Plymouth State University
Plymouth State University History
Plymouth State Archival Photos

Plymouth State University History

New Hampshire State Normal School

The first New Hampshire State Normal School opened in Plymouth on March 15, 1871 with 80 students.  As the first N.H. school for training teachers for public schools (and one of the first in the U.S.) the school was established for the better training of teachers by securing the best teachers to manage and instruct them.

 Plymouth Teachers College

Plymouth Teachers College evolved from the Normal School in 1939.  As in the Normal School years, Plymouth Teachers College students had a common goal—to train as the state's best teachers.  Students took their classes together, were “in training” together, and shared the experience of the aftermath of shocking world events such a “great depression,” world-wide wars, and the first U.S. “police actions.”

The goal of PTC expanded from not only educating the best teachers but also developing happy and responsible individuals who would contribute to the betterment of society.  In order to realize this goal, faculty members and students were charged with working together to achieve the following objectives:**

  1. To receive and impart ideas with clarity, effectiveness, and exactitude.
  2. To demonstrate the ability to think critically.
  3. To apply in daily living the sound principles of physical and mental health.
  4. To respond sensitively to the various forms of creative expression and to participate in creative endeavor.
  5. To demonstrate in daily living the positive approach to life’s experiences through the development of spiritual resources and a consistent, comprehensive, and integrated philosophy of life.
  6.  To participate actively as an informed and responsible citizen in perpetuating and improving our democratic social order and in fostering international understanding and peace.

**from the 1961 PTC Catalog

University of New Hampshire System

After many changes to its missions and goals, a unified system of public New Hampshire colleges and universities was formed, and PTC became Plymouth State College.  The transition allowed the College to broaden its educational functions and grant degrees in the liberal arts, business administration, and secretarial science in addition to teacher education.

Where We Are Today (Plymouth State University)

After several years of networking and negotiating, Plymouth State College became Plymouth State University in 2003. The change was a natural change which recognized the regional university PSC had become.

Today, Plymouth State University is a comprehensive regional university offering a rich, student-focused learning environment for undergraduate, graduate, and non-traditional students.  PSU offers 42 undergraduate majors and 62 minors.  In addition to outstanding programs in education, business, humanities, arts, and the natural and social sciences; centers and institutes for meteorology, the environment, New Hampshire studies, and rural partnerships are hallmark outreach programs.

imagine a way

Plymouth State University, 17 High Street, Plymouth, NH 03264-1595. Main Switchboard: (603) 535-5000.
A member of the University System of New Hampshire. ©2005-2008. All rights reserved.
This page was last revised: 4/18/2007