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Western College

Western College began July 14, 1853, as the Western Female Seminary, and later was known as Western College for Women before becoming a part of Miami University in 1974. The Western campus was in the southeast corner of present Oxford, south of Trenton-Oxford Road (Ohio 73) and east of Millville-Oxford Road (U. S. 27). It was founded by the Rev. Daniel Tunney, pastor of Oxford's Second Presbyterian Church. Its original constitution said its name would be Beecher Female Seminary, in honor of Lyman Beecher, who had encouraged its formation. Its object was "to combine thorough mental culture with evangelical Christian instructions and to make such provisions in the endowment and in the boarding department connected with it as materially to diminish the ordinary expenses of an academic course." This was a reference to the Mount Holyoke system (on which Western was modeled), which required students to devote about an hour a day to such domestic duties as cooking and cleaning. Western opened in September 1855 on a 30-acre campus. The college "had no official connection with the Presbyterian Church," stated Narka Nelson in The Western College for Women, 1853-1953. Mrs. Nelson said members of the Second Presbyterian Church, "because of Rev. Daniel Tunney's interest in founding the seminary, contributed much time, interest and money to the institution, but these were personal gifts."
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