Throwback Thursday

Dr. Claude Sowle (pictured) was the Ohio University President from 1969-1974. It was a tumultuous time to be a university president. Student coalitions and other groups across the country sought big changes in the way things were run. Dr. Sowle had a good reputation as the Dean at the University of Cincinnati, College of Law when he was hired at Ohio University. The Faculty Senate and the Board of Directors liked his work. He was here during the 1970 student riots when he closed the school. Under his leadership, an office of equal opportunities was created and he established public forums for all to speak. In 1974, there more riots. A student coalition made 51 demands and presented them to Sowle. The demands were deemed to be unworkable and unreasonable by the Faculty Senate and others. At one point during this unrest, a plot was discovered to kidnap a member of the Sowle family. Because of these pressures, Dr. Sowle turned in his resignation. There were pleas by the Board of Trustees and Faculty Senate for him to reconsider. There was even a rally in support of Sowle by fraternity and sorority members. He resigned at the end of May 1974. Dr. Sowle went on to a professorship of law at Ohio State University. Later, he became dean of the school of law at the University of Miami.

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