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



Historic Moments

  Michigan State Normal School was established by the State of Michigan.
  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."

The Normal School opened its doors to 122 students.

  The first courses in music were offered, with Albert Miller in charge.
  On October 28 the main building, with most of its contents, was severely damaged by fire.
  The main building was restored after 1859 fire.
  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.
  The erection of the second building on campus, the Conservatory, began.
  In January, the Conservatory was dedicated for the use of the Training School.
  The first Department of Modern Languages was established, with August Lodeman in charge.
  The wooden gymnasium, the first of its kind, was destroyed by fire.
  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.
  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.
  Michigan Normal was the nation's first college to offer Physical Training. North and South wings were added to the Main Building.
  EMU was the first college in Michigan to establish a Department of Geography.
  A new gymnasium was built on campus. The building stood next to the Water Tower.
  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.
  Michigan State Normal School changed its name to Michigan State Normal College. The school appointed the first full-time instructor of Chemistry.
  East and West wings were added to Welch Hall.
  Normal was the first school in Michigan to offer courses in Industrial Arts.
  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.
  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.
  A northwest wing was added to Welch Hall.
  Pease Auditorium was built.
  Boone Hall was constructed. Its various names: 1914-1950, Administration Building; 1950-1962, Arts Building; 1962-1968, Ford Hall; 1968-present, Boone Hall.
  MSNC was the first state teachers college in the nation to establish training for teachers of handicapped children.
  Sherzer Hall was further updated when a 10-inch refractor telescope was installed on the roof of the building.
  Roosevelt High School was opened as a Laboratory school for Normal School teachers, providing private education for local residents.
  Ford Hall was opened as the first stand-alone library at the college.
  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.
  Briggs Hall was opened as the new Field House.
  Construction of Rackham Building began, to provide a home for the Special Education Department.
  King Residence Hall, Goodison Residence Hall and the Business and Finance building were constructed under the supervision of President John M. Munson.
  MSNC initiated a program in library services. It was the first teacher training school to do so. Also, Munson Residence Hall was constructed.
  The Hover Laboratory was constructed. The college acquired the old greenhouse in 1942; the building is believed to have been constructed about 1902.
  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.
  Pierce Hall was built as an Administration and Classroom Building. Jones Hall was built as a residence hall for women.
  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.
  Following the construction of the new administration building at Pierce Hall, Boone became the Arts building.
  Pine Grove Apartments # 1 and Goddard Residence Hall were built. A second field house, Bowen Field House, was built on Eastern’s campus.
  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.
  Pine Grove Apartments # 2 and Downing Residence Hall were opened.
  Buell Residence Hall was opened. It could house approximately 300 students. The construction of the Health services building, Snow Health Center, began.
  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.
  Warner Gymnasium was built. On February 1, the University opened the Instructional Computing Center in the basement of Goddard Hall.
  The eastern extension of McKenny Union was built, and a bookstore was located in the basement. Best Residence Hall was built.
  Sill Hall was built to house the Fine and Industrial Arts programs.
  Phelps-Sellers Residence Halls were opened to serve as dormitories accommodating both men and women. Cornell Courts Phase II were constructed.
  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.
  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.
  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.
  King Hall was renovated for the Music Department, creating space for offices, classrooms and practice rooms.
  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.
  The northwest wing of the Welch Hall, erected in 1909, was removed to make way for the expansion of McKenny Union.
  Starkweather Hall was renovated when it was transferred from Office of Religious Life to the University.
  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.
  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.
  The University Honors program was approved by the Board of Regents.
  Quirk was updated with significant renovations, and the Sponberg Theater was added to the building.
  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.
  The football team won the MAC championship and the California Bowl.
  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.
  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.
  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.
  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.
  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.
  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.
  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.
  The Terrestrial and Aquatic Ecology Building was built to replace the old greenhouse.
  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.
  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.
  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.
  The Hover Building was closed as a laboratory, and the aging greenhouse was demolished. The Oakwood Village apartments were constructed.
  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.
  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.