Take a scroll through Central Michigan University’s 125-year history with these then-and-now photos highlighting CMU’s excellence through the years.
CMU's first on-campus residence hall was built in 1924 and boasted unprecedented luxuries such as combined shower-baths, an elevator and recreation rooms. Today, CMU's 24 residence halls offer exercise facilities, restaurants and student success centers. Residential Learning Communities bring together students with similar interests and fields of study to grow and learn.
A group of Mount Pleasant community members came together in 1892 with the goal of improving the local economy not only through attracting industry, but through education. Founded as a school for future educators, CMU remains dedicated to this cause with a leading, accredited teacher education program.
Not everyone learns the same way or at the same period in their lives. CMU understood this early on and was a pioneer in offering classes online and at off-campus sites. CMU established course offerings at a handful of Air Force bases in Michigan and Ohio in 1972 and began providing courses online in 1994. Today, CMU offers a growing number of bachelor’s, master’s, doctoral and specialist degrees online and at satellite locations.
CMU recognized early on the need for quality health professionals for Michigan's communities. As early as 1913, physiology and anatomy courses adapted to those pursuing medical careers were offered. Pre-professional courses in medicine were added in the 1930s. The CMU College of Medicine, the 137th medical school in the nation, prepares physicians to provide care to rural and medically underserved communities and graduated its first class in May with 100 percent of its students earning a residency.
CMU students work alongside their professors on everything from creating renewable energy and 3D printing to studying stem cells and researching infectious diseases. CMU’s neuroscience program began in the 1980s; it was the first undergraduate program in the state and has been named the top such program in the United States. The new Biosciences Building gives students hands-on experience with an isotope lab, molecular biology core, imaging center and more.
Founded by community and education leaders, CMU has deep roots in leadership. CMU was the first university to establish a Michigan chapter of the nation's first entrepreneurship fraternity, launched the state's first leadership minor and has one of the nation's most comprehensive leadership programs. In 20 years, Leadership Safari has inspired more than 20,000 students to become leaders on campus and in their communities.
CMU has long been a leader in acceptance and inclusion. Students in 1959 elected Lem Tucker as the first African-American student president at CMU and the second in the nation. In the 1960s, CMU launched initiatives to hire minority faculty and staff, developed courses in African-American studies and created a Cultural Center. Today, CMU welcomes more than 1,200 international students and strives for equity through multicultural academic services, LGBTQ services, diversity education and more.
Established just three years apart, Mount Pleasant and CMU have been intertwined since their inception, mutually supportive of each other's growth and prosperity. Through the years, the community and university have worked side by side in promoting success through the formation of an economic development group and supporting community initiatives such as Special Olympics Michigan.
CMU's first 31 students took courses in classrooms above a downtown Mount Pleasant office building. Today, campus is home to 132 academic, athletic, residential and support facilities, including the newly built $95 million Biosciences Building. Grawn Hall was built in 1915 and is the oldest building still in use.