Community a better place because of OUS

Published 12:00 am Thursday, September 9, 2004

Tribune editorial staff

Although with Wednesday's drenching weather, most folks would find it hard to believe, but a bright light is shining in Ironton.

Didn't you see it this week?

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If you traveled much down U.S. 52 in Ironton, you probably drove right past and you may not have noticed.

But make no doubt about it; a special light switch was flipped back to the "on" position this week. The light about which we speak is Ohio University Southern in Ironton.

Fall classes began this week and the year looks even bigger and better than before.

From relatively humble beginnings, the university has blossomed into a major player in our community, and what a good neighbor to have on our side.

Say what you will about the changing economy and the decline of the industrial base that once served as the core to our community. In the modern world education is the key to the success of a person - or even a community. Ohio University Southern is filling that need in grand order.

From the Ohio Horse Park facility to the main campus in Ironton to the growing Proctorville Center, perhaps no other entity better encompasses the diversity of Lawrence County and other parts of the Tri-State than Ohio University Southern.

Although exact figures will not be finalized for a little longer, preliminary enrollment numbers already show growth over last year, which was the biggest in the university's history.

What many people do not realize is that the university is not just for recent high school graduates. Residents from all ages, walks of life and economic strata attend the university. And the university's impact on Ironton and Lawrence County is great. From the economic benefits to the social and cultural benefits the area receives as a result of the university's presence, all are felt and all are appreciated.

So the next time you find yourself driving by, notice the light shining brightly and be thankful that light is in our community.