When the Brothers of Christian Instruction stood in a farmer's field at the corner of North Market and Easton in North Canton, Ohio, they formed a vision - a vision to turn fifty acres of alfalfa into a college campus. This vision lay on a foundation of faith, courage and selfless hard work.
That vision was realized on November 17, 1960, when the seven founding Brothers, comprising the entire faculty, welcomed the incoming class of sixty-seven "gentlemen" to, then, Walsh College. The school was named after the Bishop of the Youngstown Diocese at the time, Most Reverend Emmet Walsh. Br. Farrell (Walsh University's first president) stood on the steps and gave the group a pep talk to the inaugural class.
Apparently, construction delays and final charter approval by the Ohio Board of Regents forced a late start for classes, and students would be required to double up on their credit hours to complete the fall semester on time.
Staff support at the time came from a full-time custodian and a part-time secretary. Two structures, a residence for the Brothers (La Mennais Hall) and an academic building (Farrell Hall), stood on the bare campus. The parking lot flooded whenever it rained, and boards were used to cover muddy walkways. (Quite a contrast to the present 24 buildings and nearly 300 faculty and staff led by Walsh's sixth president, Richard Jusseaume.)
At first, Walsh offered a liberal arts curriculum with majors in secondary education and business administration, as well as pre-professional programs in dentistry, medicine and law. Today, Walsh's nearly 3,000 students can select from more than 50 undergraduate majors and seven graduate degrees including a doctorate of physical therapy and a doctorate of nursing practice.
This wonderful Catholic higher-education resource has continued to grow and prosper for more than 50 years because the Brothers of Christian Instruction, and those who have built on their efforts, had a vision - a vision that built Walsh University.