John Henry Ackerman (1911-1921)


John Ackerman was born in Warren, Ohio on November 7, 1855, raised in Toronto, Iowa, and educated at the State Normal School of Wisconsin. He was a supporter of tax measures designed to improve the conditions of rural schools, which saw substantial improvement during his tenure.

Prior to his time at Oregon Normal School (ONS), Ackerman was Principal of the Holiday School in Portland, Oregon and later, the Harrison School. In 1896, Ackerman was promoted to Superintendent of Multnomah County Schools and became Superintendent of Oregon Schools in 1899. When the legislature reopened the normal school in Monmouth in 1911, which had closed in 1909 due to a lack of state funding, he served as President of the newly reopened Oregon Normal School.

As President, Ackerman oversaw construction of many new buildings on campus, including the school's first dormitory (later named Todd Hall) and the gymnasium (later known as Maple Hall). He helped to organize the Normal School accreditation registry, in which the State Education Boards of individual states recognized the accreditation of others. He fought for the passage of the mileage bill in 1920 to establish adequate and stable funding for ONS. He died July 10, 1921 at his home in Monmouth, Oregon, and his funeral was attended by prominent members of the Oregon community, including Governor Olcott. He is buried at City View Cemetery in Salem, Oregon.

In 2010, a new residence hall was named in his honor which incorporated housing areas and classrooms, and was one of the first LEED Platinum buildings, with numerous energy saving installations.