WMU Campus History

1925 Campus Maps : Western State Normal School

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Quadrangle - looking north towards the Library
WSNS Quad, 1930's

bullet Dwight B. Waldo served as President of the Western State Normal School from 1904 to 1936.  In 1924-25 the school enrolled 2,235 students - doubling its 1918 enrollment of 1017 - and employed ninetyeight faculty.

bullet The Michigan Legislature gave recognition to the School's success by authorizing a name change.  On May 12, 1927, it was renamed Western State Teachers College.

bullet Although enrollment declined during the Great Depression, it returned to the 1924 high during World War II.  (In 1946 returning servicemen would produce an enrollment surge that almost doubled the student body.)

bullet Campus and facility growth kept pace with enrollment.  In 1924 the campus included almost a dozen structures and had expanded west across Oakland Drive from the original Prospect Hill site.  The grounds included football and baseball fields, tennis courts, and a playground for the Training School students. The 1906 gymnasium addition to the Administration Building became the Ladies' Gymnasium.   The Men's Gymnasium was built on the other side of Oakland Drive in 1925.

bullet Eames Mill, at the "point" between Michigan Avenue and Oakland Drive, was purchased in 1917.  It housed the Manual Arts programs until their building was completed in 1921.  The Mill then served as the School's theatre or playhouse.   The Mill was condemned around 1940.  A new theatre was completed in 1942 on the corner of Oliver Street and Oakland Drive.

bullet A barracks building (residence for the Student Army Training Corps during the war) was acquired in 1918 and served as a "temporary" classroom building until it was finally demolished in 1948.  The Campus Map also depicts three unlabelled structures: a greenhouse, next to the Science Building, and two power plants.

bullet Note that Stadium Drive is not indicated on the Location Map.   At this time the road along the railroad tracks was highway U.S. 12. The main thoroughfare east and west through the City was (West) Michigan Avenue.




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