A-Z Index

Dates in Northwest History


Day Year Event
Dec. 1 1944: Fire exits to the Auditorium are under construction.
Dec. 3 1984: The Mary Linn Performing Arts Center opens.
Dec. 4 1959: The first basketball game is played in Lamkin Gymnasium, now known as Bearcat Arena.
Dec. 4 1995: Maya Angelou, an internationally known poet and the White House poet for the Clinton administration, performs for a sold-out audience at the Ron Houston Center for the Performing Arts.
Dec. 5 2012: During an impromptu ceremony outside the president’s office, Northwest awards a Bachelor of Science degree to Bryce Webb, a member of the U.S. Navy who was being deployed to Afghanistan the next day.
Dec. 6 2010: United States gymnast and Olympic gold medalist Shawn Johnson gives a lecture to a packed auditorium in the Ron Houston Center for the Performing Arts.
Dec. 7
Dec. 8 1941: A special assembly occurs to hear a broadcast of President Roosevelt's speech to Congress asking for a declaration of war.
Dec. 8 1945: The first formal dance at the College since the beginning of the war takes place.
Dec. 8 1948: The Scholarship Supremacy Cup is awarded for the first time and is won by Sigma Sigma Sigma.
Dec. 9 1912: President H.K. Taylor recommends opening a drive from the entrance to the school grounds on Fourth Street to run north to intersect Seventh Street.
Dec. 9 1919: The Board of Regents votes to keep College in session despite a coal shortage. The school day will begin at 12:30 p.m. and close at 4:30 p.m. with no evening activities.
Dec. 9 2008: Jennifer Becker, a biology and psychology major, is the first to graduate from Northwest's Honors Program, which is designed for gifted and motivated students.
Dec. 10 2007: A catastrophic ice storm strikes Maryville, destroying about 100 trees on the campus in addition to downing power lines and leaving thousands of residents without electrical power. 
Dec. 11 1922: Kappa Omicron Phi, an honorary home economics fraternity, is founded on campus by Miss Hettie M. Anthony, head of home economics department and four years later it becomes national.
Dec. 11 1999: The Northwest football team wins its second NCAA Division II National Championship.
Dec. 12 1941: 100 percent of the Colleges' faculty and students buy Defense Stamps.
Dec. 12 1947: President J.W. Jones is injured in an automobile accident and suffers broken ribs and bruising.
Dec. 12 1998: The Northwest football team wins its first NCAA Division II National Championship.
Dec. 12 2009: The Northwest football team defeats Grand Valley State University, 30-23, to win its third NCAA Division II National Championship in Florence, Ala.
Dec. 13 1959: The first all-school formal dance takes place in the Union building.
Dec. 13 1953: The 20th anniversary of the "Hanging of the Greens" in Residence Hall is celebrated.
Dec. 14 1926 An explosion in the chemistry department laboratory causes $10,000 in damage.
Dec. 14 1944: A drive for the Sixth War Loan opens with a goal of $2,500 from the College; one month later the drive brings in $20,672.
Dec. 14 1963: Jazz legend Louis Armstrong appears at the annual Christmas Ball in Lamkin Gym. Tickets are $1.50 per person.
Dec. 15 1943 "Photostat Junior," a photographic copying machine, is added to the equipment for the registrar's office.
Dec. 15 1954: Carol singing for "everybody who likes to sing" takes place in front of the auditorium in the second floor corridor of the Administration Building for 15 minutes before the meeting of afternoon classes.
Dec. 17 1908: Faculty members learn they will not receive salaries because state funds are depleted.
Dec. 17 1933: "The Hanging of the Greens" at Residence Hall, a custom observed each Christmas season, is started by Miss Margaret Stephenson.
Dec. 17 1944: Residence Hall is still occupied by the Navy men, but college women return for the tradition "Hanging of the Greens."
Dec. 17 2004: Northwest adopts a new logo identity.
Dec. 17 2010: Northwest head football coach Mel Tjeerdsma, one of the most successful coaches in the history of college football, is inducted into the Division II Football Hall of Fame.
Dec. 17 2016 The Northwest football team wins its sixth NCAA Division II national championship in program history, beating North Alabama 29-3 during a snowstorm at Children's Mercy Park in Kansas City, Kansas. The sixth title set a record among Division II programs as the Bearcats went 15-0 for the second consecutive season.
Dec. 19 1943: The traditional "Hanging of the Greens" takes place at the home of President and Mrs. Jones, as Residence Hall has been given over to the Navy for housing the men.
Dec. 19 2015 The Northwest football team beats Shepherd University, 34-7, to win its fifth NCAA Division II national championship. A record-setting crowd of 16,181 fans attended to see the Bearcats make their first title run at Sporting Park in Kansas City, Kansas.
Dec. 19 2016 Northwest formally announces Rich Wright, a former graduate assistant and member of the coaching staff since 2004, as the 20th head coach of Bearcat football. Wright took over for Adam Dorrel, who resigned to accept a head coaching position at another school.
Dec. 21 2013 The Northwest football team wins its fourth NCAA Division II National Championship with a 43-28 victory over Lenoir-Rhyne in the last Division II football championship game played in Florence, Alabama.
Dec. 25 1919: The staffs of the College paper send gifts for "Christmas cheer to war-stricken children of France."
Dec. 29 2010: Legendary football coach Mel Tjeerdsma announces his retirement after 17 seasons of leading the Bearcats.
Dec. 31 2010: Northwest announces that defensive coordinator Scott Bostwick will succeed Mel Tjeerdsma as head football coach.