Frostburg State University

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Frostburg State University
Frostburg State University seal.png
Motto "One University. A World of Experiences."
Established 1898
Type Public, University System of Maryland
Endowment $22,993,751[1]
President Thomas L. Bowling (interim)
Academic staff
392 (Fall 2014)[2]
Students 5,756[3]
Undergraduates 4,961 (Fall 2015)
Postgraduates 721 (Fall 2015)
Location 101 Braddock Road, Frostburg, Maryland, USA
Campus Rural, 260 acres (1.1 km2)
Colors Red, Black, and White
Athletics NCAA Division III, CAC, Empire 8
Nickname Bobcats
Mascot Bob Cat
Frostburg logo.png

Frostburg State University (often referred to as FSU) is a public student-centered teaching and learning institution located on a 260-acre (1.1 km2) campus in Frostburg, Maryland.[4] The University is the only four-year institution of the University System of Maryland west of the Baltimore-Washington passageway, positioned in the state's Appalachian highlands, an area rich in its mining and educational heritage. Founded in 1898 by Maryland Governor, Lloyd Lowndes, Jr. Frostburg was selected because the site offered the best suitable location without a cost to the State.[5] Today, the institution is a largely residential university, offering a wide assortment of distinctive programs at the undergraduate and graduate level.

With a fall 2015 enrollment of 5,756 students, the University offers 44 different undergraduate majors, 17 graduate programs and a doctorate in educational leadership.[6][7] The institution draws its students from all counties in Maryland, from other states and countries, promoting diversity among its students, faculty, and staff through incorporating its Cultural Diversity Program strategies that focus on the effective enrollment.[8]

Accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools, the University places primary emphasis on its role as a teaching and learning institution.[9] Faculty and professional staff engage in a wide range of scholarly activities and professional involvement, with the ultimate goal of enhancing student learning. Major areas of concentration are offered in education, business, science and technology, the creative and performing arts, and selected programs in the humanities and social sciences.[10] The University officially became a charter member of the American College & University Presidents Climate Commitment (ACUPCC), A commitment that provides a framework and support network for American colleges and universities to eventually go climate neutral.[11]


Frostburg State University campus

What was Frostburg State Normal School No. 2 was founded by an act of the Maryland General Assembly, House Bill 742,[12] from the General Appropriation Bill, on March 31, 1898. The bill was offered on the floor by John Leake of Vale Summit in Allegany County:

For the direction of the erection of a building in Frostburg, Allegany County to be known as The State Normal School No. 2, for the sum of $20,000; and for the support of said school when established $5,000 annually, provided, the people of the town of Frostburg furnish the ground for the site of said building and deed the same to the state.[13]

The State Board of Education selected and the town of Frostburg paid for the two acre Beall Park[14] as the location of the new school on August 9, 1898.[15]

The cornerstone was laid in a ceremony on September 4, 1899.[16]The Normal School's first building, Old Main, was positioned in Beall Park to face Loo Street (now known as College Avenue) and to look down Wood Street toward the downtown area of Frostburg.[17] State Normal School No. 2, the first institution being located in Baltimore and then Towson, opened with its first class on September 15, 1902 with 57 students with Frostburg's first administrator, Principal Dr. Edward D. Murdaugh (18 November 1853 - May 1925).[18][19][20] In 1904, 8 students became the first graduates of the college, receiving a diploma and a lifetime teaching certificate.[18][21] In 1912, a new gymnasium was authorized and completed in 1914.[18] In 1919, a dormitory was opened.[18] In 1925, a second dormitory was opened.[18] In 1927, Allegany Hall, a new auditorium, gymnasium, and heating plant was added.[18] In 1930, a six room practice elementary school known as the new laboratory school[17] was opened and the campus was extended to 40 acres taking over the Brownsville area of Frostburg.[18]

Frostburg State Teachers College (Class of 1946)

