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Miami University (MU) is a coeducational public university located in Oxfordmarker, Ohiomarker, United Statesmarker. Founded in 1809, it is the 10th oldest public university in the U.S. and the second oldest in the state of Ohio.. Miami was recognized in the 1985 book Public Ivies: America's Flagship Undergraduate Colleges as a Public Ivy. In its 2010 edition, U.S. News & World Report ranked the university's undergraduate program 77th among national universities.


Miami University dates back to a grant of land made for its support by the United States Congress and signed by George Washington on May 5, 1792. The university's first president, Robert Hamilton Bishop, envisioned Miami as the "Yale of the West" and planned the first several buildings accordingly.Miami is located in southwestern Ohiomarker approximately thirty miles (50 km) northwest of Cincinnatimarker. The Miami in this school's name refers to the Miami River valley, cut by two medium-sized rivers, the Little Miami Rivermarker and the Great Miami Rivermarker, that flow through southwestern Ohio; the rivers were in turn named after the Miami Indians who lived in the area before European settlement. The University System of Ohio considers Miami University one of Ohio's historic "four corners" universities.

Poet Robert Frost described Miami as "the most beautiful college there ever was." The campus features modified Georgian revival red brick, low-scale buildings on an open, tree-shaded campus. Miami is striking because the entire campus is consistent in design and appearance, except for the buildings on the former Western College campus and the Miami University Art Museum. Parts of the campus can be seen in the 1991 film Little Man Tate with Jodie Foster, which was filmed in large part on the Oxford campus.

Miami was named one of eight original "Public Ivys" in Richard Moll's 1985 book, The Public Ivys: America's Flagship Undergraduate Colleges. Miami is known as the "Cradle of Coaches" because several prominent football coaches were student/athletes and/or coaches at Miami before achieving greater fame at more prominent college programs or the National Football League. Among these coaches were Earl Blaik, Paul Brown, Sid Gillman, Woody Hayes, Ara Parseghian, Weeb Ewbank, Bo Schembechler, Randy Walker, Ron Zook, Joe Novak, John Pont, Carmen Cozza, and Jim Tressel.

Miami graduated an American President, Benjamin Harrison, placing the school in a prestigious category of Presidential alma maters. Miami is only one of four colleges (Stanfordmarker, Michiganmarker, and the U.S.marker Naval Academymarker) to produce both a U.S. President and a Super Bowl winning quarterback (Ben Roethlisberger). It is also the alma mater of many U.S. Senators, U.S. Representatives, U.S. military leaders, State Governors and Fortune 500 business executives.

For many years, the athletic teams at Miami were nicknamed Redskins, but in 1997 the nickname was changed to RedHawks. Some controversy surrounded this change and some aspects of the old identity persist. The RedHawks compete in NCAA Division I in all sports (FBS in football). Miami's primary conference is the Mid-American Conference; its hockey program is a member of the Central Collegiate Hockey Association.

Miami is also known for its School of Education, housed in McGuffey Hall, named for Professor William Holmes McGuffey (called the "Schoolmaster to the Nation"), who was a Miami Classics professor and wrote America's most widely used pioneer text books - the McGuffey Readers - while on faculty at Miami University.

Miami also was the first U.S. public university to have an Artist-in-Residence program, with Percy MacKaye as the first poet in residence.

The Miami Student claims to be the oldest university newspaper, tracking its founding to 1826, although Dartmouth Collegemarker's student newspaper contests this claim.

In the summer of 1964 during the Civil Rights Movement, Western College (then a separate campus) was the site of training of volunteers for Freedom Summer, also known as the Mississippi Summer Project.

Miami is also the location of the headquarters of the American Classical League.


