To celebrate the university’s sesquicentennial, Ohio State is offering a $2,500 scholarship opportunity to students. Credit: Casey Cascaldo | Photo Editor

Founded in 1870 as a land-grant university, Ohio State formed its first student body with 25 students studying agricultural and mechanical studies, according to the University Archives.

One hundred fifty years later, Ohio State has become the third-largest university in the U.S., home to more than 45,000 students who make up the undergraduate student body and represent more than 200 diverse majors.

To celebrate the university’s 150th anniversary of furthering its mission as a land-grant institution — meaning the land was publicly provided by the state — a new $2,500 scholarship opportunity, the sesquicentennial student scholar leadership program, is being offered to Ohio State students.

Accepted students will be trained to serve as ambassadors for the university during the 2019-20 school year and will embody Ohio State’s motto of “education for citizenship.”

“As a land-grant university, we feel the vision of these universities are to, as it says in education for citizenship, prepare our students to help better the community and the world that they’re in,” Todd Avery, sesquicentennial project coordinator, said.

Avery said the 150 accepted students will participate in leadership development trainings led by faculty members and might serve a variety of roles, including representative, spokesperson or social media advocate for the university.

“At the event or program where [students are] representing the sesquicentennial, they get a chance to actually display some of those leadership qualities and also learn some of the great qualities that help make citizens be able to help in the community and the world after their time at a university,” Avery said.

Anne Montalto, sesquicentennial project coordinator, said accepted applicants must be enrolled in an undergraduate, graduate or professional program at any of Ohio State’s campuses for the 2019-20 school year.

“This scholarship program reaches all Ohio State students just like our land-grant mission serves all people in the state of Ohio and beyond,” Montalto said in an email. “This is truly an inclusive effort, and I look forward to seeing the success of this program and the impact it has on our students.”

Avery said the diverse representation of students in the scholarship program will allow selected applicants to better exhibit the values and cultural diversity at Ohio State.

“We’re looking for those passionate about Ohio State and those passionate about the sesquicentennial celebration,” Avery said. “We’re also looking for those serving as ambassadors and being representatives of all the values that Ohio State has and what that means to them specifically in their Ohio State story.”

In addition to the scholarship, the sesquicentennial team is launching other projects and events to celebrate the history of the university and its progress since being founded.

Avery said that a History of Ohio State course will be open to enrolled students faculty, alumni or any Buckeye fan in the community.

The team is working with WOSU Public Media to create a documentary series to illustrate the “depth and breadth” of the university, highlighting both its mission as a land-grant institution and the student experience at Ohio State.

The sesquicentennial scholarship application is due Friday. The application, along with additional information regarding the 150th anniversary celebration, can be found on