One hundred seventy-five years of outstanding educational opportunities. Certainly, a milestone to celebrate at a time when Twinkies have a shelf life of 45 days, a total knee replacement takes a surgeon 40 minutes to complete and the latest technology seems to become obsolete the moment it leaves the store.
Times were different when our predecessor, the Literary Academy, was established in 1839 “to teach the elements of a classical education.” That year in Lexington, Mass., an experimental normal school opened as the first state-funded institution in the nation specifically established for teacher education. Starting with just three students, the school in Massachusetts could be considered an early example of what our academy would become when it was purchased by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania in 1916 and renamed the Bloomsburg State Normal School.
Our institution has grown over the ensuing decades with name changes to reflect its expanding mission, from state teachers college to state college and today’s Bloomsburg University. However, the values that form Bloomsburg’s foundation have remained: collaboration, community, critical thinking, diversity, excellence, integrity, knowledge, opportunity, respect and personal and professional growth. It was these values, aligned so well with my own, that attracted me to the Bloomsburg University presidency six years ago.
These values are one of many reasons I celebrate Bloomsburg University on this special anniversary of our founding. In this issue of Bloomsburg: The University Magazine, you will find 175 more reasons in what we are calling “a totally unscientific, spontaneous and spirited listing presented in no particular order.” Space limited us to 175 – one for each year. We welcome your additions to the list at facebook.com/bloomsburg175 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
I am proud to be part of this special celebration as Bloomsburg University’s 18th president. I am even prouder of the successes of the nearly 85,000 alumni who graduated from our institution over the years and of the potential of our more than 10,000 current students. Thank you for celebrating Bloomsburg’s 175th anniversary with us.
President, Bloomsburg University