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Herschel W. Nisonger

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Herschel W. Nisonger (1890–1969) devoted his energies to the field of mental health and intellectual disabilities on the local, state and national levels through research, consultation and administration. After graduating from The Ohio State University in 1914 and receiving his master’s degree from Columbia University in 1926, Mr. Nisonger accepted a professorship in Ohio State’s College of Agriculture and Home Economics. He later held positions as director of Ohio State’s Bureau of Special and Adult Education and director of Ohio State’s Bureau of Educational Research and Service. Mr. Nisonger was also director of special studies for the American Association on Mental Deficiency (AAMD) and in 1961–62 served as president of AAMD (now American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities).

In 1963 President John F. Kennedy signed the “Mental Retardation Facilities and Community Mental Health Centers Construction Act” (P.L. 88-164), which made federal dollars available for “the construction of mental retardation facilities; grants for training professional personnel in the education of the handicapped; and grants for conducting research related to the education of the handicapped.” The Nisonger Center was created in 1966 as an interdisciplinary program of The Ohio State University through funds from P.L. 88-164 and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Maternal and Child Health (MCH) Bureau. MCH funds built the McCampbell Hall building on the Ohio State medical campus, into which the Nisonger Center moved upon its completion in 1972.

-Taken from http://nisonger.osu.edu/history

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