UC Inducts First Honorees to New Co-op Hall of Honor

Cooperative Education turns 100 this year! And as part of the many celebrations marking this centennial birthday year, the University of Cincinnati will select individuals and institutions key in co-op history for induction into a Co-op Hall of Honor.

These first honorees will be formally honored at a celebratory banquet to be held on the UC campus at

7 p.m., April 24, 2006

, in the Great Hall and in Rooms 400A and 400C of Tangeman University Center. In attendance will be representatives from about 500 co-op colleges and universities in the United States along with representatives from co-op universities in Austria, Canada, Finland, France, Japan, New Zealand, the Philippines and Singapore.

At that event, UC will also display a simulation of a new 15,000 square foot garden named for co-op’s founder, Herman Schneider. That garden will be located between McMicken Hall, the Joseph A. Steger Student Life Center and Baldwin Hall. This Herman Schneider Memorial Garden will eventually include low, granite seating-walls containing the names of the Co-op Hall of Honor inductees, a co-op timeline and other information relating to co-op.

Individuals who will be inducted into UC’s Co-op Hall of Honor in 2006 are

  • Herman Schneider, turn-of-the-century dean of UC’s College of Engineering, founded the practice of cooperative education here in 1906. In so doing, he overcame great resistance to the idea from within the university and from industry as well. Indeed, the co-op proposition squeaked by the UC Board of Trustees with one vote to spare. The very wording of the trustees’ consent is a doubt-laden contract: “We hereby grant the right to Dean Schneider to try, for one year, this cooperative idea of education…[for] the failure of which, we will not assume responsibility.”

  • Albert Barber is considered by many to be the father of cooperative education in Canada. He was the first director of the University of Waterloo’s Department of Cooperative Education after that university began a co-op program in 1957. Today, the University of Waterloo houses the world’s largest co-op program.

  • Donald Hunt was an engineering co-op student who, in 1945, became dean of Cooperative Education, Career Planning and Placement at the University of Detroit, an institution that began co-op in 1911. Hunt served in the role of co-op dean at the university for nearly 40 years and authored reference volumes and other materials related to co-op.

  • Charles “Boss Ket” Kettering was a gifted engineer and inventor who produced the all-electric ignition and lighting system that became standard equipment on the 1912 Cadillac. His list of innovations and inventions includes 300 separate applications, and he not only supported UC’s innovation of co-op but served as godfather to the Flint, Michigan, General Motors Institute, which began co-op in 1924. He also strongly supported starting co-op programs at Antioch College in 1921 and Northwestern in 1939. In 1957, as chair of the Thomas Alva Edison Foundation, he set in motion efforts that led to the greatest expansion in co-op’s history.

  • John Manley was a turn-of-the-century attorney for the Cincinnati Metal Trades Association. As such, his support was key to starting co-op here in Cincinnati which, in the early 1900s, made more machine tools than any other city in the world. Manley worked closely with UC’s Herman Schneider to convince local firm to accept those first co-op students.

  • Frank Vandergrift served for 20 years as director of the Cooperative Education Program at Auburn University, where co-op was adopted in 1937. He also co-founded the Alabama Cooperative Education Association.

  • James Wilson of the Rochester Institute of Technology, where co-op was adopted in 1912, conducted the first nationwide research study of cooperative education. In 1961, he published the first comprehensive documentation of the value of cooperative education and paved the way for later federal support of co-op’s expansion. He also served as editor of the Journal of Cooperative Education and vice president of the Cooperative Education and Internship Association.

  • James Wohlford, a one-time co-op student at the Georgia Institute of Technology, later came to direct the institution’s co-op program. During his tenure as director, which began in 1951, he increased student participation in co-op at Georgia Tech from 200 to more than 3,000 students. In addition, he developed the first accreditation criteria for engineering co-op programs and helped to found the Southeast Region Cooperative Education Conference.

Institutional inductees to UC’s Co-op Hall of Honor are

  • The Cooperative Education Division (CED) of the American Society for Engineering Education. For over 50 years, the CED was the only professional organization in cooperative education.

  • General Electric is a staunch supporter of cooperative education. In the last three years alone, GE has filled 770 co-op positions with UC students. In addition, the company provides bonuses to co-op students who contribute innovative ideas, provides housing allowances for students who must relocate to accept a company co-op position and also provides raises for co-op students who return for additional co-op work terms.

  • LPK (Libby Perszyk Kathman), the international design firm, has been a co-op employer for 50 years. Currently, 40 UC alumni now work at the award-winning firm led by CEO and President Jerry Kathman, who began his career with the firm as a co-op student from UC’s top-ranked College of Design, Architecture, Art, and Planning.

  • Milacron Inc., formerly known as the Cincinnati Milling Machine Co., was one of the original co-op employers to hire UC co-op students in 1906. That year, the company’s shop superintendent, Ernest Chace, put two UC co-op students – George Binns and Elmer Otting – to work. But knowing that management at the firm doubted co-op’s worth, he hid that fact from the company CEO and office manager. Once Chace was found out and it was learned what a good job the co-op students were doing, resistance to co-op evaporated within the company.



Related Stories


UC research seeks to protect athletes from brain injuries

December 1, 2022

Former football players worry about the effects of concussions suffered during their playing careers and hope research from the University of Cincinnati will help them and future generations avoid the worst consequences of brain injuries. UC’s Office of Research hosted a panel discussion in the Flashpoint Series, “Brain Injuries in Sports: How we can help our athletes,” which addressed the effects of brain injuries and how research aims to develop solutions to protect athletes.

Debug Query for this