History of Truman State University
September 2, 1867
Joseph Baldwin opened the North Missouri Normal School and Commercial
December 29, 1870
Missouri's General Assembly made Baldwin's private college the First District
Normal School, the first Missouri supported institution of higher education
established for the primary purpose of preparing teachers for public schools.
Basil Brewer wrote a school song which he named "The Purple and the
White,"and the school adopted purple and white as the official colors.
E.M. Violette, professor of history, saw the usefulness of visual aids in
teaching and began collecting materials and artifacts representative of early
life in northeast Missouri. A museum was built to house his collection and is
now located in the Kirk Memorial basement and includes 20,000 catalogued items.
The Bulldog was adopted as the official school mascot.
The normal school became known as Northeast Missouri State Teachers College.
The old Baldwin Hall was destroyed by a fire. Before the fire, there was a
lake where the Quad now sits. The lake was emptied to combat the fire, resulting
in the Quad as we know it today.
The Bell Wall was built and dedicated at the Centennial Celebration in
1967.The bells were donated by Joe Burdman, local businessman and University
Programs other than teacher education were implemented and the Board of
Regents acted to change the name of the college to Northeast Missouri State
The College's name was changed to Northeast Missouri State University.
Gail Albright, retired assistant professor of speech, wrote the Truman fight
song, "Hail to the Bulldogs!"
The University is awarded the prestigious G. Theodore Mitau Award for
Innovation and Change in Higher Education by the American Association of State
Colleges and Universities.
On June 20, Gov. John Ashcroft, signed legislation that designated the
University as Missouri's only statewide public liberal arts and sciences
university, expanding its mission from a regional to a statewide institution.
On June 15, coinciding with the 10th anniversary of the mission change to a
statewide university, Gov. Mel Carnahan signed legislation that changed the
University's name from Northeast Missouri State University to Truman State
University, giving the University a name that complements its statewide mission
and honors the only Missourian to serve as the President of the United States.
The new name, Truman State University, becomes official on July 1, 1996.
More than 5,800 students come to Truman annually to gain a high quality
liberal arts education at an affordable cost. Truman now offers 49 undergraduate
and 6 graduate areas of study. In 2005, 50.4 percent of Truman's graduates
entered graduate or professional schools while 48.2 percent were employed.
Commitment, uniqueness of purpose, and concentration on student learning have
brought Truman to its present mission. Designed to bring a new sense of
coherence to each student's educational experience, and to impart the qualities
of mind and spirit which distinguish educated persons, the programs and
environment of the University are the latest examples in Truman's history of
creative, responsive, and innovative planning.
Presidents of the University
|William P. Nason
|William D. Dobson
|John R. Kirk
|Walter H. Ryle
|F. Clark Elkins
|Eli F. Mittler
|Charles J. McClain
|Robert A. Dager
|Russell G. Warren
|W. Jack Magruder
|Darrell W. Krueger
|Troy D. Paino