Hugh O’Brian, actor, homecoming parade marshal
Jimmy Dodd, Mickey Mouse Club leader, homecoming parade marshal
Steve Allen, TV Academy’s Hall of Fame
Jodie Foster, filming “Little Man Tate,” ’91
Ben Stiller, Molly Ringwald, Andrew McCarthy, filming “Fresh Horses,” ’88
Jerry Stiller and Anne Meara, watching son Ben
Bill Moyers*, HonDoc ’98, PBS and CBS journalist
Diane Sawyer*, HonDoc ’92, ABC news anchor
Phil Donahue*, HonDoc ’88, TV talk show pioneer
Ben Stein*, HonDoc ’00, TV series host
Chris Rock, comedian

Played a campus concert
Paul Simon
John Denver
Grateful Dead
Linda Ronstadt
Fifth Dimension
Ike and Tina Turner
Peter, Paul and Mary
Louis Armstrong

Performing arts
George Balanchine, HonDoc ’67, School of American Ballet founder
Van Cliburn, HonDoc ’74, pianist
Max Rudolf, HonDoc ’60, conductor
Philip Glass, composer
Bono, lead singer of U2
Al Hirt, CCM ’41, HonDoc ’68, trumpeter

C. Everett Koop, HonDoc ’91, U.S. surgeon general
Dick Thornburg, HonDoc ’64, U.S. attorney general
Bruce Babbit*, HonDoc ’95, secretary of the interior
Shirley Chisholm, HonDoc ’75, first black woman elected to Congress
Jesse Jackson*, HonDoc ’79, civil rights activist
Colin Powell, former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, now secretary of state

Making the world better
Margaret Mead, HonDoc ’65, anthropologist
Neil Armstrong*, HonDoc ’82, first man on the moon, engineering instructor, ’71-79

*Commencement speakers

— D. Rieselman