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Happy Birthday Wittenberg

March 12, 2010  
 Filed in Campus History, Featured Events

On March 11, 1845, Ohio’s General Assembly issued Wittenberg’s birth certificate, otherwise known as the college charter:

Myers Hall

Wittenberg's first campus building, Myers Hall, remains a fixture in the center of campus today.

GRANTED MARCH 11, 1845

SECTION 1. Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Ohio, That John Hamilton, of the county of Stark, William G. Keil and David Tullis, of the county of Guernsey, John B. Reck and Solomon Ritz, of the county of Tuscarawas, George Leiter, of the county of Richland, John H. Hoffman and Jacob Roller, of the county of Columbiana, Elias Smith, of the county of Wayne, Presley N. O’Bannan, of the county of Licking, John N. Kurtz, of the county of Clark, Phillip Binkley, of the county of Greene, David Porter Rosenmiller, Frederick Gebhart, and Peter Baker, of Montgomery county, and George Sill, of the county of Preble, members of the board of directors, appointed by the English Evangelical Lutheran Synod of Ohio and Miami Synod, to establish a college at some suitable point in Greene or Clark county, State of Ohio, are hereby created a body corporate and politic, by the name, style, and the title of The Board of Directors of Wittenberg College, and they and their successors in office, as such, shall have power to sue and be sued, plead and be impleaded, to defend and be defended, in all courts of law and equity; to have a common seal, and to alter it at pleasure; to hold all kinds of estate which they may acquire by purchase or donation to any amount necessary to accomplish the objects of the institution, and to have and to convey at discretion; to form a constitution and bylaws for their perpetuation and government; to make all necessary regulations for the management of their fiscal concerns; to admit, exclude, and expel members; to appoint officers, and to do such other acts as may be necessary to effect the promotion of theological and scientific knowledge; provided, however, that said constitution, bylaws, and regulations, shall be consistent with the constitution of the United States and the State of Ohio.

SECTION 2. That the professor or professors appointed by said board, in said college, or a majority of them, shall constitute the faculty, and have power to enforce the rules and regulations enacted by the board of directors for the government and discipline of the students, and finally to suspend or expel such of them, as may, in their judgment, deserve it, and to grant and confirm by the consent of the board of directors, such degrees in the liberal arts and sciences, or such branches thereof, to such students or others, whom, by their proficiency in learning and other meritorious distinctions, they shall regard as entitled to them, as it has been usual to grant in other colleges, and to grant to such graduates diplomas or certificates under their common seal, to authenticate and perpetuate such graduation; provided that the power of conferring degrees shall not be exercised by said corporation until it shall have acquired property, either real or personal, and in possession thereof, to the value of ten thousand dollars, to be ascertained by three disinterested free-holders of the county where said college may be located; said appraisers to be appointed by the auditor of such county, and to make return in writing of their appraisement, which returns shall be filed and preserved in the office of said auditor.

SECTION 3. That no misnomer of said corporation shall defeat or annul any gift, grant, device or bequest, to or for the said corporation, provided the intent of the parties shall sufficiently appear upon the face of the gift, grant, will, or other writing, whereby any estate or interest was intended to pass to or for said corporation.

Written By: Professor of History Tom Taylor
Distributed via campus e-mail: March 11, 2010
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