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MSU History

In more than 125 years, the sweep of history has carried Morehead State University and its predecessor institution, the Morehead Normal School, from one makeshift classroom to the high-tech world of Internet-based classes and a radio telescope/space tracking system which reaches from a campus ridgetop literally to the stars.

One student appeared on the first day of class in October 1887, in a little, rented cottage where the Adron Doran University Center now stands. Tens of thousands of students have come from the foothills and mountains, the river towns and the hillside farms of East Kentucky and beyond to seek the means to a better life in this beautiful, forested valley. Our first president, Frank Button, and his widowed mother, Phebe, literally spent their lives bringing "a light to the mountains" by founding a church-sponsored school to train teachers.

The University began as Morehead Normal School, which opened its doors in 1887. The private school closed in the spring of 1922 when the Kentucky General Assembly established Morehead State Normal School. The state institution accepted its first students in the fall of 1923 and graduated its first class in 1927. Name changes occurred in 1926 when "and Teachers College" was added, again in 1930 when it was shortened to Morehead State Teachers College, again in 1948 when "Teachers" was dropped and, finally, to university status in 1966. Thirteen men, starting with Frank C. Button, have served as president. Dr. Wayne D. Andrews assumed office as the 13th president on Jan. 1, 2005.

Light to the Mountains cover

Published History:

A Light to the Mountains: Morehead State University 1887 - 1997
By Donald F. Flatt

Format: Hardcover, 267 pp.
ISBN: 0945084609
Publisher: The Jesse Stuart Foundation
Pub. Date: November 1997

Please e-mail to obtain a copy.


A Walk Down Memory Lane: A History of Morehead State University

The Naming of Buildings on Campus and Related Stories and Photos - Beginning in 1960

By Dr. C. Nelson Grote, President Emeritus

Memory Lane coverDownload a copy (.pdf)  

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