February 04, 2014
Framingham State University, America’s oldest public normal school founded for the education of teachers, celebrates its 175th Anniversary in 2014 and FSU is encouraging the entire community to join in on a series of events, lectures and exhibits.
The highlight of the celebrations will be a special Gala at the Massachusetts State House on October 25 to raise money for student scholarships. Be sure to visit the University’s 175th Anniversary Web Page for a complete list of events and activities.
“As the oldest public normal school in America, Framingham State holds a special place in the history of higher education in this country,” interim President Robert Martin said. “The opening of the school in 1839 paved the way for higher education to be extended to large segments of the population without regard to race, gender or economic class. This historic legacy serves as a point of pride for everyone involved with the University and our 175th anniversary provides us with an important opportunity to celebrate our past, while looking forward to a bright future.”
A Then and Now Exhibit will open in the Henry Whittemore Library on February 26th showcasing the evolution of the University’s campus over the years. The exhibit was curated by FSU Archivist Colleen Previte and FSU Art Professor and Photographer Bob Alter, as well as current students. An FSU Pioneers Exhibit featuring photos and information on educational pioneers connected to the University – including Christa McAuliffe and Horace Mann – will go up in the library in September.
On July 3rd, the FSU community is planning to gather at the original school house in Lexington, exactly 175 years to the day that the school opened in a one-room building. A reenactment of the original Opening of the Doors ceremony will be held. The University is also offering special courses in the spring and fall that tie into the history of the University.
On April 2, the University will host celebrated poet and historian Dr. Afua Cooper, who has done groundbreaking work in uncovering the hidden history of black peoples in Canada, including the amazing history of Framingham State's first African American graduate Mary Miles Bibbs, who emigrated to Canada with her husband, abolitionist and author Henry Bibbs.
History faculty Jon Huibregtse and Sarah Adelman, with help from Research Assistant Jasmine Bonaca ’15, are re-publishing the official FSU history, Pioneers in Education. This second edition updates the 1989 book by the same name. Several other events are also in the works, so be sure to check out the anniversary web site to keep up with everything going on.
About Framingham State University
Framingham State University was founded in 1839 as the nation’s first public university for the education of teachers. Since that time, it has evolved into a vibrant, comprehensive liberal arts institution offering small, personalized classes on a beautiful New England campus. Today, the University enrolls more than 6,400 students with 53 undergraduate and graduate degree programs in arts, humanities, sciences, social sciences and professional fields. As a public university, Framingham State prides itself on quality academic programs, affordability, and commitment to access for all qualified students.