The civilian Government of Ogun State in 1979 expressed its desire and determination to establish more Polytechnics, Colleges of Education and a University for the State during its first term in office. Thus, by a letter dated 19th January 1982, the then Honourable Commissioner for Education convened the Planning committee for the establishment of Ogun State University.
On 16th March 1982, the planning committee headed by renowned Professor Akinlawon Ladipo Mabogunje, submitted its report. Consequently, in July, 1982, a bill to establish Ogun State University was debated and passed into law by the Ogun State House of Assembly. With the assent of the then Civilian Governor of Ogun State, Chief Olabisi Onabanjo, on 7th July, 1982 it became the “law to provide for the establishment, incorporation, constitution, laws and functions of a Provisional Council of the Ogun State University and for other matters incidental thereto or connected therewith.”
On Tuesday, 28th September 1982, the appointment of the pioneer Chairman of Council, the first Vice-Chancellor and other members of the Provisional Council was announced by His Excellency, the then executive Governor of Ogun State. The Provisional Council was formally inaugurated on Thursday, 28th October, 1982.
Ogun State University was patterned after the American State University system. In addition to adopting the “land grant” system, Ogun State University was established to lead in the identification of the state’s problems and also proffer solutions for them. To enable the university have a state-wide reach, Ogun State University was designed as a multi-campus institution, with College of Health Sciences in Sagamu (Remo), College of Engineering in Ibogun (Egba), College of Agricultural Sciences in Aiyetoro (Yewa), and the Main campus housing Faculties of Arts and Humanities as well as Natural Sciences in Ago-Iwoye (Ijebu).
On Monday, 31st January, 1983 the University opened its doors to its first set of students, numbering a little over 500 in all. On Friday, 30th January, 1987, the University held its first convocation ceremony, formally graduating 285 students who had completed and passed their examinations as at 17th September, 1986.
The foundation principal management officers of the university were: Professor A. L. Mabogunje – Pro-Chancellor and Chairman of Council, Professor J. O. Sodipo – Vice Chancellor, Mr. N. O. Sotoyinbo –Registrar, Mr. O. O. Ogundipe (Librarian, University of Benin) – Visiting Librarian, Mr. S. B. Onigbinde – Deputy Bursar, and Mr. A. O. Oyeledun – Deputy Director of Works.
Today, the University is operating in all its various campuses, with over 95% of its academic programmes accredited by NUC. Ogun State University, now Olabisi Onabanjo University has continued to produce high quality manpower that leads in the identification of global problems and proffering solutions to them.