50 Years Ago Today in WSU History: Groundbreaking Ceremony

50 years ago today, in a remote pasture between Airway Road and Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, the first shovel hit the ground for the construction of the Dayton Campus of Miami University and Ohio State University. This was to be a jointly run branch campus for each university, both of which had been offering courses in the Dayton area for many years, with the understanding that it would become its own independent state university once enrollment reached 5ooo students. So it was with this backdrop that a small but enthusiastic crowd gathered at 3 p.m. on Friday, May 31, 1963, on a rural hillside for the groundbreaking ceremony of what would become Wright State University.

The Air Force band provided music, followed by an invocation from University of Dayton president Reverend Raymond Roesch. Short speeches were provided by President John Millett of Miami University and President Novice Fawcett of the Ohio State University, followed by the presentation of citations to Stanley Allyn and Robert Oelman, CEO and president of NCR, for their vision and leadership of the Dayton Campus project. The ceremony culminated with the four founders, assisted by General T. A. Bennett of the Air Force Logistics Command, breaking ground for the first campus building, to be named Allyn Hall.

Photos in this gallery can be found in the University Archives collection, as well as the Dayton Daily News Archive (MS-458, Box 756, “Dayton Campus”).

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