In 1955, Dr. Harry Crewson, then professor of economics and later president of Ohio University, strongly believed that Ohio University employees needed a place where they could borrow and save at reasonable rates. "In Athens in 1955, there were at least a couple of Agencies on Court Street, which specialized in lending money at high rates of interest. Also, I was aware that some of the non-academic employees at OU were going to these agencies for loans. From the outset, I envisioned a University Credit Union primarily as an organization that would provide reasonable lending and saving facilities for non-academic University employees," stated Crewson in a 1997 letter to the credit union.
While Crewson was chairman of the Faculty Advisory Council he received a credit union flier from the Ohio Credit Union League. Having a pioneering spirit and an economic background, he knew this was worth trying. With the approval of Ohio University President John Baker and $25 in hand, Crewson and Ohio University Treasurer Paul O'Brien secured a charter from the State of Ohio. OUCU officially opened for business in 1955 in the cashier's office in Ewing Hall. And so began Ohio's first state-chartered university credit union!
Although faculty and administrative employees were initially reluctant to use the credit union, all groups eventually realized the need for credit union services and OUCU's popularity continued to grow. What began as one employee working just one or two hours a day has grown to 72 employees in facilities open five days a week with 24-hour a day, 7 days a week access through twelve ATM machines and account access by phone and via the Internet.
By the end of the first year of operation, the credit union had 112 members and $11,879.23 in assets. In December 2007, we reported over 22,000 members and $203 million in assets! We remain through time, people helping people.
Read more about Dr. Harry Crewson.
What is the credit union difference? In a word, you! Members own their credit unions. While most financial institutions send profits to shareholders, credit unions return profits to members in the form of better rates, lower service charges, and convenient services. Members also have a direct impact on how the credit union operates by voting for the board of directors.
As a not-for-profit financial cooperative, our goal is to serve members with fair pricing, competitive products, genuine friendliness, and respect. Members are our neighbors, our friends, and our family. Although our products and services change with the availability of new technology and your changing needs, our commitment to serving you - our members - remains the number one priority.
To promote our members' financial well-being and quality of life.
Ohio University Credit Union is a member-owned financial institution whose board of directors, senior management, and staff are committed to