LIMA — The University of Northwestern Ohio is celebrating its centennial this year.
The institution had humble beginnings.
“It started in downtown Lima in 1920 in the square. It was for secretary-business training. As it grew from there, in 1969 Loren Jarvis (Jeff’s father) acquired it. It had been moved to the Barnett building, behind Spykers,” said Dr. Jeff Jarvis, president of the UNOH.
Back then, it was Northwestern School of Commerce. In 1973 they broke ground for a new building on Cable Road.
“The original 100 building has been added onto five times since then, and the 300 building has been added on four times since then,” Jarvis said. “We had the front business school. Then a few years later we added the technical part of the 300 building, and it became Northwestern Business School Technical Center.”
Dozens of programs have been added since then, and the name changed to the University of Northwestern Ohio.
“It’s just been an interesting ride on what has happened with the university, the growth from its infancy in the beginnings. Today we’re out here on Cable Road from Cable to Eastown on 200-plus acres,” Jarvis said. “We brought athletics back. That helped grow the school and helped us really expand an international brand. We’ve had students on campus from all 50 states and 61 countries. Right now there are students on campus from all 50 states, Puerto Rico and 41 countries,” Jarvis said. “We’re well known across the United States and internationally for high-performance motorsports, automotive and diesel programs.”
Jarvis is proud of the longevity of the university.
“It’s been an interesting hundred years — an amazing growth for being located in the city of Lima, which we’re very proud to be a part of, and we’ve grown to be a big part of the city of Lima with what we do for the city. We’re an annual impact of over $300 million. We’re very proud of where we came from and where we’re at today,” Jarvis said.
Jarvis says they’re planning for the future.
“As new technologies are advanced we’ll be involved. We’ve had meetings with Tesla (who has) ties into electric vehicles. Obviously, all the OEMs will be making electric vehicles and electric trucks. We’re in the forefront of that and will be involved in the training and repair of those vehicles,” Jarvis said. “We have needs for an arena and maybe a hotel on Eastown Road. All those things are as far as physical growth possibilities down the road.”
Reach Sam Shriver at 567-242-0409.