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Fitchburg State University: A Timeline

1894: Fitchburg Normal School established by the Massachusetts Legislature to educate and train teachers for the region’s schools opened in an old high school building on Academy Street.

1896: College moved to new building on present site, Thompson Hall, named after the Normal School’s principal, John G. Thompson.

1897: First graduating class receives diploma.

1901: Edgerly Hall (School of Observation and Practice) opens.

1903: First dormitory, Miller Hall, opens.

1909: The Practical Arts teacher training course for men, the first of its kind in the country, is instituted.

1910: Edgerly becomes one of the first junior high schools in the country. Manual arts building dedicated.

1912: Athletic program begins with basketball competition against local high schools and colleges.

1915: First summer extension course offered, representing the beginning of continuing education at the college.

1932: Normal School becomes the State Teachers College at Fitchburg, offering four-year degrees in all education.

1935: College authorized to establish graduate courses.

1943: Nursing program begins with cooperative nursing effort with Burbank Hospital.

1960: Name changed to State College at Fitchburg and began offering more than just education degrees.

1962: Nursing program, in conjunction with Burbank Hospital, established on campus.

1965: Name changed to Fitchburg State College.

1971: McKay Campus School opens, special education program enlisted.

1975: Business Administration program established.

1977: Communications Media program approved.

1978: President Vincent J. Mara establishes the Fitchburg State College Foundation and launches extended fundraising program. First Honors Convocation.

1981: Montachusett Economic Center established to help area businesses.

1988: Sweeping new Liberal Arts & Sciences program approved.

1994: College celebrates its centennial. Successful campaign brings overall endowment to $3.5 million.

1996: MBA and forensic nursing graduate programs established.

2000: Recreation Center opens on North Street, marking the start of a vast investment along College Boulevard.

2010: State university system established in Massachusetts, name changed to Fitchburg State University.

2012: Renovated Hammond Building Campus Center opens, capping off a series of initiatives to strengthen ties with the host city of Fitchburg.

2013: Game Design Program approved, making Fitchburg State the only state university to offer the major. Construction of the state-of-the-art Antonucci Science Complex completed.

2015: Implementation of historical 4+1 Criminal Justice program allows students to receive bachelor’s and master’s degrees, as well as complete police academy training, all within five years.