Owens Community College is named after Michael J. Owens, a Toledo inventor who changed the glass industry forever by mechanizing bottle blowing in 1903.
The son of a coal miner, he began his career as a glassmaker at the age of 10, stoking glass furnaces in Wheeling, West Virginia. Nearly twenty years later, in 1888, he came to Toledo to work for Libbey as a skilled glassblower. His Owens Bottle Machine introduced automation to glassmaking, in the process eliminating child labor and revolutionizing the glass industry, which had changed little in 2,000 years.
His work made it possible for thousands of jobs to be created and changed our community forever.
Michael J. Owens is also the "Owens" in Owens-Illinois, Owens Corning and Libbey-Owens-Ford. We are proud that the College bears his name.
Owens Community College began as a technical institute under the jurisdiction of the Ohio Department of Education. The first classes were offered in Toledo on September 13, 1965 with less than 200 students. Two years later, in 1967, the College was chartered by the Ohio Board of Regents as a technical college. In 1983, Owens Community College opened its Findlay-area campus at Cory and Davis streets.
In 1994, the College was chartered as a comprehensive state community college with a district encompassing Lucas, Wood and Hancock counties, and parts of Ottawa and Sandusky counties.
Since 1994, Owens Community College has more than doubled its student enrollment on the Toledo-area and Findlay-area campuses and is the fastest growing higher educational institution in Northwest Ohio. Owens' Toledo-area and Findlay-area campuses continually serve more than 45,000 credit and non-credit students annually.
|Findlay-area Campus History Overview|
|1982||April 1982, the Owens Technical College district was expanded by the Ohio Board of Regents to include the City of Findlay and Hancock County.|
|1982||The groundbreaking ceremony for the 32,000 square foot, four-acre Findlay-area campus was held in December. At this time, the campus was known as Owens Technical College South.|
|1983||The Findlay-area campus opened with 201 students enrolled in the initial offerings of Engineering Technologies in Electrical/Electronics and Mechanical, Law Enforcement, Food Service and Surgical Technologies.|
|1984||Owens Findlay-area campus experienced a 27% enrollment increase after its first year of operation and became an official member of "Flag City U.S.A.".|
|1985||On May 11, U.S. Representative Michael G. Oxley (R-Findlay) gave the commencement address when the Findlay-area campus graduated its first class of 15 students.|
|1991||A major expansion to the Findlay-area campus was completed as a result of increased program offerings and enrollment growth.|
|1994||Ohio Board of Regents approved the conversion of the Toledo-area campus of Owens Technical College into a comprehensive state community college. At this same time, the Findlay-area campus officially became the Technical Campus of Owens State Community College.|
|1994||The Owens Findlay-area campus expanded to provide Center for Development and Training programs.|
|2000||The Arts and Sciences program on the Findlay-area campus was approved by the Ohio Board of Regents, allowing students to take all the required classes for the first two years in the arts and sciences bachelor's degree program.|
|2001||The Ohio Board of Regents approved a permanent charter for both the Toledo-area and Findlay-area campuses to operate as Owens State Community College.|
|2002||60 acres of land was purchased from John J. Voorhees for the relocation of the Findlay-area campus operation.|
|2003||Over the past twenty years, the Owens Community College's Findlay-area campus has served more than 28,000 alumni, offers dozens of degree and certificate programs and enrolls approximately 2,500 students per semester.|
|2003||In 2003, the College celebrated its growth with a 20th Anniversary and Groundbreaking Ceremony.|
|2005||In 2005, the College relocated the Findlay-area campus to its new site on Bright Road in Hancock County. The 120,000 SF education center was opened for classes on August 22, 2005.|