Salem State College

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Salem State College began its life as Salem Normal School, dedicated on Sept. 14, 1854 and located on the corner of Broad and Summer Streets with seventy-two students.The school was for women only. The regular course of study took two years and tuition was free for those who "complied with the condition of teaching in the public schools of Massachusetts", according to Osgood's book. The first building was enlarged in 1870 to accommodate increasing enrollment. Following a major renovation of the Broad Street building in 1871, the school's capacity doubled to meet increased demand for admission. In 1896 it moved to an expanded campus in South Salem, which finally allowed for the introduction of a model training school housed in the Sullivan Building. In 1898, the student body became coeducational.

For details on past schools, Salem Normal School and pictures see Salem schools of the past.

A new facility on the corner of Loring Avenue and Lafayette Streets was built and dedicated Jan. 26,1897 (its present location). Horace Mann Lab School, which student teachers use for training, was built nearby on Loring Avenue in 1912. Started as a school primarily to educate future teachers, the college, now Salem State University has multiple majors, and is well-known for such majors as business and nursing.

On July 28, 2010, Governor Deval Patrick approved legislation the elevated Salem State College and eight other public institutions of higher education in Massachusetts to university status. On Oct. 28, 2010, Salem State College officially became Salem State University.

The postcard below depicts the Salem State College bell tower, a 1960's era structure that students and alumni say could not be counted on to show the correct time. By 1990, it had started shedding its shale facing, causing safety concerns among college officials. Salem State finally took the bell tower down in June of 1990.


See Also