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Eastern Michigan University
Ypsilanti, MI, USA 48197
University Information:
(734) 487-1849

 

 

Historic Moments

1849
  Michigan State Normal School was established by the State of Michigan.
1852
  The first campus building was dedicated in October 1852. The first courses of study offered were English and Classical. The first college library, established by Professor Daniel Putnam, contained "a few periodicals and a few public documents."
1853
 

The Normal School opened its doors to 122 students.

1854
  The first courses in music were offered, with Albert Miller in charge.
1859
  On October 28 the main building, with most of its contents, was severely damaged by fire.
1860
  The main building was restored after 1859 fire.
1862
  The Normal School's first building focused on what was called the "physical structure"--a gymnasium--was built near the current site of the Ford Hall.
1864
  The erection of the second building on campus, the Conservatory, began.
1870
  In January, the Conservatory was dedicated for the use of the Training School.
1872
  The first Department of Modern Languages was established, with August Lodeman in charge.
1873
  The wooden gymnasium, the first of its kind, was destroyed by fire.
1878
  An addition was built onto the front of the Main Building, a large part of the rear wall was torn down and rebuilt. The roof was raised and the interior remodeled.
1882
  A rear addition more than 100 feet long and two stories high was added to the Main Building. The Training School was moved from the Conservatory to the new rear addition, and the Conservatory was occupied by the Music Department.
1888
  Michigan Normal was the nation's first college to offer Physical Training. North and South wings were added to the Main Building.
1890
  EMU was the first college in Michigan to establish a Department of Geography.
1894
  A new gymnasium was built on campus. The building stood next to the Water Tower.
1896
  Welch Hall was constructed to house the Teacher training school. StarkWeather Hall, a gift of Mrs. Mary Starkweather to the Student Christian Association, was constructed the same year.
1899
  Michigan State Normal School changed its name to Michigan State Normal College. The school appointed the first full-time instructor of Chemistry.
1900
  East and West wings were added to Welch Hall.
1901
  Normal was the first school in Michigan to offer courses in Industrial Arts.
1902
  On Oct. 6, the school celebrated the 50th anniversary of the opening of the first Normal School building. Daniel Putnam, at the time the man longest connected with the institution, read the same scripture that had been read 50 years earlier.
1903
  Sherzer Hall was built to house the Natural Science laboratories and classrooms. The first courses in Home Economics were offered with Annette Chase in charge.
1909
  A northwest wing was added to Welch Hall.
1914
  Pease Auditorium was built.
1914
  Boone Hall was constructed. Its various names: 1914-1950, Administration Building; 1950-1962, Arts Building; 1962-1968, Ford Hall; 1968-present, Boone Hall.
1915
  MSNC was the first state teachers college in the nation to establish training for teachers of handicapped children.
1922
  Sherzer Hall was further updated when a 10-inch refractor telescope was installed on the roof of the building.
1925
  Roosevelt High School was opened as a Laboratory school for Normal School teachers, providing private education for local residents.
1930
  Ford Hall was opened as the first stand-alone library at the college.
1931
  McKenny Union was opened as a Student Union with social and meeting facilities. MSNC was the first teachers' college in the United States to have a student center building.
1937
  Briggs Hall was opened as the new Field House.
1938
  Construction of Rackham Building began, to provide a home for the Special Education Department.
1939
  King Residence Hall, Goodison Residence Hall and the Business and Finance building were constructed under the supervision of President John M. Munson.
1940
  MSNC initiated a program in library services. It was the first teacher training school to do so. Also, Munson Residence Hall was constructed.
1941
  The Hover Laboratory was constructed. The college acquired the old greenhouse in 1942; the building is believed to have been constructed about 1902.
1943
  The Munson Residence Hall housed soldiers of the Army Specialized Training Program. Three hundred soldiers, selected from camps around the nation, collected at Michigan State Normal College to form Company H of the 3651st Unit of the A.S.T.P.
1948
  Pierce Hall was built as an Administration and Classroom Building. Jones Hall was built as a residence hall for women.
1949
  Brown Residence Hall was built. Also, after spending more than $7,000 and 12 months in preparation, the three-day Centennial celebration of MSNC began on May 18 with the Centennial Ball in the McKenny ballroom.
1950
  Following the construction of the new administration building at Pierce Hall, Boone became the Arts building.
1955
  Pine Grove Apartments # 1 and Goddard Residence Hall were built. A second field house, Bowen Field House, was built on Eastern’s campus.
1956
  MSNC became known as Eastern Michigan College. The construction of Strong Hall (dedicated 1957) began as new home for science programs, which were outgrowing Sherzer Hall.
1957
  Pine Grove Apartments # 2 and Downing Residence Hall were opened.
1958
  Buell Residence Hall was opened. It could house approximately 300 students. The construction of the Health services building, Snow Health Center, began.
1959
  The school gained the status of a university and changed its name to Eastern Michigan University. The Quirk Building was opened to serve as the theater and dramatic arts building. In 1960, Cornell Courts Phase I were constructed. In 1963, Wise Residence Hall was built.
1964
