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University of Rio Grande

The University of Rio Grande and Rio Grande Community College are twin colleges in Rio Grande, Ohio, United States.



218 N College Ave
Rio Grande
Zip/Post Code


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Additional Information

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Campus Housing
Mission Statement
White Columbia Blue Red

College History


Throughout its 138-year history, the University of Rio Grande has recorded significant accomplishments including academic achievement and new buildings that provide instructional space for over 2000 students. Rio Grande remains committed to meeting the educational needs of southern Ohio and to helping the people of the region to improve their lives. However, the institution now attracts many of its students from a global market in contrast to its beginnings in 1876 when only local residents attended Rio Grande. The story began when the Reverend Ira Haning, a Freewill Baptist minister, persuaded Nehemiah and Permelia Atwood, along with Eustace St. James, affluent residents and entrepreneurs, to use their wealth to establish a college. Following Nehemiah�s death in 1869, the responsibility for making this dream a reality fell to his wife Permelia. In 1873, Permelia Ridgeway Atwood established an endowment and deeded 10 acres (40,000 m2) of land for Rio Grande College, which officially opened on September 13, 1876. In its first year, the Rev. Ransom Dunn, D. D., was president as well as professor of mental and moral philosophy.[2] Bob Evans Farm Hall on the campus of the University of Rio Grande, July 2007 In its earliest years, Rio Grande provided leadership in preparing teachers and Baptist ministers. 20th century By 1915, Rio Grande�s major focus had shifted to teacher training, which continued as a virtually singular interest for nearly 60 years. The affiliation with the Baptists formally ended in the early 1950s. During the same time period, the farm adjacent to the campus which was owned by the college (students worked there to produce dairy products), was sold to provide much-needed operating funds for the institution. A young businessman, Bob Evans, was the buyer. The University Of Rio Grande's alma mater, "The Red and White," was written by Eustace St. James, a 1920 graduate and replaced a former alma mater written by Franz Josef Sucher. In 1969, the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools approved Rio Grande�s Accreditation. The Davis Library was constructed and dedicated three years before the first accreditation; the library was instrumental in winning accreditation.

College Specialty


The University of Rio Grande provides programs in the liberal arts, sciences, business, teacher education, fine and performing arts, nursing, and technologies. URG has a diverse curriculum and offers a range of educational opportunities with open access at a reasonable cost. URG grants associate, bachelor and master degrees. Rio Grande Community College offers a variety of credit and non-credit courses, seminars, workshops and events as part of life-long learning and enrichment. Historically, URG's primary focus has been students from the Appalachian region. URG is now more cosmopolitan with enrollments from states outside the region and foreign countries. The University provides non-discriminatory educational opportunities for the pursuit of academic excellence. The educational experience provides opportunities to develop a balance of intellectual, aesthetic, social and physical qualities that characterize the total human experience, and challenges students' thinking and abilities. The University emphasizes learning that prepares students for the many occupations



Bernie Bickerstaff, former NBA head coach and executive. Matthew Boyles, professional race walker. Frank Cremeans, represented the state of Ohio in the United States House of Representatives.[3] Bevo Francis, a legendary basketball player, put Rio Grande on the map in 1954 when he scored 113 points in a single game against Hillsdale College. Francis' feat stood as an NCAA record for 58 years until Jack Taylor of Grinnell College broke the mark with a 138-point performance against Faith Baptist Bible College on November 20, 2012. Kendell Foster Crossen, pulp fiction and science fiction writer. Ben Hunter, professional soccer player. George Poffenbarger, justice of the West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals. Tom Spencer, retired Major League Baseball outfielder[4] Robert M. Switzer, former U.S. Representative from Ohio.



10 Acres (40,000�M2)