|Roger Williams University|
|Motto||Veritas vos liberabit|
Motto in English
|The Truth Will Set You Free|
|Endowment||$14.3 million (2016)|
|Location||Ottawa, Kansas, U.S.
|Colors||Black and Gold
|NAIA - KCAC|
Ottawa University (OU) is a private, non-profit, Christian liberal arts university in Ottawa, Kansas, United States. It was founded in 1865 and is affiliated with the American Baptist Churches USA. Ottawa has approximately 600 students on its residential campus in Ottawa, with about 7,000 students across all of its campuses and online.
The origins of Ottawa University date back to the 1860s. During this time, Baptist missionaries had established the First Baptist Church in the area that would eventually develop into Ottawa, which at the time was occupied by Native Americans. Elsewhere, Kansas Baptists had managed to charter a institute of higher learning that they were planning on calling the "Roger Williams University". In the early 1860s, they were looking for a place to establish it, and at the 1860 Baptist State Convention in Atchison, Kansas, Rev. John Tecumseh "Tauy" Jones made a case for the university coming to Ottawa; he proposed that the Baptists work with the Native Americans in the area, who had land that they might be willing to sell for the purpose of creating a college. After discussions with the Native Americans--who were amendable to the idea--it was agreed that 20,000 acres of land would be set aside for the express purpose of constructing a college. On August 20, 1862, the first board of trustees (made up of four Native Americans and two white Baptists) met and decided to purchase 5,000 acres of the aforementioned land so as to establish a campus. In 1865, the name "Roger Williams University" was decommissioned in favor of "Ottawa University". Eventually, the campus was whittled down to about 640 acres.
The original campus is in Ottawa, Kansas and is referred to as the "Residential College" or "The College" by the staff.
Ottawa University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. Its education programs in Kansas are accredited by the National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education and the Kansas State Department of Education.
Ottawa University offers bachelor's degree programs in more than 25 disciplines. Current graduate program offerings include Master of Business Administration (MBA), Master of Arts in Education (MAEd), Master of Arts in Human Resources (MAHR), and Master of Arts in Counseling (MAC).
In 2017, U.S. News & World Report ranked the school as the 3rd-highest regional private college in Kansas; the site also ranked Ottawa University as 42 out of 150 in a ranking of Midwest Regional Colleges.
The Department of Church Relations maintains the university's long-standing relationship with the clergy and churches within the American Baptist Churches USA. Church Relations also works to recruit students from American Baptist Churches across the country.
Ottawa University is the Alpha Chapter of Pi Kappa Delta, the national speech and debate honorary. In 1913, Ottawa became the founding member and continues to invest in forensic activities over 100 years later.
The Music and Drama Departments offer productions for the community and serve as host for community related events.
Ottawa University teams are known as the Braves. The university is a member of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) and competes in the Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference (KCAC). The school provides eleven intercollegiate sports for men, ten intercollegiate sports for women, and a varied intramural program. Men's sports include baseball, basketball, cross country, football, golf, lacrosse, soccer, tennis, track & field, volleyball, and wrestling, while women's sports include basketball, cross country, golf, lacrosse, soccer, softball, track & field, tennis, volleyball, and wrestling. The school is the home of the recently renovated Peoples Bank Field.
Ottawa views attending college as an "opportunity to interact with people, learn new skills and discover new talents". The university offers over 30 student groups, clubs and organizations, including a radio station and the oldest student-run newspaper in Kansas, The Campus. The school offers drama, music, honor societies, campus ministry opportunities, and other activities.