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On the first day of class in October 1887, one student appeared in a small, rented cottage where the Adron Doran University Center now stands. Tens of thousands of students have come from the mountains of Eastern Kentucky and beyond to seek the means to a better life. Dr. Frank C. Button, a minister and educator, and his mother, Phebe, an experienced educator and administrator, devoted their lives to bringing "a light to the mountains" by founding a school to train teachers. The University began as Morehead Normal School in 1887.   

The Kentucky General Assembly approved MSU's status as a public university, resulting in closing the private school in 1922 and becoming Morehead State Normal School. The state institution accepted its first students in the fall of 1923 with Frank Button as the first president and graduated its first class in 1927. Name changes occurred in 1926 when "and Teachers College" was added, in 1930 when it was shortened to Morehead State Teachers College, again in 1948 as "Morehead State College" and, finally, to university status in 1966.

Logo depicting Little Bell Tower with MSU M logo and 100 yearsToday, MSU continues this tradition with excellent academic programs. This includes training teachers, just as we began. The University is home to one of only a few space systems engineering programs in the U.S. and has strong professional program preparations, including pre-med and legal studies. Our graduates in social work, nursing, imaging sciences and other areas continue to find career success through serving others. We offer 142 undergraduate and 68 graduate degree programs, including a Doctor of Education.  

MSU has more than 70,000 alumni and an approximately $70 million endowment, providing scholarships and support for students and academic programs. 

Join us as we celebrate 135 years of service and 100 years as a public institution. We have several events planned this fall. 
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Aerial View of Campus with Mountains