A-Z Index

Dates in Northwest History


Day Year Event
May 1 1908 May Morning News, the first student publication on campus, was distributed.
May 1 1942 The first comprehensive examination is administered to men who wish to enter the Navy V-1 program, which provides for two years of academic training before active service.
May 1 1959 The departments of history, education, psychology, language and literature, social science and business made their long-awaited move into the new classroom building, which was later named Colden Hall.
May 1 2015 Northwest announced the findings of a third-party economic impact study that showed the University generated $617.5 million in added regional income – the equivalent of creating 9,465 new jobs – in fiscal year 2014.
May 2 1908 The school hosted a "May Morning Breakfast" with hot cakes, syrup, ham and eggs, strawberries and cream coffee - all for a quarter.
May 3 1928 The Faculty Dames group was organized.
May 3 2014 Jay Taylor, of Kansas City, became the first graduate of Northwest's bachelor's degree program in nanoscale science.
May 4 1860 Thomas Gaunt purchased a tract of land for $693 and establishes a tree nursery that would eventually become the Northwest campus.
May 4 1910 Dean George Colbert saw Halley's Comet at 4 a.m.
May 4 1949 E.A. Davis, athletics director, announced the first tennis team in about 10 years would be coached by Dr. Frank Grube, head of the English department.
May 4 1973 Students participated in the third annual Joe Toker Daze, an alternative after Walkout Day was temporarily eliminated in 1971, that featured concerts, a skateboard contest, soapbox derby, frisbee contest, bicycle race and a car-packing contest.
May 4 1983 A crew from ABC television show “That’s Incredible” visited Northwest to film alumnus Charlie Myrick perform the “ultimate escape” in front of a standing-room only crowd at the Robert P. Foster Aquatic Center. Myrick was welded into a three-foot square steel box, which was dropped into the 12-foot pool, and escaped from the steel enclosure in 9 minutes and 40 seconds.
May 4 2010 Northwest announced Terri Vogel as its next registrar to succeed Linda Girard, who had served in the role for 28 years and retired May 31.
May 4 2013 Snow fell outside as Northwest conferred a record 708 degrees during spring commencement exercises in Bearcat Arena. Dr. Stuart Brand, director of learning experience at Birmingham City University in the United Kingdom, gave the commencement address.
May 5 1926 The college chorus and orchestra performed Handel's "Messiah" with assistance from imported soloists.
May 5 2005 Heavy equipment operators with Premier Demolition Co. revved up the motors of two huge, tracked “excavators” and began ripping brick, rock and large steel girders from the north wing of Hudson Hall. The original Hudson-Perrin residence hall structure, which was completed in 1962 was demolished and replaced with more modern residence halls of the same name on the same footprint.
May 6 1909 A report showed there were 5,396 books in the library.
May 6 1953 Dick Buckridge received the highest MIAA conference award as outstanding sportsman of the 1952-53 basketball season.
May 6 1970 Northwest students erected a pole in front of Colden Hall and hung an American flag at half-mast in reaction to four students killed two days earlier during anti-war protests at Kent State University.
May 6 2023 Northwest celebrated a record-breaking 1,683 graduates, ranging in age from 19 to 85, during a single spring commencement ceremony at Bearcat Stadium. The oldest graduate was Gordon Hill, who earned a Master of Arts degree in English.
May 7 1928 The first AAUW inspection of the college occurred.
May 7 1974 On the eve of final exams, Northwest honored its largest number of retirees with a traditional recognition dinner. Fourteen retirees with a collective 362 years of service were honored, including Ryland Milner, Kenneth Thompson, Dr. Irene Mueller, Anna Gorsuch, Howard Ringold and Cathran Cushman. A partial reason for the large number of retirees was that the Board of Regents, months prior, changed the mandatory retirement age from 70 to 65.
May 8 1945 A special edition of The Northwest Missourian distributed at 8:15 in the morning announced a special assembly to mark the end of the war in Europe.
May 8 1970 Students initiated a memorial service at Rickenbrode Stadium in memory of four students killed four days earlier during anti-war protests at Kent State University.
May 8 1982 Dr. Anita Aldrich, a 1936 graduate who was a professor of physical education at Indiana University and had been an advisor to President John F. Kennedy’s Fitness Council, was the commencement speaker. President B.D. Owens also presented her with a Distinguished Alumni Award.
May 8 2002 Head football coach Mel Tjeerdsma and President Dr. Dean Hubbard swung sledgehammers at the Rickenbrode Stadium grandstand as Northwest hosted a ground-breaking ceremony to launch construction of a new grandstand on the west side of the football stadium that greatly expanded seating capacity and included private suites and stadium club seats.
