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How Ohio's Oldest University Earned the Moniker "Harvard on the Hocking"

The Ivy League’s lasting influence on OU’s campus

Walking through College Green on Ohio University’s Athens campus for the first time is an unforgettable experience. The brick paths and buildings alongside the Hocking River represent a 200-year history of academic excellence, earning the university the nickname "Harvard on the Hocking."

The nickname references the look of the prestigious Ivy League school and is used by students, alums, staff and other Ohioans. It is not uncommon for the nickname to spark debate concerning the validity of the nickname and where it originated. Although the phrase may be common lingo around Southeast Ohio, very little is widely known about the origins of the nickname.

A common explanation for the nickname has to do with the architecture on campus and its uncanny similarities with Harvard’s.

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