Dan Garrison served as Ohio State ATI's director from 1979 until his retirement in 1992, but he was part of ATI from its very beginnings, serving as assistant director to Dr. Jerry Halterman when ATI opened its doors in 1972. Garrison, a native of Manchester, Ohio, came to Ohio State ATI from Clark Technical College (now Clark State Community College) in Springfield.
During his tenure at Ohio State ATI, he saw the construction of ATI's two main academic buildings, Halterman and Skou Halls, then known simply as Phase I and Phase II. Prior to the opening of the Phase I building, classes were held on the campus of the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center. One of the monumental tasks that was in Garrison's list of responsibilities was the construction of the master schedule. Garrison's wife, Betty, recalled that he tackled the job using a large cork board and numerous small pieces of paper.
Garrison's tenure as director included the period where Ohio State ATI had no campus housing for students. "Students lived in the community," he said, "and we never had a bit of trouble with any of them. They were good kids."
Midway through his tenure as director, the 1981-82 annual report prepared by Garrison notes a number of accomplishemnts, including the establishment of a disability services program, purchase of 10 Radio Shack computers to establish a computer lab, and manufacturing 7 million boardfeet of lumber in ATI's sawmill.
These days, Garrison, at age 84, keeps busy on the seven-acre mini-farm he and Betty purchased when they came to Wooster.
While Garrison oversaw many, many changes within Ohio State ATI during his 20 years of service, the one thing he maintains never changed was the quality of the students. "We had very good students," he said. "Students were there to learn and work. Their feet were on the ground and they had a serious purpose."