May 8 2021 Northwest completed eight commencement ceremonies in three days to celebrate its spring graduates as well as those who earned degrees during the previous year but were unable to participate in ceremonies postponed or canceled during the COVID-19 pandemic.
May 9 1977 A morning thunderstorm forced Northwest’s 637 undergraduates and 119 graduates and their guests indoors to observe the University’s 71st commencement, President Foster’s last before retiring, inside Lamkin Gym.
May 9 1981 Ground was broken for the Mary Linn Performing Arts Center, a new 1,100-seat performance facility to replace the Frank Deerwester theater that was destroyed during the 1979 Administration Building fire. The building has since been expanded and is known today as the Ron Houston Center for the Performing Arts.
May 9 1981 Dr. Richard Leet, a 1948 alumnus and president of Standard Oil of Indiana’s Amoco Chemical Company, spoke at Northwest's spring commencement and was honored with the University’s Distinguished Alumni Award.
May 10 1930 The Epsilon Gamma Chapter of Sigma Tau Delta, the writers' honor society, is established on campus with 10 charter members.
May 11 1974 The University announced its renaming of the North Industrial Arts Building after Kenneth Thompson and Howard Ringold, who retired that spring after more than 30 years of teaching in the industrial arts and technology department. The building was demolished in 2023.
May 12 1920 A green plush curtain was used in the Administration Building auditorium for the first time.
May 12 1965 A record 343 students graduated from Northwest as Gov. Warren E. Hearnes made his first appearance in Maryville and gave the commencement address. The graduating class, as its senior gift, gave a mosaic mural to adorn the stairwell landing of the new fine arts building.
May 12 1971 Students protested the lack of organizational photographs in the yearbook.
May 13 1909 It was announced that faculty salaries would be restored and the construction on the Administration Building would resume Aug. 19, 1909.
May 13 1915 The school's literary societies competed in the first of annual contests that included debate, oration, essay writing, extemporaneous speech and reading; the contests continued until 1926.
May 14 2010 The Northwest Board of Regents approved the University's proposal to become a smoke-free campus. The policy became effective Aug. 1.
May 15 1906 The first books for the library were ordered.
May 15 1917 Mike the Dog died, and contributions for a tombstone were taken the next day. The stone remains east of the Administration Building.
May 15 1928 President Lamkin broke his clavicle when his car went into a ditch.
May 16 1921 President Ira Richardson submitted his resignation, and it was accepted.
May 17 1916 The senior play, a production of George Bernard Shaw's "Pygmalion," was determined to be "too advanced for Maryville."
May 17 1959 The Abraham Lincoln statue was shot by a night watchman.
May 18 1915 The Board of Regents authorized a four-year course program to end with the degree of Bachelor of Science in Education; President Ira Richardson and Board President W.A. Blagg were authorized to devise plans whereby a dormitory for women might be provided.
May 18 1931 Lightning struck the east wing of the Administration Building, doing little damage.
May 18 1934 The Bearcat track and field team won its first MIAA title.
May 18 1998 Services and offices in the J.W. Jones Student Union began relocating to other campus buildings in preparation for renovations to the facility.
May 18 2004 A renovation of the Memorial Bell Tower began, resulting in the addition of four ramps each connecting to the major sidewalks, additional benches, pole lighting and new landscaping.
May 19 1913 The resignation of President H.K. Taylor was accepted; Ira Richardson, the head of the education department, was elected president.
May 19 1928 The Lambda Phi chapter of Alpha Sigma Alpha sorority was installed on campus.
May 19 1946 The Board of Regents passed a resolution stating that up to 10 foreign students should be encouraged to come to the College, and scholarships for the students would be provided by Northwest.
May 20
May 21 1939 Alpha Phi Omega, a service fraternity, received its charter.
May 21 1940 The Board of Regents made its first appearance in academic dress at commencement.
May 21 1960 Blue Key, a male honorary society, was installed on the campus with Dr. Frank Grube as its sponsor.
May 21 2009 Northwest's Board of Regents selected Dr. John Jasinski to be the University’s 10th president. Jasinski was the executive vice president and chief academic and operating officer of Northwood University in Midland, Michigan, and previously served at Northwest from 1986 to 2001 as a faculty member and chair in the Department of Mass Communication and associate provost.
May 22 1928 H.R. Dieterich joined the faculty in the education department.
May 22 1933 Almost all employees - including the president - took annual salary cuts.
May 22 2023 Demolition began of Phillips Hall, a seven-story residence hall that opened in 1966 and housed students until 2014.
