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Montclair State University

Montclair State University
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History

Plans for the building of what was to be a State Normal school was initiated in, 1903 and it took a year for permission to be granted for the approval of the state for building the school.   It was then established as New Jersey State Normal School at Montclair, a normal school, in 1908 approximately 5 years after the initial planning of the school.   At the time, Governor John Franklin Fort attended the dedication of the school in 1908,  and the school was to have its first principal Charles Sumner Chapin that same year.   The first building constructed was College Hall, and it still stands today.   At the time however, the school only offered two year programs which were meant to train and develop school teachers.   At the time, the campus was around 25 acres (100,000 m2), had 8 faculty members and 187 students.   The first graduating class, which numbered at 45 students,  contained William O. Trapp, who would then go on to win the Pulitzer Prize for journalism in 1929.   The first dormitories were then built five years later, in 1915, and is known as Russ Hall.

In 1924, Dr. Harry Sprague was to become the first president of Montclair, and shortly afterwards the school began being more inclusive of extracurricular activities such as sports, which are still an important sect in the culture of the school.   In 1927 however, after studies had emerged concerning the number of high school teachers in the state of New Jersey (only 10% of all high school teachers received their degrees from New Jersey), the institution became Montclair State Teachers College and developed a four-year (Bachelors of Arts) program in pedagogy, becoming the first US institute to do so.   In 1937 it became the first teachers college accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools.

In 1943, during World War II, several students, under permission from the president, Harry Sprague, had joined the US Navy as volunteers, to train for the war.   It was also a time when students and faculty would sell war bonds to support US American troops.

Then in 1958, the school fused itself with the Panzer College of Physical Education and Hygiene to become Montclair State College.  The school became a comprehensive multi-purpose institution in 1966.   The Board of Higher Education designated the school a teaching university on April 27, 1994, andin the same year the school became Montclair State University.   It has offered Master of Arts programs since 1932, Master of Business Administration since 1981, Master of Education since 1985, Master of Science since 1992, Master of Fine Arts since 1998, Doctor of Education since 1999, Doctor of Environmental Management since 2003 and Doctor of Science since 2005.

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