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Columbiana County was established March 25th, 1803. The name is derived from a combination of Columbus (Christopher Columbus) and Anna. Columbiana County was rich in soil for agricultural purposes, but also rich in mining opportunities. Iron Ore was most plentiful in Salem, while clay was the foundation for East Liverpool, thus making it the leader nationwide in pottery production.
The East Liverpool Campus of Kent State University was permanently established in 1965. It began as an academic center in the International Brotherhood of Pottery building. In June 1968, the center became a Regional Campus of Kent State University and - thanks to the generosity of the East Liverpool City Schools which sold the former high school buildings to Kent for $1.00 - moved to its present facilities on East Fourth Street.
In 1989, the Mary Patterson Building, a former women's residence, was purchased by the Friends of the East Liverpool Campus and was partially renovated in 1993. In 1996, the campus undertook a capital fundraising campaign, "Opening Doors to Opportunity," which raised $956,000 from the community to completely transform the Mary Patterson Building into a state-of-the-art learning center. In addition to the private donations, Kent State University and the State of Ohio contributed a total of $2 million in additional funds to complete the project. The Grand Re-Opening of the building was held in May 2000.
Kent State Salem is located just south of the city at 2491 state Route 45 south. Situated on 100-acres, the campus features a pond and nature trails. The campus recently added a multi-million dollar Health and Science Wing, complete with centralized classrooms and new nursing and radiologic and imaging sciences laboratories. Kent State Salem's second building, the City Center, is located in the heart of downtown Salem at 230 N. Lincoln Ave. It is the site of the former Salem High School and Junior High. Combined with its sister campus, Kent State University at East Liverpool, more than 20 degrees are offered, including 12 bachelor's degrees. The two campuses serve more than 3,500 students annually.