History and Setting of the University
Bowling Green State University is situated on a 1,338-acre campus, which includes 116 buildings. The University offers 14 associate degree programs, more than 200 undergraduate majors and programs, 13 master's degree programs in 120 fields, two specialist degree programs, and 14 doctoral programs. More than 20,400 students (about 3,100 are graduate students), including 18,700 on main campus and 1,700 at BGSU Firelands, are enrolled at the University and various off-campus centers. At the center of the University's academic community are more than 830 full-time faculty members, who are engaged in teaching, research, and scholarship activities.
Established in 1910 as a teacher-training institution, Bowling Green held its first classes in 1914, but it was not until the following year that the first two buildings—now University Hall and Williams Hall—were ready for use. Student enrollment for that initial year totaled 304, with a faculty of 21. The first bachelor's degrees were awarded in 1917.
In 1929, the functions of Bowling Green were expanded to provide four-year degree programs in the College of Education and the College of Liberal Arts. The Schmidthorst College of Business and graduate programs were added in 1935, the year in which Bowling Green attained full university status. In 1947, the Graduate School was formed, and BGSU awarded its first doctoral degrees in English in 1963.
Beginning in 1946, extension programs of the University were offered in Sandusky, Ohio. During the next two decades, course offerings there were expanded, and in 1965 a regional campus of the University was established to serve Erie, Huron, and Ottawa counties. That campus is BGSU Firelands, in Huron, Ohio. BGSU Firelands, which opened for classes in 1967, offers career and technical education leading to associate degrees in 13 areas, as well as the first two years of baccalaureate degree programs.
In the 1970s, three new colleges were added. In 1973, the College of Health and Human Services was established to provide degree programs in specialized areas in various health and community service fields. In 1975, the School of Music was expanded into the College of Musical Arts, and in the same year the Graduate School became the Graduate College. The School of Technology was granted college status in 1985.
Jerome Library is the heart of the academic community. BGSU Libraries house collections of more than six million items, including books, journals, periodicals, microforms, government documents, sound recordings, and other research materials. The library is linked by computer to a powerful statewide library and information system. In addition, the library is nationally known for its special collections, particularly in popular culture, popular music, and the Great Lakes.
The new Bowen-Thompson Student Union, reopened in early 2002, provides space for the offices of student life and campus involvement as well as approximately 40 student organizations.
The Mileti Alumni Center is the hub for the many activities of the University's alumni. It contains meeting rooms, a library, and office space.