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Northwest Missouri State University


The cornerstone of the future Administration Building (also known as Academic Hall) was laid on October 12, 1907.  The event was attended by a wide array of local politicians and almost the entire Maryville community.In spring 1906, the Northwest Board of Regents called for plans for the construction of a main building for the Normal School initially called "Academic Hall." The architectural firm of J.H. Felt & Co. was hired to do the work.Construction workers hired by J.H. Felt & Co. take a break from their endeavors to pose for a picture on top of one of the Administration Building's signature crown-like turrets.The powerful words "And The Truth Shall Make You Free" are carved into a lintel over the main entrance to the Administration Building.  The words were chosen as the motto for the school by the first president of the Northwest Board of Regents, Charles Colden.  Colden Hall is named after the former Board member.On July 24, 1979, an electrical malfunction caused a fire that ravaged the Administration Building.  Sixty percent of the campus's signature building was destroyed.  During the conflagration, faculty, staff and local community members rushed to save student records, furniture and electronic equipment such as the University's PDP1170 RSPS/E, which housed all student and administrative electronic information.Faculty, staff, and students at Northwest Normal, including the first graduating class, pose for a group picture in front of the Administration Building in 1915.Staff and faculty at Northwest Missouri State University pose for a group picture in front of the Administration Building in 2005 during the campus Centennial celebrations.

Northwest History

Welcome to the Northwest History Online Museum! The Online Museum is dedicated to inspiring curiosity, discovery, and learning about Northwest Missouri State University.

Opened in 1905 as a State Normal School, Northwest has survived and prospered through such events as World War I, the Great Depression, and World War II.

Committed to providing service excellence and quality education, Northwest staff and faculty have been responsible for helping countless students turn their personal and professional dreams into reality. Because as Walt Disney once said: "If you dream it, you can do it!" Walt Disney began with a "dream and a mouse," Northwest began with a "dream and a train."

For additional credits and citations, please see the About Us web page.


The Northwest History Online Museum owes a debt of gratitude to the literary efforts of Dr. Janice Brandon-Falcone. A significant portion of the material throughout the site comes from her book, Transitions: A Hundred Years of Northwest History. Dr. Brandon-Falcone was a professor in the Department of Humanities and Social Sciences. A special thanks is extended to Dr. Virgil and Delores Albertini, authors of Towers in the Northwest: A History of Northwest Missouri State University, 1956-1980, which was also used as a source for the Online Museum.