This September will mark the 125th anniversary of when Central Michigan University's first class of 31 students walked into the second-story classrooms in an office building in downtown Mount Pleasant, ready to become the next leaders in education.
As part of the milestone, CMU will celebrate 125 years of student-centered education through a webpage highlighting its proud past and promising future. On the afternoon of Sept. 13, exactly 125 years after the first CMU students started their classes, President George E. Ross will give a State of the University address.
Central Normal School and Business Institute was founded on Sept. 13, 1892, to fulfill a pressing need for quality schooling for Michigan's educators. Few of the state's teachers had formal training at the time, so founders made it a priority to establish mid-Michigan's first normal school.
Now, 125 years and a few name changes later, CMU remains true to the idea of rising to the challenge and leading the way in meeting community and industry demands. Prime examples are CMU's engineering program, which graduates its 10th class in May, and the College of Medicine, which graduates its first.
The engineering program fills a vast need among employers, while CMU-educated physicians will address a burgeoning health care shortfall in rural and medically underserved communities.
"Throughout its history, CMU has graduated leaders ready to answer the call," Ross said. "As we move forward into a world with new challenges for our state and nation, CMU students will continue to acquire expertise and leadership skills needed to ignite the future through their contributions to communities and workplaces."
The webpage, which will be updated throughout the year, will honor past accomplishments, current leaders and how CMU Chippewas will shape the future.
"CMU has grown much and evolved immensely through its 125 years," said Sherry Knight, associate vice president of University Communications. "We always will be a university that rises up and takes bold action to meet the needs of the state and world. The webpage, our 125th anniversary events and special communications will capture that leadership."
CMU will welcome its 125th class in August and will celebrate the anniversary with events throughout the 2017-18 academic year.
The Clarke Historical Library later this summer will launch timeline web pages featuring 125 voices of CMU through the years. These pages will be accessible through the main anniversary webpage.