Aerial view of campus at sunset

Timeline

Montclair State University Timeline

Photo of first graduating class
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.
Russ Hall in 1915
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.
University seal
1928
A second dorm, Chapin Hall, opens.
1928 varsity basketball team
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 of fine arts.
Students in the Amphitheater
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.
Aerial photo of campus in 1947
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.
Professor and student at the school of conservation site
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.
Educational Television advertisement
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.
Montclair State College sign
1958
After a merger with the Panzer School of Physical Education, Montclair State College is born.
Aerial photo of the class of 1966
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.
Painted portrait of President Dickson
1973
Dr. David W.D. Dickson is named president, becoming the first African American to lead a four-year college in New Jersey.
Men's wrestling match
1976
The men’s wrestling team wins the national championship in 1976. It repeats that feat in 1986.
Women's basketball match
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.
Montclair State University entrance
1994
Montclair State College is re-christened Montclair State University.
1995
Montclair State dedicates the Center of Pedagogy, the first of its kind in the nation.
Dr. Susan A. Cole
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.
Alexander Kasser Theater
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.
2011
Renovated Finley Hall is renamed in honor of alumnus benefactor Conrad J. Schmitt.
2011
Center for Autism and Early Childhood Mental Health is established.
2012
The U.S. Department of State recognizes Montclair State as a top producer of U.S. Fulbright Scholars.
2012
World’s first Center for Quantitative Obesity Research is established.
2012
Nation’s first Guy Fieri on Campus restaurant opens in Blanton Hall food court.
2012
School of Communication and Media is established.
2012
The Feliciano Center for Entrepreneurship is established with a $1million gift from Mimi and Edwin Feliciano.
2012
Field Hockey wins the NJAC Championship and Men’s Soccer is NJAC Regular-Season Champions.
2013
Women’s Basketball is NJAC Champion and go onto the NCAA Sweet 16 for the first time in the history of the University, and set the school record for most wins in one season finishing the season 26-0.
2013
Softball is NJAC Champion and NCAA Regional Champion.
Students in laboratory
Feliciano School of Business
2013
Ground is broken for two new academic facilities: a new School of Business building and the Center for Environmental and Life Sciences.
2014
Women’s Basketball is NJAC Champion and advances to the Elite 8 of the NCAA Championship Tournament for the first time in University history.
2014
Montclair State becomes the first public university in New Jersey to adopt an SAT/ACT Optional policy for undergraduate admissions.
2015
The University receives a $20 million anonymous gift – the largest in its history – in support of the School of Business.
2015
Women’s Basketball is NJAC Champion and advances to the Final Four of the NCAA Championship Tournament, finishing third in the nation.
2015
The University opens two new buildings, the Center for Environmental and Life Sciences and the facility housing the School of Business, which is renamed the Feliciano School of Business in honor of longtime supporters and benefactors Mimi and Edwin Feliciano.
Student using binocular microscope
2016
For the first time, the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education recognizes Montclair State as a Research Doctoral University.
2016
The School of Nursing is established.
Student ambassador sepaking at Hispanic Student College Institute
2016
Montclair State is designated a Hispanic-Serving Institution by the U.S. Department of Education.