When Walter and Emma Malone first embarked on their dream in 1892 to open northeast Ohio’s first school of ministry, they could not have imagined just how large that dream would become.
Today, Malone University is Canton’s oldest institution of higher learning.
“What makes Malone special is the manner in which learning and faith are integrated and the value we place on loving and supporting our students,” said Malone President David King. “While the country is blessed with many faith-based universities, our discipleship model of education is distinctive. Our environment allows students to discover and become the person they are meant to be. And students are welcome at Malone, no matter where they are in their faith journey.
“Evidence of that is the fact that our Christian diversity includes more than 45 different faith backgrounds as well as students with no faith background. We invite students into our community to understand diverse perspectives, cultures, experiences and beliefs from a biblically based and Christ-centered perspective.
“Malone excels at equipping students to serve their community, their profession, their church and our world. Our campus culture places a high value on relationships, relationships that are critical to our formative and transformative student experience.”
Malone’s current campus site was dedicated on April 24, 1956. Its original 54-acre tract stands on the grounds of the old City Infirmary. The first students were admitted in 1957.
The Malones were Quakers who started the original Cleveland Bible Institute with just six students.
Today, Malone University has 1,613 students enrolled at its main campus, with thousands more taking online classes.
The late Malone history professor John Oliver Jr., who wrote an autobiography on the Malones in 1996, described the couple as being far ahead of their time in advocating equal education for women and minorities.
Oliver noted that Emma Malone also made American history as the nation’s first woman college (co) president. She was posthumously inducted into the YWCA Stark County Women’s Hall of Fame in 1998.
After upgrading its educational standards, the school underwent several name changes and continued to grow, offering training in missionary work.
In 1937, it became Cleveland Bible College. In 1948, it attained accreditation at the collegiate level from the Accrediting Association of Bible Colleges. Byron L. Osborne served as president.
After the college was uprooted by a highway project in Cleveland, two Cantonians, S.L. Huffman, a radio station owner and board member, and the Rev. Russell Myers of First Friends Church, convinced the board to relocate the college to Canton—but only after fending off offers from Dover and Salem.
In 1956, the board changed the college’s name to honor its founders. Osborne continued in his role as president in Canton. Osborne died in 1990.
In 1958, the Ohio Department of Education granted Malone permission to offer courses leading to a bachelor of art degree and a bachelor of science in education.
The university currently offers 91 undergraduate programs, and 12 graduate programs in the fields of nursing, organizational leadership, education and business administration.
Malone also has excelled in athletics, organizing its men’s basketball team in 1957, followed by track and field in 1962, soccer, golf, football and other sports.
Golfer Ken Hyland became Malone’s first national collegiate champion in 1969. Malone added women’s athletics in 1967, starting with basketball, followed by tennis, track, soccer, golf and others.
In 2013, Malone athletics teams began competing in NCAA Division II.
In 2012, Malone’s legendary cross country coach Jack Hazen was named as an assistant coach for the USA Track & Field Team at the 2012 London Olympic Games. Hazen’s men’s teams have won four national titles, and the women’s team has won one championship.
In 2017, Hazen, who has coached for more than 50 years, was inducted into the United States Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association’s Hall of Fame.
Did you know?
• The Cleveland Clinic now sits on the site of the home of Malone University founders Walter and Emma Malone.
• As part of Malone’s centennial in 1992, the late Former First Lady Barbara Bush visited. She was accompanied by her son Marvin.
• Malone bought the former First Christian Church in 2009, rechristening the First Christian Church as The Ronald G. and Marjorie L. Johnson Center for Worship and the Fine Arts.
• Malone acquired the former Temple Israel and nine acres in 2011.
Facts & Figures
• Students: 1,613
• Tuition: $29,000 (not including fees or room and board)
• Full-time faculty: 83
• Undergraduate majors: 51; undergraduate minors, 49
• Graduation rate: 55 percent
• Acceptance rate: 69 percent
• Total graduates: 21,793; living alumni, 19,998
• Student organizations: 65
• Dormitories: 10
• Total buildings: 23, on 96 acres
• Sports programs: 18
• Student athletes: 423
• 2016: Malone is given a $1 million endowment for music education.
• 2017: Malone ranked 75th among 173 Best Regional Universities in the Midwest for 2018 by U.S. News & World Report.
• 2017: Malone named one of Ohio’s Best Colleges by College Choice.
• 2017: Groundbreaking for Pioneer Park, a multipurpose outdoor athletic and recreation complex to be completed this year.
Source: Malone University