September 13 marked exactly 125 years to the day that Central Michigan University’s (CMU) 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.

Central Normal School and Business Institute was founded on September 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 graduated its 10th class in May, and the College of Medicine, which graduated 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.

As the CMU community celebrates its 125th anniversary, it will focus on honoring the past, leading today and igniting the future.

In August, CMU welcomed its 125th anniversary class, highlighted by CMU’s first new student convocation ceremony in many years.

Central will continue to celebrate the anniversary with events and initiatives throughout the 2017-18 academic year. These include:

  • 125 Years through 125 Voices, an exhibit by the Clarke Historical Library, opened in September.
  • The Clarke Historical Library also launched an online timeline featuring milestones in CMU’s history.
  • A special homecoming celebration October 14. 
  • A community speaker series featuring CMU faculty will begin in the spring 2018 semester. 

webpage about the anniversary, highlighting CMU’s proud past and promising future, will be updated throughout the year.

Central Michigan University 2013 file photo by Steve Jessmore

Blog written by CMU’s University Communications team.