University was first provided for under the Northwest Ordinance, which regulated the free states of the Midwest. On May 5, 1792, "the President of the United States was authorized to grant letters patent to John Cleves Symmes and his associates . . . provided that the land grant should include one complete township . . . for the purpose of establishing an academy and other public schools and seminaries of learning." After Ohio became a state in 1803, the State legislature assumed responsibility for ensuring that John Cleves Symmes would set aside a township of land for the support of an academy. Such a law was passed by the State legislature April 15, 1803. . . . Finally, on February 17, 1809, the State legislature created The Miami University (The article "The" is in the official name of Miami but is not currently used) and provided that one complete township in the State of Ohio in the district of Cincinnati was to be vested in Miami University for its use, benefit, and support."[37746] This was known as the "College Township", ultimately Oxford, Ohiomarker which was the first township in North America to bear the name Oxford.

At one point in the 19th century, Miami University was the 4th largest university in the United States after Harvardmarker, Yalemarker, and Dartmouthmarker. As the East-West national rivalries subsided, the North-South rivalries surged; Miami University split apart at the time of the Civil War. Most graduates volunteered for the Union, at a higher rate than any other school except the military academies. The majority of those who did not were students primarily from Southern states (such as Jefferson Davis' nephew) who volunteered in the Confederate armies.

Miami contributed significantly to the leadership of both sides of the war, as its academic excellence had attracted many Southerners. Of the ten members of Lincoln's Cabinet, two were Miami men: Secretary of the Interior Caleb Blood Smith and Postmaster General William Dennison. When the Civil War began, governors of five of the thirty-three states were Miami graduates (Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan and Mississippi). Also, in the immediate war and postwar years, two governors each of Ohio and Missouri, and a governor each of Iowa and of California, were all Miami University alumni. Ten Union generals were Miami alumni, including the 23rd President of the U.S., Benjamin Harrison (Miami Class of 1852), as were three Confederate generals. Of the three Admirals in the Union Navy, two were Miami graduates, including Stephen Clegg Rowan.

Given the high mortality of the war and its financial costs, the postwar years were tumultuous in higher education. Because of the decrease in students and fees, the deaths of many alumni and professors in the War, the founding in the West of other universities, and the withdrawal of Southern students from Northern colleges, "Old Miami" passed on and Miami University nearly closed for good. Unable to pay its huge debts, the university closed in 1873 and did not reopen until 1885.

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With the help of alumni and Ohio legislators, "New Miami" was reopened in 1885 and soon began admitting women. Although The Ohio State Universitymarker, then the Ohio Agriculture and Mechanical College, had been launched in the interim, Miami University continued to attract students from Ohio and neighboring states.

Miami has absorbed two local women's colleges: Oxford College (1854–1929) and Western College for Women (1853–1974), a daughter school of Mount Holyokemarker. Oxford was also home to Oxford Theological Seminary (1838–1858) and the Oxford Female Institutemarker (1849–1867), which were absorbed into Oxford College in 1867. Miami University was coeducational long before most schools in the Ivy League. Miami has been a non-sectarian school, as were other pioneer universities in the Midwest, though its early leaders were often Presbyterians.

Miami University's current enrollment on the Oxford campus is approximately 15,000 undergraduates and 1,400 graduate students. In addition to its Oxford campus, Miami has campuses in Hamiltonmarker, Middletownmarker, and West Chester, Ohio; and a European Center in Differdangemarker, Luxembourgmarker, with approximately 6000 more students.

Miami University is known around the Greek world for the Miami Triad, three fraternities founded in the 19th century that spread throughout the United States. It is called "Mother of Fraternities". These were Beta Theta Pi (1839), Sigma Chi (1855), and Phi Delta Theta (1848). The Delta Zeta sorority was founded at Miami University in 1902, as was the Phi Kappa Tau fraternity in 1906. Delta Sigma Epsilon, a national sorority founded at Miami in 1914, merged with Delta Zeta in 1956. Alpha Delta Phi was the first fraternity to arrive on campus in 1833, organizing the first fraternity chapter west of the Allegheny mountains.

In an effort to make college more affordable to Ohio students, Miami offers a varied in-state tuition based on financial need as well as state-identified key areas of study, including engineering and mathematics. In 2007-08, the highest tuition paid by Ohioans is $11,643; 60 percent pay less, as low as $8,900. Ohio families earning $35,000 or less annually pay no tuition, courtesy of the Miami Access Initiative.

