Case Western Reserve University

From Ohio History Central

In 1967, the Case Institute of Technology and Adelbert College of Western Reserve University united together to form Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio.

Adelbert College began as Western Reserve College, which opened in 1826. It was the first institution of higher education in what had been the Connecticut Western Reserve. Western Reserve College was closely affiliated with the Presbyterian Church. Religious groups operated most early colleges in Ohio, hoping to instill their students with good moral values and to create missionaries who would help convert new members. Originally established at Hudson, Western Reserve College moved to Cleveland in 1882. It was one of the first colleges in Ohio to admit African-American students.

During the 1820s and the 1830s, Western Reserve College became an important center for anti-slavery sentiment in Ohio. During the early 1830s, abolitionist Theodore Dwight Weld visited the school and recruited several faculty members to the anti-slavery cause. In 1833, Western Reserve College organized the first abolitionist society in the former Connecticut Western Reserve. The school's anti-slavery activities upset many white residents of northeast Ohio. Some of these people believed slavery was wrong but feared that large numbers of African Americans would move to the North, including Ohio, if slavery ended.

Over the years, Western Reserve College's name changed. In 1892, Amasa Stone donated a sizable fund of money to the institution. As a result of this gift, Western Reserve College became Adelbert College of Western Reserve University. Adelbert was the name of Stone's son. In 1967, Adelbert College and Case Institute of Technology merged, creating modern-day Case Western Reserve University.

The Case Institute of Technology began as the Case School of Applied Science, which was founded in 1880 in the city of Cleveland, in part through the donations of local businessman Leonard Case. Most colleges and universities in the nineteenth century were devoted to the concept of a liberal arts education. The Case School of Applied Science was only the fourth American institution of higher learning to focus on a technical education and was the first such school to be located west of the Appalachian Mountains.

In 1948, the Case School of Applied Science was renamed the Case Institute of Technology. In 1967, the school merged with its neighbor, the Western Reserve University, to form Case Western Reserve University. Case Institute of Technology became the first engineering college to offer a program in computer engineering in 1963, and Case Western Reserve University, through its Case School of Engineering, continues to be a strong leader in a number of engineering fields today.

Since its establishment, Case Western Reserve University has continued to grow and prosper. In 2005, 4186 undergraduates and 5,766 graduate students enrolled in the institution. Case Western Reserve University is especially known for its law, medical, nursing, and business colleges.

See Also


  1. Cramer, C.H. Case Western Reserve: A History of the University, 1826-1976. Boston, MA: Little, Brown and Company, 1976.