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100-Year Legacy Breaks New Ground at UC

A ground breaking is set for Wednesday, Nov. 15, on the University of Cincinnati’s Baldwin Quad (to be renamed Herman Schneider Quad during the Nov. 15 events). On hand will be area employers who have been linked to the university for 100 years through UC’s celebrated cooperative education program.

Date: 11/7/2006 12:00:00 AM
By: M.B. Reilly
Phone: (513) 556-1824
Photos By: By Lucy Cossentino, Len Thomas, and from Archives

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As the global birthplace of cooperative education or “co-op” as it is often called, the University of Cincinnati has a legacy worth celebrating. One hundred years ago in September 1906, UC was the first school in the world to require its students to alternate time spent in the classroom with paid, professional, workplace positions so that the students could gain experience.

new co-op quad
In this PhotoShop illustration, UC's 1956 co-op plaza is shown as it will look after it is reinstalled in the new Herman Schneider Quad (formerly Baldwin Quad).

Back in 1906, UC sent 27 untested engineering students out of the classroom and into the workplace with local employers. So began what has become known worldwide (in 43 countries) as cooperative education, a system now used by about 500 U.S. universities and about 300,000 U.S. college students.  

This year, 2006, marks the centennial of cooperative education’s founding, and as part of a year’s worth of celebrations, UC will host a ground breaking and rededication of Baldwin Quad as the new “Herman Schneider Quad.” Celebrations begin at 10:15 a.m., and the actual breaking of ground is estimated to occur at 10:40 a.m., Wednesday, Nov. 15, at the west end of Baldwin Quad (near the west end of Swift Hall. (Baldwin Quad is being renamed for Herman Schneider, the one-time UC president who first proposed the co-op idea.)

The groundbreaking event will include UC President Nancy Zimpher as well as UC co-op students, faculty, alumni and employers – specifically Makino, Siemens and Milacron – all of whom have served as co-op partners with the university for the past 100 years. Each firm has employed generations of UC co-op students, providing both pay and valuable work experience to students while also recruiting those same students (upon graduation) as full-time hires.

The ground breaking kicks off construction of two new “co-op celebration sites” on campus, both located on the new Herman Schneider Quad (formerly Baldwin Quad) – one on the east end of quad, and one new plaza on the west end. The Nov. 15 groundbreaking for the two new plazas will be held at the west end of the new Herman Schneider Quad (just to the west of Swift Hall).

1956 quad
UC's 1956 co-op plaza will soon be reinstalled in the new Herman Schneider Quad (formerly Baldwin Quad).

When completed by next spring, the new plaza on the west end of the quad will include a sundial, about 100 square feet of inscribed granite slabs from 1956 (co-op's 50th anniversary); and a wide concrete bench, also from co-op's 50th anniversary celebration in 1956. The plaza and the bench, which extends in an arc of about 15 feet, are both dedicated to co-op's founder Herman Schneider. The slabs of the new plaza and the bench originally stood in the quad but were moved into storage in 2001 because of ongoing campus construction at the time.

The new plaza on the east end of the new Herman Schneider Quad (directly in front of Baldwin Hall) will contain about 100 square feet of granite slabs inscribed with the names of individuals who have furthered co-op’s global reach and spread. It will also contain a bust of co-op’s founder, Herman Schneider.

Close to both new plazas will be new trees and new lighting.

Employers participating in the ground breaking will be

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