Center for Archival Collections

Centennial Perspectives

University Hall, ca. 1920s

Bowling Green State University's centennial celebration gives us a special opportunity to look back on our first century of growth. Established as a teacher training school for the northwest section of the state, the institution quickly grew to become a college, and then a university offering degrees in business and the liberal arts.

Weathering the economic storms of the Great Depression and the turbulent years of the Second World War, BGSU continued to develop to meet the changing needs of an expanding student population.  New areas of study called for new programs in health care, the sciences, and the humanities, as well as in education.  We look forward to the challenges that the future will bring, confident that our students and faculty will continue to work together to make this one of the best universities in our region, and indeed, in our nation.  Browse the topics in the list at left to learn more about our past.  For suggestions about researching a BGSU Centennial topic, see Developing a Department or Organization History or Developing an Alumni Class History.

 From the First Annual Catalogue, 1914-1915

In 1910 the General Assembly passed an act authorizing the Governor to appoint a commission to locate two new normal schools, one in Northeastern Ohio and one in Northwestern Ohio. This commission chose Kent as the location of the school for Northeastern Ohio and Bowling Green as the location of the school for Northwestern Ohio. On June 30, 1911, the Board of Trustees, appointed by the Governor, organized and on February 16, 1912, elected the President of the College. A general building plan was adopted with the initial appropriation of $150,000 the Board proceeded with the construction of the central feature of the plant--the Administration Building. In 1913 the General Assembly appropriated $41,000 for enlarging the auditorium and gymnasium in the Administration Building and $218,000 for the erection of a dormitory for women, science building, and heating plant. Other available funds were added to the appropriation for the heating plant, making the total cost of this building and equipment $48,175. In 1915, $100,000 was appropriated for a training school building. The Dormitory for Women was opened at the beginning of the Summer Session in June, 1915, and the Administration Building and Heating Plant will be ready for use in September, 1915. Rapid progress is being made on the Science Building and it should be completed by January, 1916.

On September 15, 1914, the College opened in temporary quarters with a faculty of fifteen members including four critic teachers. During the year 1914-1915 a branch school was conducted in Toledo, the city training school having been discontinued. The initial enrollment was 158 and the total enrollment from September to June exceeded 300 different students. During the first semester of the year 1914-1915, two members of the faculty were assigned to extension work and gave courses in twenty-four centers, which were attended by over 500 teachers. Other members of the staff of instructors gave Saturday courses in Bowling Green and toledo which were largely attended by teachers in service.

Complete 1914-1915 Catalog (14.5 Mb)