College of Graduate Studies

History of the University of Toledo


Toledo University of Arts & Trades, 1872-1884

On October 12, 1872, Jesup Wakeman Scott founded The University of Toledo as a private arts and trades school known as Toledo University of Arts and Trades, offering painting and architectural drawing as its only subjects. Scott, the editor for The Toledo Blade newspaper from 1844 to 1847, was a public-spirited Toledoan who felt the city should have a university to train young people for responsible positions in the growing community. Scott's dream led him to endow 160-acres of land which later became Scott Park Campus. Scott intended that the income from the property be supplemented with funds from the city to establish a university, but in 1874 the city had no money to contribute.  Jesup Scott died in 1874.  On January 14, 1875, the University opened in the basement of the half-finished Unitarian Church, known as Raymond Hall on the corner of Adams and 10th Street.  Since the University opened without support from the city, it could only fund one teacher and two or three courses for the 26 students.  The school was forced to close in 1878 due to a lack of funds.  The University was only in existence 3 out of the 16 years after its incorporation.  In 1883, Toledo became interested in the new manual training schools for high school students and the Board of Directors proposed that the University cooperate with the city in offering practical courses.

Toledo Manual Training School, 1884-1914

On January 8, 1884, the assets of the university were turned over to the city of Toledo establishing it as a municipal school.  The city accepted the land from the Scott trust and levied a tax to support the University, which reopened using two rooms in Central High School in the fall of 1884 as the Toledo Manual Training School.  The city council stipulated, "The first department of such University shall be designated as The Manual Training School, and shall be devoted to instruction in the Practical Arts and Trades."  It is interesting to note that John Dowd was the first man to give tangible subsistance to the infant University.  Dowd served as superintendent of Toledo Public Schools (1880 – 1886) as well as member of the Board of Directors.  He is the one who offered the University a room in Central Catholic High School.  Dowd later became the fourth President of the University.  In 1885, the classes moved to a new building known as the Scott Manual Training School Annex to the Central High School, and in compliance with the terms of the Scott trust, the Manual Training School admitted girls in 1886.  The courses included sketching and technical drawing, wood working, metal working, cooking, and housekeeping. Toledoans believed the school to be one of the first and best of its kind in the nation.  In 1904, it affiliated with the Toledo Medical College, a fledgling institution in its own right.

Toledo University, 1914-1967

While the Medical College was forced to close its doors in 1914 because it could not meet new physician licensing standards, the University gained a College of Pharmacy from the brief relationship.  The University's curriculum began to move away from a secondary school focus to become a baccalaureate degree-granting institution.  The formal opening of the new University building on the corner of 11th and Illinois Street was on January 30, 1914.  The University then changed its name to Toledo University.  By the fall of 1922, the decision had been made to move day classes from the Illinois Street Building to the Scott farm tract on Nebraska Avenue.  This brick building, later designated as the Science Building, had been constructed by the U.S. Government during World War I for the purpose of training engineers in an automobile mechanics training facility.  After the Toledo voters passed a bond levy in 1928, main campus was moved north to the land located on Bancroft Street, with University Hall being the first building constructed in 1931.

The University of Toledo, 1967-Present

On July 1, 1967, The University was given the status of a state-funded university by the Ohio General Assembly and became known as The University of Toledo. The University of Toledo has since grown to house 8 colleges, a student population of 20,000, and four campuses on more than 450 acres of land. On July 1, 2006, The University of Toledo merged with the Medical University of Ohio. The newly merged institution remained known as The University of Toledo.

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The University of Toledo
College of Graduate Studies
2801 W. Bancroft, MS 933
Toledo, OH 43606

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Last Updated: 10/12/22