Miami is celebrating its bicentennial in 2009. To commemorate this occasion, Miami University announced the construction of the Bicentennial Student Center, which will serve as a focal point for student life and leadership for future generations. Students have outgrown the Shriver Student Center, which is limited in space, technology and hours; not accommodating the round-the-clock lifestyles of most college students. The new student center will be a place on campus which is more student focused, with room to accommodate the more than 350 student organizations on Miami’s campus.

Miami University System



Miami's student body consists of 14,448 undergraduates and 1,812 graduate students on the Oxford campus (as of Fall 2008). The class of 2013 comes from 39 U.S. states and 13 countries (65 countries are represented in the whole student body). Despite attempts by the University, Miami is known for its low level of diversity; the student body is 85% Caucasian. For the undergraduate class of 2012, Miami received 15,009 applications and accepted 80% of them. 30% of those accepted enrolled. For the class of 2013, 39% of students ranked in the top 10% of their class. The middle 50% range of ACT scores for first-year students is 24-29, while the SAT scores is 1110-1280 (old scale).

Miami University's endowment was valued at US $376 million in 2009.


U.S. News & World Report ranked the university's undergraduate program 77th among national universities, and 34th among public universities. Forbes ranked Miami 331st in the United States among all colleges and universities. From 2009 and 2010, BusinessWeek ranked the undergraduate business program for the Farmer School of Business at 18th among U.S. undergraduate business schools. Entrepreneur ranked Miami's Institute for Entrepreneurship 15th among undergraduate programs in the nation. The Wall Street Journal ranked Miami 22nd among state schools for bringing students directly from undergraduate studies into top graduate programs. Miami's accountancy program received high marks from the Public Accounting Report's rankings of accountancy programs; its undergraduate and graduate programs ranked 12th and 15th respectively. According to Wall Street Journal, in 2009, the MBA Program ranks 9th globally and 3rd nationally in all the accelerated MBA programs.


Miami is a large, primarily residential research university with a focus on undergraduate studies. The full-time, four year undergraduate program offers 56 majors in the arts and sciences and has high graduate coexistance. Miami has six academic divisions: the College of Arts & Science, the Farmer School of Business, the School of Engineering & Applied Sciences, the School of Education, Health, and Society, and Miami's School of Fine Arts.

Miami University has six academic divisions—the College of Arts & Science, the Farmer School of Business, the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, the School of Education, Health, and Society, the School of Fine Arts, and the Graduate School.

The College of Arts and Science is the oldest and largest college at Miami, with nearly half of the undergraduate student body enrolled. The college offers 56 majors, 48 minors, and 2 co-majors (Environmental Science and Environmental Principles & Practice). Ten of the eleven doctoral degrees offered by Miami are provided through the College of Arts and Science.

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Miami's Farmer School of Business is a nationally-recognized School of Business which offers eight majors. The School also offers graduate MBA, Accountancy, and Economics degrees. The Farmer School of Business is housed in a spectacular, 210,000 square foot state-of-the-art Farmer Hall."

The School of Engineering & Applied Sciences offers 12 accredited majors at the Oxford Campus, and recently moved into the new Engineering Building—a $22 million-dollar facility finished in 2007. The School also offers masters degrees in Computer Science and Paper & Chemical Engineering

The School of Education, Health, and Society–formerly known as the School of Education & Allied Professions–offers 26 undergraduate degrees spanning areas from teacher education, kinesiology & health, educational psychology, and family studies & social work. As of fall 2007, nearly 2,800 undergraduates were enrolled in the School.
Miami University logo

Miami's School of Fine Arts comprises four departments–Architecture & Interior Design, Music, Theater and Art. Each department has its own admission requirements separate from the standard admissions requirements for the University. Art majors choose a concentration in areas such as ceramics, metals, photography, printmaking, sculpture, graphic design, and interior design. Music majors specify either music performance or music education..

