By Jeff Murphy, April 10, 2019
The University of Central Missouri’s College of Education is celebrating its centennial during the 2019 academic year. The college’s 100-year history includes a former Training School that prepared students to become teachers by working with elementary and secondary school students.
WARRENSBURG, MO – From its early roots as the State Normal School for the Second Normal District, the University of Central Missouri has a longstanding tradition of producing quality educators to prepare the next generation of students. Progress made during the past 100 years is being highlighted as the university celebrates the centennial of its College of Education (COE) with activities ranging from honoring outstanding alumni educators to publicly unveiling its vision for the future.
A university committee continues to work on finalizing a number of special activities that will call attention to this important milestone, according to College Dean Robert Lee. He noted that more details about special events showcasing UCM’s legacy as a premier Missouri school for educators will be announced in the near future.
“The foundation of this university sits on the shoulders of teachers and teacher education leaders across the state, and we have remained a leader in teacher preparation in the state of Missouri for 100 years,” Lee said.
He noted that the centennial coincides with the naming of the institution in 1919 as Central Missouri State Teachers College (CMSTC). It was the first name change since the institution’s founding as a State Normal School in 1871. The impetus for an institutional name change came at noon on May 20, 1919, when Missouri Gov. Frederick D. Gardner signed into law a bill to rename all of the normal schools in Missouri. The ceremony commemorating that event included participation from then CMS President Eldo Hendricks, who soon began preparing for another institutional milestone, the 50th year since the university’s founding. As planning for the College of Education’s centennial is underway, another university committee is also working on preparations for UCM’s 150th anniversary – the sesquicentennial planned during the 2021-2022 academic year.
Lee said fun and educational events during the COE centennial will engage faculty, staff, students, education alumni and other interested campus and community members. Among the many activities is a golf tournament on July 26 at Pertle Springs and special recognition activities for prominent COE alumni on Oct. 25-26.
Other special events include a ribbon-cutting ceremony near the beginning of the fall 2019 semester for specially designated space on the second floor of the Lovinger Education Building. This area will also be used to support philanthropic personnel serving the college and its students, and will be accessible to college alumni.
“My hope is to transition this space into what we will call our ‘Legacy Suite,’ which is consistent with a campaign we are building called ‘My Central, My Legacy,’” Lee said. “The Legacy Suite will house our development officer out of the Alumni Foundation office, as well as an instructional faculty member who is an alum and has been working to create and expand our school district partnerships.”
“There also will be another office space that can be used for alumni who visit campus,” Lee added. “We often ask our alums to come back and engage with our students, either as guest lecturers or to sit on panels. This would be a space for them to use.”
He pointed out that a hallway on the second floor of the Lovinger Education Building will showcase college history and spotlight outstanding alumni “who have laid the groundwork for who we are today.” A special event honoring these individuals is being considered in the planning process.
A capstone event is being created around the development of COE’s strategic plan, “Vision 2020.” Serving as a blueprint to guide the college into the future, this plan aligns with a campus-wide strategic planning effort that is currently in progress.
“In January 2020, we plan to unveil and get right into strategic plan implementation and five years of building and growing,” Lee said.
COE Associate Dean Chris Stockdale stressed, “It’s a plan rooted in history, but it also signals a new era.”
Lee and Stockdale will provide more information about the COE strategic plan and other opportunities to celebrate the college’s rich history in the coming weeks. Both are eager to share COE’s strong legacy with others.
UCM’s College of Education today consists of two schools, the School of Teaching and Learning and the School of Professional Education and Leadership. It is estimated that nearly 80 percent of college alumni are teaching in Missouri schools, representing UCM in more than 75 percent of the state’s school districts. In addition to bachelor’s, master’s, education specialist and a cooperative doctoral degree, UCM sponsors eight charter schools in Kansas City that cumulatively serve more than 5,000 students. Signifying its longtime commitment to quality education programs, UCM has been professionally accredited for teacher education longer than any other higher education institution in the state.
Learn more about the college by visiting its website.