Dear Marietta College Family,

Today we mark an important tradition at Marietta, as the College recognizes being officially chartered by the state of Ohio on February 14, 1835.

Happy Birthday, Marietta College!

We look amazing after all these years, and we have enjoyed 183 years of helping generations of Pioneers become innovative problem solvers and leaders who are ready to tackle any challenge.

In the face of long odds, our founders established Marietta College to provide higher education in a frontier that was then known as the Northwest Territory. Henry Smith, one of the original faculty members and Marietta President from 1846-55, described the early times as, “a most emphatic illustration of the foolhardiness of young men and the wisdom of God in accomplishing his own purposes by just such human folly. Men of experience would have shrunk from the work, as (a) desperate and foolhardy enterprise, the work of attempting to build a college in an almost inaccessible western town.”

I’m glad we had those “foolish men,” and because of their sacrifices, we are all proud members of this amazing institution. We are also part of the long and rich history that defines Marietta College, and the generations that follow will be equally as proud of what we are accomplishing. Recent successes include the passing of a forward-thinking general education curriculum that will serve our students well now and into the future, the addition of new programs that add diversity to our academic options and much-needed enhancements to The Gathering Place and McKinney Building.

We are also committed to tradition. Our commitment to the liberal arts remains a hallmark of a Marietta College education and continues to serve our graduates well. Tomorrow we will celebrate the College during Founders Day. There have been 35,431 days — or 97 years — since Marietta College started celebrating Founders Day on a consistent basis in 1921.

This year, we are changing things up a bit and making sure Founders Day is a day to commemorate our history and our future. I hope you will join us as the party begins at 4:30 p.m., Thursday, February 15th in the Dyson Baudo Recreation Center.

I doubt Marietta College’s founders could have imagined how much our campus has changed, and what an impact we make on our community. But they believed in the College and established a foundation that is still relevant today.

Thank you to all of you who make Marietta College your home, a great place to live and learn, and for sharing your love and passion every day.

Bring Forth A Pioneer,

Bill Ruud
President and Professor of Management