From Ohio History Central
Mount Union College obtained its charter from the state of Ohio in 1858, although the school had functioned as a private academy before that date. O.N. Hartshorn founded the college and served as its first president. From the beginning, Mount Union utilized Christian teachings as a component of its curriculum, although the school was not originally associated with a specific religious denomination. The college admitted both men and women from the outset, making it one of the early coeducational institutions in Ohio.
Mount Union faced some important challenges during its first several decades. During the Civil War, the college did receive some support from the Methodist Episcopal Church, but this support did not solve Mount Union's financial problems. Throughout the second half of the nineteenth century, the college struggled with financial issues. The school seemed to face insurmountable problems with debt during this era.
In the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, Mount Union underwent significant transformation. The college curriculum was modernized and came to reflect a strong liberal arts focus. In addition, the school began to offer graduate classes as well. Outside of the classroom, Mount Union became one of the first colleges in the nation to have its own basketball team. During this era, the college merged with another local school, Scio College, which was facing financial problems.
Since World War II, the college has continued to grow and change. Mount Union finally dealt with its financial issues by instituting a balanced budget in the 1950s. The school improved the campus significantly by building new buildings and renovating old ones. Like many other college campuses in Ohio and across the nation, Mount Union experienced student protests during the years of the Vietnam War, but student unrest proved to be less violent there than at Kent State University or The Ohio State University. Mount Union College also boasts an excellent football program. The college was the Division III National Champions in 1993, 1996, 1997, 1998, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2005 and 2006.