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We honor our past because it shapes our future.

Otterbein's story begins in the mid-1800s, before the abolition of slavery, before the women's right movement, before equality and inclusion were rights. In 1847, equality and inclusion actually laid the foundation of Otterbein. We included women as faculty members and as students from our founding, and we were the first institution in the nation to do so. Otterbein admitted students of color before the Civil War, rescued fugitive slaves and welcomed Japanese-American students who had been sent to internment camps during World War II. And we gave students a voice in our story through our unique governance system beginning in the 1920s. Today, approximately 3,000 students come to Otterbein each year to experience that same spirit of inclusion.

We hope you enjoy exploring this timeline of our history.