Miami offers master's degrees in 50 areas of study, and doctoral degrees in 11, the largest of which are doctoral degrees in psychology. In order to enroll in graduate courses, students must first be accepted into The Graduate School, and then into the department through which the degree is offered. For all students (in-state and out-of-state), tuition for the Graduate School is roughly the same as for an undergraduate degree. Out-of-state students still pay approximately $13,000 more than in-state students.


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Miami's NCAA Division I-A program offers 18 varsity sports. The RedHawks, the name of Miami's collegiate sports teams, participates in the Mid-American Conference (MAC) in all sports except ice hockey, which competes in the Central Collegiate Hockey Association. The current athletic director is Brad Bates, who was promoted to the position in November of 2002.

Miami University has a rich history of intercollegiate athletics and today fields a Division I (FBS for football) athletic program in the Mid-American Conference (MAC) East Division. The now demolished Miami Fieldmarker, built in 1895, was the second oldest college football facility in the nation edged only by the University of Pennsylvaniamarker's Franklin Fieldmarker. There are men's sports teams for baseball, basketball, cross country, football, golf, ice hockey, swimming and diving, and track and field. For women, Miami offers basketball, cross country, field hockey, soccer, softball, swimming and diving, volleyball, synchronized skating, track and field, and tennis.

Though not the proper way to refer to the school, Miami is sometimes referred to as Miami of Ohio or Miami (OH) to distinguish it from the University of Miamimarker in Floridamarker[37747]. Miami is well known among the sports world for its reputation as the Cradle of Coaches and is one of only 13 schools in the nation to have a Division I-A football team as well as Division I basketball and ice hockey teams.

Miami historically has had some of the highest graduation rates of student-athletes in the NCAA, second only to Navymarker. Football and Ice Hockey are the most popular according to the student body. Miami is a member of the Central Collegiate Hockey Association (CCHA). Fred C. Yager Stadiummarker is the main football facility on the Oxford campus.

Track and Cross Country have been prominent over the last decade, producing several All-Americans and multiple top 3 conference finishes. Daniel Huling recently placed third in the steeple chase at the US Championships. Previous alumni include Brian Godsey (former world record holder in the backwards 800 m, 3000 m, video confirmation by Assistant T&F Coach Ceith Creekmur), Steve Padgett (a sub 9-minute two-miler in high school), David Mitchell (an All-American in NCAA Cross-country).

Miami has a number of sports rivalries, among them those with the University of Cincinnatimarker called the 'Battle for the Victory Bell' and the Ohio Bobcats called the 'Battle of the Bricks.'

Miami and the University of Cincinnati square off each fall for the famed Victory Bell. The original bell hung in Miami's Harrison Hall (Old Main) near the site of the first football game in 1888 and was used to ring in Miami victories. The traveling trophy tradition began in the 1890s when some Cincinnati fans, purportedly led by local gunslinger Jeff Orlick, "borrowed" the bell. The bell went to the winner of the annual game for the next 40 years until it mysteriously disappeared in the 1930s. The original bell reappeared in 1946 and is on display in the lobby of the Murstein Alumni Center in Oxford. The current trophy is a replica of the original bell and is kept in the possession of the winning team each year. One side of the bell is painted red and black and shows Cincinnati's victories while the other side is red and white and shows Miami's victories. Miami leads the series 59-44-7 but has lost three of the last four games to the Bearcats.

The Miami-Cincinnati series ranks fifth on the list of the most played rivalries in college football and the oldest rivalry west of the Allegheny Mountains. Of the more than 30 rivalries that include at least 89 games, none are older than Miami vs. Cincinnati.

The Battle of the Bricks is an annual all-sports rivalry competition between the Ohio Bobcats and the Miami RedHawks athletic programs. The name "Battle of the Bricks" evolved from each school's reputation of a pristine campus of red brick buildings. Each varsity athletic competition in which the Bobcats and RedHawks meet, including tournament play, is counted as part of the year's series record. At the conclusion of each academic year, the school with the most varsity wins takes the trophy back to its campus for the following year.

