Montclair State University Timeline
1908. The New Jersey State Normal School at Montclair opens its doors. Governor John Franklin Fort attends the dedication of College Hall, the school’s first building.
1910. The school’s first graduating class numbers just 45.
1915. Russ Hall, the college's first dormitory, opens.
1918. As it celebrates its 10th anniversary, the New Jersey State Normal School at Montclair has graduated a total of 1,464 teachers, more than 1,200 of whom teach in New Jersey.
1919. The school’s yearbook, then called The Palatine, is printed for the first time. It’s named for “that highest pinnacle of Rome, from whose height could be seen the panorama of the ancient world of learning.”
1920. Charles S. Chapin, the school’s first principal, expresses his concern about flapper influences on campus.
1924. After Charles S. Chapin’s death, Harry Sprague becomes principal.
1926. The school’s first student-run newspaper, The Montclairion, is launched. It changes its name to The Pelican in 1928.
1927. The school is renamed Montclair State Teachers College and offers a four-year teaching degree. Harry Sprague becomes president.
1928. A second dorm, Chapin Hall, opens.
1928. The college’s first men’s sports teams are formed, going by the name “Big Red.” The football squad finishes the season with a 0-4 record, while the basketball team finishes with a 3-6 record.
1929. One of Montclair’s first graduates, William O. Trapp, wins the Pulitzer Prize for Journalism.
1929. The first men’s baseball team finishes its inaugural season with a 0-5 record.
1929. The school’s first fraternity, called The Senate, is formed.
1932. Montclair is authorized to grant master’s degrees. It soon offers a master’s of fine arts.
1936. With the help of students and faculty, the Amphitheater is constructed under the direction of the Works Progress Administration.
1937. Sprague Field is dedicated during a football game against Hofstra University.
1947. After the end of World War II, so many veterans enroll at Montclair state that temporary classrooms are set up in wooden war-surplus buildings.
1947. Coach Chet Pittser leads the football team to its first undefeated season. Pittser Field is later named in his honor.
1949. The New Jersey School of Conservation, the environmental education field campus of Montclair State, is established. It remains the largest and oldest university-operated environmental education center in the nation.
1950. A story in Life magazine reports on the nationwide college facilities shortage as GIs flock to college after World War II. Montclair State’s Life Hall is dedicated to those who gave their lives serving their country.
1951. E. DeAlton Partridge becomes Montclair State’s third president.
1952. The nation’s first educational television programs are broadcast from the Montclair State campus. The studio is a converted bowling alley, with transmitters sending signals to New Jersey as well as parts of New York, Pennsylvania and Connecticut.
1954. Montclair State’s men’s basketball team sets a record for points scored in a single game while knocking off Bloomfield College, 120-102.
1958. After a merger with the Panzer School of Physical Education, Montclair State College is born.
1966. Montclair State becomes a multi-purpose institution, admitting its first liberal arts students.
1969. The college’s first women’s basketball team ends its debut season with an impressive 9-3 record.
1973. Dr. David W.D. Dickson is named president, becoming the first African American to lead a four-year college in New Jersey.
1976. The men’s wrestling team wins the national championship in 1976. It repeats that feat in 1986.
1978. The women’s basketball team, led by Carol Blazejowski, reaches the Final Four. Blazejowski scores over 3,100 points—the most by any collegiate player, male or female—before her graduation.
1982. For the 50th time, Montclair State takes on Trenton State in the oldest active collegiate football rivalry in the state of New Jersey. More than 8,600 fans watch as Montclair State wins its ninth New Jersey Athletic Conference championship with a 25-13 victory.
1986. Montclair State receives two Governor's Challenge Grants: in the arts and critical thinking. The Institute for Critical Thinking is established the following year.
1987. Montclair State’s baseball team captures its first NCAA crown. It will repeat the achievement in 1993 and 2000.
1989. The athletic department changes its mascot to the Red Hawk.
1994. Montclair State College is rechristened Montclair State University.
1995. Montclair State dedicates the Center of Pedagogy, the first of its kind in the nation.
1998. Dr. Susan A. Cole becomes Montclair State's eighth president and the first woman to lead the University.
1998. Montclair State receives approval from the New Jersey Commission on Higher Education to offer a doctor of education degree in pedagogy, the first doctoral program in its 90-year history.
1999. Science Hall, which houses the College of Science and Mathematics, opens with 11 labs, three greenhouses and a student annex.
2004. MSU Softball Stadium, hailed as one of the finest on-campus softball facilities in the Northeast, opens its doors.
2004. The 500-seat Alexander Kasser Theater—a multi-use facility for performances of drama, musical theater, dance, orchestral concerts, solo recitals and chamber opera—opens to great applause.
2006. The John J. Cali School of Music is established.
2008. With much fanfare, Montclair State University celebrates its centennial.
2009. Forbes magazine names Montclair State the "Best Public University in New Jersey.”
2010. The University launches a $650 million campus master plan. New facilities will include a School of Business, a Center for Environmental and Life Sciences, a Communication and Media Studies Center, and a Visual Arts and Design Center.
2011. The Heights, a state-of-the-art, 2,000-bed residential facility, opens at the north end of campus. Built through a public-private partnership, it is the largest university residence in New Jersey.