The Ohio Agricultural and Mechanical College grew out of the Cannon Act of March 22, 1870. "But let it be started," Governor Rutherford B. Hayes told the Legislature in 1873, "with the intention of making it a great State University." The little college opened September 17, 1873 with a faculty of seven and twenty-four students. One academic building at first housed everything. The campus, remote from the city, was surrounded by some of the original forest. In May, 1878 the name was changed to The Ohio State University.
It was after 1900 before it really began to realize its educational potential, and its major growth occurred after World War II. By 1970, the Centennial Year, the university had more then met the hopes of its founders. A leading university with great manpower and physical resources, it had earned high standing in many fields covering a wide range of educational and research activities.