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Published: Saturday, 2/16/2002

Campuses of area colleges continue to bustle


The University of Toledo and Bowling Green State University have been around for decades, but for each of them there is plenty that's new to celebrate in 2002.

UT welcomed a new president, Dr. Daniel Johnson, during the summer. An expert in metropolitan universities, he has pledged to work closer than ever with the surrounding community.

“It is my hope and expectation that our strategic planning will point us in the direction of a closer, more meaningful relationship in and with the city of Toledo, Lucas County, and northwest Ohio,” he said during his inauguration in September.

For the first time in years, UT saw its enrollment rise slightly in the fall, up 4.2 percent. It offers its 20,000 students programs in eight colleges: arts and sciences, business, education, engineering, health and human services, law, pharmacy, and university college.

The semester began in grand fashion as UT played host for one of the biggest political events in Toledo's history, a visit from two sitting presidents. President George W. Bush and Mexican President Vicente Fox spent three hours in Toledo on Sept. 7 and spoke to more than 8,000 people during the main event at the university.

The university brought the community together again in November, this time through a stunning victory by its football team. The Rockets came back from a 23-0 deficit to defeat Marshall in the Mid-American Conference's championship game. The team went on to win the Motor City Bowl in December.

Demand for on-campus housing has been overwhelming, and the UT officials hope to satisfy some of it by opening a new residence hall in the fall, 2002. Construction is well under way on the 600-bed, $33 million Residential Living Learning Center near Rocket Hall.

Bowling Green has continued to expand, in terms of enrollment and its facilities.

It has about 19,000 students at two campuses - the main campus 23 miles south of Toledo and the Firelands campus in Huron, Ohio. The school has seven colleges: arts and sciences, business administration, education and human development, Firelands, health and human services, musical arts, and technology.

President Sidney Ribeau, who received a healthy raise and two-year contract extension in 2001, continued to focus the university's efforts on values exploration, critical thinking, character development, and civic engagement.

Just last month, many students and faculty rejoiced at the opening of an expanded and renovated student union on the main campus, which had closed in 1999. The $33.5-million Bowen-Thompson Student Union is twice the size of the old one and features stores, offices for student organizations, a food court, a 250-seat movie theater, and more.

BGSU has spent about $50 million upgrading its technology infrastructure as part of its Bgsupernet program, and this year it joins Internet2, the much speedier next generation of the Internet.

The Medical College of Ohio administers medical residency training programs in 17 specialties. Founded in 1964, it is situated on a sprawling campus in South Toledo.

More than 950 graduate students are enrolled in programs offered by the schools of medicine, nursing, and allied health, and the graduate school. MCO also trains 304 undergraduate nursing students and 19 physical therapy students from UT and BGSU.

The college recently completed a renovation of its emergency room, and construction is under way on a $9.7 million Center for Creative Education.

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