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  Wikipedia: Truman State University

Wikipedia: Truman State University
Truman State University
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

Truman State University is a university in Missouri.

It is located in the city of Kirksville, Missouri in the state's northeast part, and is named after President Harry Truman, the only American President from Missouri.


It was founded in 1867, just 5 years after the Civil War's Battle of Kirksvlle by Joseph Baldwin as the First Missouri Normal School and Commercial College. Baldwin is considered a pioneer in education and his school quickly gained official recognition in 1870 by the Missouri Congress, which designated it as the first public teaching college in Missouri.

The school continued to grow and Basil Brewer wrote the school song 'The Purple and White' in 1902. Purple and White then became the official colors.

13 years later, in 1915, the bulldog (now known as Spike) became the official mascot of the college. In 1924 a massive fire destroyed Old Baldwin Hall and the library. The library was rebuilt by a wealthy alumni, and today it continues to bear his name: Pickler Memorial Library.

The College became Northeast Missouri State University in 1972 and in 1983 the University was awarded the G. Theodore Mitau Award for Innovation and Change in Higher Education by the American Association of State Colleges and Universities.

Northeast Missouri State continued its push for excellence and had not gone unnoticed by the state government. On June 20, 1985, Governor John Ashcroft signed a bill that designated the University as Missouri's only statewide public liberal arts and sciences university. This changed the school's mission to a state-wide rather than a regional (northeast) objective.

The school continued to win praise from such publications as US News and World Report and its reputation spread. Many of the students by-passed crowded and costly alternatives such as Washington University and University of Missouri St. Louis in favor of Truman's small size, pleasant small-town atmosphere and rigorous academic studies in the liberal arts and sciences.

By the 1990s it wasn't just a teachers' college. The college had a nationally-known accountancy division, schools of science and math, computer science and literature. Indeed, just 10 years after Governor Ashcroft's designation, Governnor Mel Carnahan signed legislation renaming the school to its current Truman State University title. Several schools had petitioned for the Truman name, but only Northeast Missouri State University demonstrated the academic excellence and national reputation worthy of being named after Missouri's only President.

Today, there are 6200 students earning degrees in 43 undergraduate and 9 graduate courses. 94% of graduates go on to work and study fields related to their degree of study. President Barbara Dixon is the current President of the University. She is the 14th President of the school. Today, the names and legacies of past University presidents continue to live on in buildings and monuments around campus. Here is a list of past presidents and the buildings & monuments on campus named in their honor:


  • Joseph Baldwin was the founder and first president, serving from 1867-1881. Baldwin Hall, which replaced Old Baldwin Hall, stands in his honor. Baldwin Hall houses an auditorium and classrooms.

  • William P. Nason served 1881-1882. The Nason Hall dormitory stands in his honor.
  • Joseph Blanton served 1882-1891. The Blanton Hall dorm stands in his honor.
  • William D. Dobson served 1891-1899. The Dobson Hall dorm stands in his honor.
  • John R. Kirk bought Truman University into the 20th century, serving from 1891-1899. Contrary to popular belief, Kirksville was not named after him. Today, the Kirk Memorial Building and Kirk Building stand in his honor. Kirk Building is home to Kirk Gym and the University welcome donors and fellows into the Kirk Society, one of the highest honors the University can bestow upon friends and contributors.
  • Eugene Fair served from 1925-1937 and today the Fair Apartments stand in his honor. A convienence store operated by Sodexho is also in this building.
  • Walter H. Ryle served from 1937-1967 and the Walter H. Ryle Hall dorm stands in his honor.
  • F. Clark Elkins served from 1967-1969. There are no buildins in his honor.
  • Eli F. Mittler served from 1969-1970. There are no buildings in his honor.
  • Charles J. McClain served from 1970-1989. The McClain Hall Administration Building, housing the President's Office, the Registrar, classrooms and the various other administrative offices, stands in his honor.
  • Robert A. Dager served a brief term from 1989-1990. There are no buildings named in his honor.
  • Russell G. Warren served from 1990-1994. No buildings named in his honor.
  • W. Jack Magruder served from 1994-2003 and is credited with spearheading Truman from being simply the pride of Missouri, to a bastion of education recognized around the country. It is during his administration that popular phrase "Truman is the Harvard of the Midwest" came into use. Magruder attended Truman University and was a professor before taking on the role of president. He was a widely popular figure and was well-none for his ability to secure needed resources from the legislature at Jefferson City.
  • Barbara Dixon is the current University president. Her installation was held in November, 2003. Educated at Michigan State University in East Lansing, Michigan, Dixon has a degree in -- among other things -- music. She evoked outrage among students and faculty in the summer of 2003 when it was discovered that (during a budget crisis) Dixon spent large sums of money to perform cosmetic renovation to the President's Mansion, a University provided home for the president just off campus.


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. 
Modified by Geona