Ohio University Zanesville (OU Zanesville) is a regional campus of Ohio University located in Zanesville, Ohio in Muskingum County. Degrees offered include Associate's, Bachelor's and Master's in a variety of areas. Ohio University Zanesville offers complete Bachelor's degrees in Communication Studies, Criminal Justice, Early Childhood Education, Elementary Education, Health Services Administration, History, Specialized Studies, Technical and Applied Studies, Business Administration and Nursing as well as five Associate Degrees including Associate of Nursing (RN) and Electronic Media.
The first building on the Ohio University Zanesville campus, was built in 1967. It is the primary location for classrooms and offices for OU Zanesville, which is a regional campus of Ohio University. OU Zanesville was founded by OU President John C. Baker in 1946 to accommodate returning World War II veterans seeking an education, many of whom took advantage of the GI Bill. At first, OU Zanesville had no campus. Zanesville City Schools allowed the first classes to be located in what was then Lash High School in downtown Zanesville. In 1954, OU Zanesville classes moved to Zanesville High School on Blue Avenue. Though this worked for a while, OU Zanesville needed a more permanent site that would permit day and evening classes, as well as other important educational services. This need was met when the Muskingum County Commissioners deeded part of the County Home Farm on Newark Road to Ohio University to develop a campus. Elson Hall was then constructed on the southeast corner of the 179-acre tract. It housed all faculty and administrative offices, labs, classrooms, a lecture hall, a library, a student bookstore, a canteen, lounges, and student activity facilities. Then in 1974, the library and Herrold Hall were built. During the same time, a new cooperative agreement with Muskingum Area Technical College (now Zane State College) led to the building of Zane State College's College Hall in 1975. This was the beginning of what is now the model in Ohio for two institutions sharing the same campus. Other buildings on the campus today include Health Science Hall, Littick Hall Gymnasium, and the Campus Center. As other buildings were constructed and sections such as the library moved out, Elson Hall was gradually renovated to accommodate the new needs. Today, Elson Hall houses most OU Zanesville classrooms and labs, most administrative and faculty offices, a lecture hall, lounges, several computer labs, a two-way microwave instructional studio, teleconferencing facilities, and music practice and art studios. Elson has had several renovations to stay update; this helps the building remain as an effective component of an institution moving into the 21st century. Elson Hall was named after Henry William Elson (1857-1954), a Muskingum County native and a distinguished educator and historian. Elson began his career teaching in various Muskingum County public schools for four years. In 1878, he attended one term at Muskingum College (Now Muskingum University.) He later studied at Thiel College in Greenville, Pa., where he received a B.A. in 1886 and an M.A. in 1889. Following his graduation from Thiel, he attended Evangelical Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia where he earned a Bachelor of Divinity. In 1905, he was appointed Professor of History and Economics and head of the History Department at Ohio University in Athens, where he taught for 11 years. He was a member of the Ohio Constitutional Convention in 1912 and was President of Thiel College from 1916- 1921. Elson was a prolific and successful writer of more than 20 books and volumes. His most successful work was Modem Times and the Living Past, 1921, which was reissued 13 times through 1942. The textbook was used by Zanesville High School for several years. Elson married Henna E. Smith in 1889 and they had three children. Upon Henna's death, he married Ida McMullen in 1898 and they had one child. Literature does not reveal specifically how Elson Hall came to be named. It is known that Ohio University named buildings after individuals recognized for benefiting education. Because Elson was a native of Muskingum County and taught here, he was a deserving recipient of the honor.
Ohio University holds as its central purpose the intellectual and personal development of its students. Distinguished by its rich history, diverse campus, international community, and beautiful Appalachian setting, Ohio University is known as well for its outstanding faculty of accomplished teachers whose research and creative activity advance knowledge across many disciplines.