The Men's Basketball program has a long and rich history. The program has made 17 NCAA tournament appearances and 4 NCAA sweet 16 appearances, as well a number of other post-season NIT and College Basketball Invitational tournament appearances, the best of all universities considered "mid major."

In October 2006 the Goggin Ice Centermarker, a $34 million hockey arena seating 3,642 spectators, was christened. The old arena was opened in 1976, and closed in mid-2006, giving way to the new arena. It is now home to both the Miami University Men's Ice Hockey team and the Women's Synchronized Skating team, which is the largest women's sport on campus. The Miami Men's Ice Hockey team has become a perennial national top-ranked team and the program's winning percentage of .690 over the the 4 year span of 2006-2009 (105-43-14) is the best among all DI college hockey teams. In 2009, Miami's Men's Hockey team reached the Frozen Four and the National Championship game before losing in overtime to #1-ranked Boston Universitymarker.

The Miami University Senior Synchronized Skating team has earned a spot in the World Synchronized Skating Championships in seven of the past eight seasons. The RedHawks have finished among the top four teams at the past two World Championships, including a silver-medal 2nd-place finish at the 2007 World Synchronized Skating Championships—the first time a U.S. team has medalled at the event. In its past five appearances at the World Synchronized Skating Championships, Miami has finished no lower than ninth. The collegiate Synchronized Skating team has won an unparalleled 10 U.S. championship titles since the division was created 13 seasons ago. The newly formed junior level team has also won great acclaim, earning a spot to compete internationally as part of Team USA in its first season (2006-07).

Notable sports alumni include:

Miami has outstanding athletic facilities in addition to the Goggin Ice Centermarker, such as Yager Stadiummarker, new Softball Stadium and the Corwin M. Nixon Aquatic Center. In addition, Miami boasts a state-of-the art Walter L. Gross Jr. Family Student-Athlete Development Center between Millett Hallmarker and Yager Stadiummarker, which includes both physical fitness and academic enrichment centers for the student-athletes.


Harrison Hall at sunset
The Fiske Guide To Colleges rates Miami with 4.5 stars out of a possible 5 and cites it as a "rising star among state universities." In 2006, Kiplinger ranked Miami 38th among all American public four-year universities for "top flight academics and affordable costs," the top ranking of an Ohio college. In 2003, The Wall Street Journal named Miami a "feeder school" and ranked it 22nd among public universities in their article titled "Want to go to Harvard Law?"

A July 2006 New York Times article cited Miami University as a "hidden gem" stating the "focus is truly on educating undergraduates. This is a medium-size institution with the advantages that confers but it still has the feel of a small liberal arts college." The Kaplan-Newsweek College Catalog calls Miami a "hidden treasure-terrific schools that deserve more national attention".

A 2004 article from The Education Trust, a non-profit program of the American Association for Higher Education, praised Miami University for its statistically superior graduation rates among both its student body and student athletes.

At the same time, The Princeton Review (of 2009) ranks Miami University 17th for best food on campus, 4th for most homogeneous population, 19th for Greek Life, 11th for alternative lifestyle rejection, and 2nd for little race/class interaction.

In 2009, Business Week released their official rankings of the top undergraduate business schools in the United States and Miami's Farmer School of Business ranked 18th among all American universities, 6th among all public universities and 1st among all Ohio universities. Also, The (October) 2007 Public Accounting Report named Miami's undergraduate accountancy program 11th in the nation The business school is endowed by Richard T. Farmer, founder and chairman of the Cintas Corporation and one of the wealthiest men in Ohio (according to Forbes).

Miami also offers one of the nations largest senior scholarships, the Goldman Prize[37748]. The prize is awarded to one graduating senior and is valued at $26,000 for use in a year long independent research study.

