Celebrating 150

Staff and students on campus in 1902. Photo courtesy of Pickler Memorial Library’s Digital Library.

The 2017-18 academic year is a notable one for Truman. It marks the 150th anniversary of the University’s founding, and the milestone will be celebrated throughout the year.

A lot has happened since Joseph Baldwin opened the doors to the North Missouri Normal School and Commercial College on Sept. 2, 1867. At that time, 12 states had yet to be admitted into the Union, and the University’s eventual namesake would not be born for another 17 years. The institution that would later come to be known as Truman was drastically different. All 144 students came to campus specifically to become teachers. Tuition was $50 per year, and there were no electives, only pre-planned courses in math, science, languages and the humanities, along with 30 hours in professional education.

Over time, academic programs beyond teacher education were added. By the mid-1980s, the Missouri legislature officially designated Truman as the state’s only liberal arts and sciences university.

During the school year, each issue of the Truman Today will include a photo, story or fun fact regarding the University’s history. Details surrounding the sesquicentennial, including upcoming special events, can be found at 150.truman.edu.