May 23 1911 Mrs. Alice Perrin was named dean of women, and Ira Richardson was given charge of the education department.
May 23 1944 Members of the Student Senate inscribed their names on a large oak table in the Bearcats' Den, starting a tradition that those who served on the Senate and only such others as invited to place their names on the table.
May 23 1977 Otis Van "O.V." Cecil, poet laureate of Platte County, presented Northwest President Dr. Robert Foster with his 384-page "Bicentennial Book of Poetry" in honor of Foster's impending retirement. 
May 24 1910 Trying to recover from the Normal School's debts, the Board of Regents instructed a secretary to pay for a clock that had been purchased in 1906 and "dispose of the clock."
May 24 1929 "Much Ado About Nothing" was performed as the senior play.
May 24 1951 For the first time in Northwest's history, an alumnus, 1934 graduate Edward Morgan, gave the commencement address.
May 25 1927 Faculty members made their first appearance in academic dress at commencement.
May 25 1931 The graduation fee was raised to $7.50 to include a cap, gown and an alumni banquet ticket.
May 25 1937 Ryland Milner, a star Bearcat athlete during the early 1930s and 1933 alumnus, joined the college's faculty in the physical education department and as a coach.
May 25 2002 Northwest’s Missouri Academy of Science, Mathematics and Computing celebrated its inaugural graduating class with 30 students completing associate of science degrees. The two-year accelerated, early-entrance-to-college residential program for academically talented high school students opened on the Northwest campus in the fall of 2000 and closed in the spring of 2018.
May 25 2017 The Board of Regents authorized Northwest to award a construction contract to E.L. Crawford Construction and begin building a multipurpose facility on the campus. Regents approved the naming of the facility as the Carl and Cheryl Hughes Fieldhouse, in honor 1976 alumnus Carl Hughes and his wife, Cheryl, who attended the University; the Carl and Cheryl Hughes Family Foundation provided leading support for the construction.
May 26 1920 A redecoration of the Administration Building was completed and included a green color scheme for woodwork.
May 26 1925 Miss Laura Schmitz, of Chillicothe, attended her first meeting as the first female member of the Board of Regents.
May 26 1926 Frank Deerwester, the first college president, died in Bellingham, Washington.
May 26 2018 Northwest’s Missouri Academy of Science, Mathematics and Computing celebrated its last graduating class. The two-year accelerated, early-entrance-to-college residential program for academically talented high school students opened on the Northwest campus in the fall of 2000.
May 27 1907 The Board of Regents elected Homer Martien Cook as the school's second president; Mr. W.A. Rickenbrode became registrar.
May 27 1967 Northwest celebrated its 61st commencement ceremony, and a record 415 students received degrees.
May 28 1908 An alumni association was organized with John Rush as president and Bessie Cox as secretary.
May 28 1954 The first woman and alumna commencement speaker is 1931 graduate Dr. Mildred Sandison Fenner.
May 28 2011 Seventy-four students graduated from Northwest’s Missouri Academy of Science, Mathematics and Computing. In the Academy’s 10th year, the graduating class was the largest in the program’s history.
May 29 1911 C. Edwin Wells joined the faculty as a librarian, and became the school's longest-serving at 38 years.
May 29 1935 The Board of Regents approved a diminished service plan introduced by President Lamkin. At age 65, a faculty member's salary was reduced to 75 percent of that received between the ages 55 and 60.
May 29 1947 It was announced that the dean of the faculty would be required to live at 421 College Drive.
May 29 1969 Northwest graduated 700 students, the largest total yet in the school's history.
May 30
May 31 1968 Northwest dedicated its new, $3 million mathematics and science building, which was named in honor of long-time faculty members William T. Garrett and Dr. J. Gordon Strong.
May 31 2012 Northwest celebrated the opening of Northwest-St. Joseph at the newly restored Historic Green Acres building with a ribbon-cutting, tours, enrollment sessions and an evening reception. Northwest had offered post-baccalaureate courses in St. Joseph for more than 40 years prior and had operated a St. Joseph center in the city's downtown since 2007; the University ended its St. Joseph programming in 2017.
May 31 2014 The Northwest community gathered to honor the lives and legacies of its seventh president and first lady with a ceremony dedicating the Robert & Virginia Foster Fitness Center, which renamed the former aquatic center that would reopen in the fall of 2015 after renovation.
May 31 2015 The campus community gathered to celebrate the retirements of Don and Marjean Ehlers, who served Northwest as faculty members in psychology and counseling and were co-directors of the Wesley Student Center for 35 years.