Fraternity and sorority life

Miami University is known as "Mother of Fraternities" for the six national fraternities and sororities founded on its campus: Beta Theta Pi, Phi Delta Theta, Sigma Chi, Delta Zeta, Phi Kappa Tau, and Delta Sigma Epsilon. With the initiation of its chapter of Alpha Delta Phi fraternity, Miami was the first school west of the Appalachian Mountainsmarker to host fraternities. Delta Sigma Epsilon had 12 chapters and initiated over 20,000 members by the time it merged with Delta Zeta in 1956. 2008 marked the 175th year of Greek Life at Miami, making it the third-oldest university to host fraternal groups. Oxford, Ohiomarker is also home to the international headquarters of four of Miami's founding fraternal organizations. With the goal to establish a fraternity and sorority museum on campus, Miami recently accepted the donation of the Mike Raymond Greek History Collection, considered by some to be the largest collection of fraternity and sorority historical memorabilia at close to 5,000 items. The basis of the television show "Greek" on ABC Family was researched at Miami.

Today, Miami University is home to the only endowed fraternity and sorority life and leadership office, The Cliff Alexander Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life and Leadership with about one out of three Miami undergraduate students claiming membership in a Greek letter society. This puts Miami among the top public universities in America in student Greek letter organization member percentage with the spring semester (when fraternity/sorority recruitment is held) percentage in some years having been possibly the highest of any public university in the nation. Miami today hosts roughly 50 fraternities and sororities co-governed by three student governing councils. Most fraternities have privately-owned houses off-campus and all sororities lease suites and block rooms in Central Quad residence halls on campus. A current roster of active general Greek letter societies include:

Interfraternity Council-member Fraternities

Panhellenic Association-member Sororities

National Pan-Hellenic Council Fraternities and Sororities

Professional and Fraternities and Sororities

Honorary Societies

Notable campus features

  • Beta Theta Pi Campanile
  • Phi Delta Theta Gates
  • Phi Kappa Tau Circle
  • The Upham Arch
  • Slant Walk
  • The Tri-Delt Sundial, decorated with Turtles. This landmark tells the correct time four times a year.
  • Verlin L. Pulley Carillon and Clock Tower
  • The Hub

Closing of Western College Program

Clawson Hall is one of the buildings found on western campus, which overall has a unique architectural style distinct from the rest of the campus.
On June 23, 2006, the Board of Trustees passed a controversial decision to remove the Western College Program as a separate college within Miami University. Originally founded in the early 19th century as the Western College for Women by westward travelers from Mount Holyoke Collegemarker, the women's college functioned for more than 100 years until financial difficulties forced the Western College For Women into near bankruptcy. Through a partnership between Miami University and the Western College for Women, Miami agreed to purchase the Western College for Women and promised to preserve its unique character. It operated as the School of Interdisciplinary Studies for more than 30 years until 2006 when it ceased being a separate academic division. The Western Campus, its distinctive stone buildings and bridges providing a contrast to the red brick of the main campus, remains a part of Miami University. At one time around the closure of the Western College, the university was in talks to convert the school into an honors college.

Historic landmarks

See also


  1. Business Profile Miami University, accessed June 29, 2007
  2. UNF finds role model in university in Ohio, accessed July 6, 2007
  3. Ohio statesmen Phillip Shriver, accessed 6 September 2006
  4. Structure of the University System of Ohio, accessed April 27, 2009
  5. Accessed 2008-04-06. Miami University Office of the President.
  6. Miami University: A Personal History by Phillip R. Shriver, page 109
  7. [1]
  8. Want to go to Harvard Law? The Wall Street Journal Classroom Edition. Accessed 21 July 2006.
  9. Miami University News
  10. Education Trust Graduation Rate Model Institutions
  11. Undergrad Rankings, BusinessWeek Online. In 2008 Entrepreneurship Magazine ranked Miami's undergraduate entrepreneurship program was ranked 16th in the nation. Accessed 21 July 2006.
  12. Miami's Top Accounting Program
  13. Forbes' List of the World's Richest People, 2003. Accessed 21 July 2006.
  15. Keep Western Whole. Accessed July 21, 2006.
  • Bert S. Barlow, W.H. Todhunter, Stephen D. Cone, Joseph J. Pater, and Frederick Schneider, eds. Centennial History of Butler County, Ohio. Hamilton, Ohiomarker: B.F. Bowen, 1905.

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