  Warner Gymnasium was built. On February 1, the University opened the Instructional Computing Center in the basement of Goddard Hall.
1965
  The eastern extension of McKenny Union was built, and a bookstore was located in the basement. Best Residence Hall was built.
1965
  Sill Hall was built to house the Fine and Industrial Arts programs.
1966
  Phelps-Sellers Residence Halls were opened to serve as dormitories accommodating both men and women. Cornell Courts Phase II were constructed.
1967
  A new University library (present Porter Building) was opened. The building was five times the size of the former University library (present Ford Hall). Pray-Harrold was constructed, as were Westview Apartments Phase I.
1968
  Boone Hall, first known as the Administration Building, then the Arts Building, then Ford Hall, was renamed for Richard Gause Boone. Walton and Putnam Residence Halls were opened. Rynearson and Oestrike stadiums were built.
1969
  Roosevelt High School ceased to be a high school; the tradition of the university laboratory school was outdated. Other new buildings included the Mark Jefferson Science Building; Westview Apartments Phase II; Hill, Hoyt, Pittman Towers; and the Oakwood parking structure.
1971
  King Hall was renovated for the Music Department, creating space for offices, classrooms and practice rooms.
1973
  EMU was the first university in Michigan to establish a Women's Studies program. Roosevelt was remodeled and expanded to be used as EMU classroom space.
1974
  The northwest wing of the Welch Hall, erected in 1909, was removed to make way for the expansion of McKenny Union.
1976
  Starkweather Hall was renovated when it was transferred from Office of Religious Life to the University.
1980
  The Alexander Music Building was opened. Ford Hall was remodeled to provide office and classroom space for the Television Center and Foreign Languages and Bilingual Studies Departments. Sill Hall's gallery ceiling was raised from 8 to 12 feet high.
1982
  The Student Recreation and Intramural Center (the Rec/IM) was opened. The University closed Welch Hall, citing budgetary costs and the state’s decision to cease to fund repairs on a building it felt was no longer worth repairing.
1983
  The University Honors program was approved by the Board of Regents.
1984
  Quirk was updated with significant renovations, and the Sponberg Theater was added to the building.
1986
  Pierce Hall received a face lift as part of the University’s modernization push. Snow Health Center was expanded to accommodate child-care facilities. The Geddes Town Hall School was moved to its present site on the campus of EMU to be a repository.
1987
  The football team won the MAC championship and the California Bowl.
1988
  Welch Hall was completely renovated, at a total cost of $3.5 million. EMU’s executive offices moved from the Pierce Hall to Welch following its reconstruction. A Michigan Higher Education appropriations bill authorized the University's first doctoral degree.
1989
  On March 9, Sherzer Hall burned almost to the ground. Half the exterior and 70 percent of the interior were destroyed. Briggs Hall was updated for use by the Art Department, with improvements providing better space for 3-D art workshops.
1990
  In a dramatic story of restoration, the Sherzer Building was entirely rebuilt in 18 months, reopening October 27. EMU was ranked among the nation's top 50 producers of minority graduate and undergraduate degrees.
1991
  The Rec/IM was remodeled, and an aerobics studio, second weight-lifting room, a new wrestling room, and courtside food concessions were added. President Shelton recommended that the University drop "Hurons" as the school's mascot. The Gary M. Owen College of Business was opened in downtown Ypsilanti.
1992
  McKenny was renovated again when the bookstore moved from the basement to the first floor. The University also added space for a bank, mail center, and food venues.
1993
  The Rec/IM was renamed the Olds-Robb Student Recreation-Intramural Complex (still called the Rec/IM). The Pond and Lake House were opened. President George Bush presented EMU alumnus Thomas Fleming with the National Teacher of the Year Award.
1996
  President Bill Clinton, the first sitting president to visit campus, spoke in Bowen Field House on October 30 about women in small business. The Eastern Echo published a six-page special edition the day after Clinton appeared.
1997
  The Terrestrial and Aquatic Ecology Building was built to replace the old greenhouse.
1998
  The third library building on campus, Halle Library, was opened. The old library building was remodeled and renamed after John W. Porter, becoming the new College of Education building. The year ended with festivities celebrating the opening of the Convocation Center.
1999
  The Sesquicentennial Celebrations began January 23 with a VIP Reception in Roosevelt Hall, followed by a concert in Pease Auditorium. On March 26, the Sesquicentennial Celebration Ball was held in the lavishly-decorated ballroom of the Mariott Hotel.
2000
  The Marshall Building, built to house the College of Health and Human Services, was opened. President Samuel A. Kirkpatrick, the 19th president of Eastern Michigan University, was inaugurated May 15.
2001
  The Hover Building was closed as a laboratory, and the aging greenhouse was demolished. The Oakwood Village apartments were constructed.
2002
  EMU inaugurated its new aviation program through the Eagle Flight Center. EMU professor emeritus Marshall McLennan earned the James Marston Fitch Preservation Education Lifetime Achievement Award for his work in the field of historic preservation.
2003
  After the Business and Finance department was moved to the newly-renovated Hover Building, the Business and Finance building was demolished in February. The new University House was dedicated September 16 as a residence for the President and a gathering place for public events.