The institution's original mission was to train teachers for public school systems statewide. In 1935 the school was renamed State Teachers' College at Frostburg (also called Frostburg State Teachers College) and began offering a four-year degree program leading to a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education, after expanding the curriculum from two to three years in 1931 and 1934, respectively. Lillian Cleveland Compton served as the first female president of the College from 1945 to 1954.[22] Compton replaced the 21-year President John L. Dunkle.[23][24][25] Her mission as President was essentially to prepare the College for its planned closing. Enrollment stood at a mere sixty-two students in 1945.[26] With outdated facilities and inadequate funding, the College was accredited only by the State Department of Education. As early as 1943, there had arisen in the General Assembly a movement to close the institution, which would eventually culminate in the Marbury Report.[26] In 1947, the American Council on Education suggested that Frostburg State Teachers College be closed.[27] The report states:

Your Commission does feel obligated to recommend the prompt discontinuance of the State Teachers College at Frostburg. We are convinced that the cost of operating this unit is not justified by the very small number of its graduates who are entering the school system of the state as teachers. In reaching this conclusion, we have been strongly influenced by the report of our survey staff as to the present condition of the physical facilities at Frostburg. It is apparent that the state faces a heavy capital expenditure if operations at that location are to be continued. Frankly, such an outlay seems to us to be an indefensible waste of public money....The facilities in Towson are adequate to care for all the students at Frostburg who are now studying to become teachers. [27]

The end of World War II brought a drastic change in the College's environment. In 1946, enrollment increased to 274 students, many being admitted under the new G.I. Bill. Though the movement to close the College persisted, it seemed misguided to those on the scene and was roundly opposed by both private citizens and civic groups in Frostburg and Western Maryland. With the strong support of State Superintendent of Schools Thomas Granville Pullen, Jr. and Governor William Preston Lane Jr., the General Assembly was petitioned to keep the School open and the Marbury Commission's recommendations died without ever being acted upon.[26]

Under Compton's leadership, the institution celebrated its 50th anniversary in the 1949-1950 academic year, enrollment grew from 62 students in 1945 to 500 in 1954, the faculty increased from 13 to 34 members, and the size of the campus increased from eight to 40 acres of land. In addition to plant expansion, she initiated programs in curriculum development, adding a program to train junior high school teachers.[26] R. Bowen Hardesty replaced Compton as President in 1955.[25] The continued southern expansion of the College saw Brownsville Schools and homes along Park Avenue demolished by 1955 to make way for Compton, Allen, and Simpson Halls. A new school-also known as the Lincoln School, and the current home of the University's Public Safety office-was constructed in the late 1950s. However, the building was used for only two years until national integration laws reassigned students to other Frostburg elementary schools.[17] Marking a shift in the educational mission of the institution, the College was granted the right to grant Bachelor of Arts degrees and the Master of Education degree in 1960.[21] The school was again renamed in July 1963, this time as Frostburg State College. Frostburg received university status in July 1987, thus being renamed to what it is today, i.e. Frostburg State University. [28] Continuing the shift and growth of the University, the institution opened a campus in Hagerstown in 1988, which became the University System of Maryland at Hagerstown in January 2005, and offered its first doctorate degree in 2012.[21]

Presidents/Principals of Frostburg State University[edit]

President Tenure
Edward D. Murdaugh 1901–1911[29]
Edward F. Webb 1911–1915[30]
C. L. Staple 1915–1917[30]
James Widdowson 1918–1923[30]
John L. Dunkle 1924–1944[31]
Lillian Cleveland Compton 1945–1955[31][32]
R. Bowen Hardesty 1955–1965[33]
Rudolph S. Bremer 1965 (Acting President)[32][34]
John H. Morey 1965–1969[32][35][36]
Nelson P. Guild 1969–1985[32][36]
Herbert F. Reinhard, Jr. 1986–1991[32][37]
Harold Delaney 1991 (Acting President)[32]
Catherine R. Gira 1991–2006[32][38]
Jonathan C. Gibralter 2006–2015[32]


Frostburg State University entrance arch

Frostburg has colleges in education, business, and liberal arts and sciences,[39] and, in addition to the baccalaureate, awards master's degrees in both arts and sciences.[40][41] The university has an associated campus at the University System of Maryland at Hagerstown.[42]


Foucault's pendulum in the Compton Science Center

FSU has the following three colleges:

  • College of Business
  • College of Education
  • College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
  • Inter-College Programs

The Colleges of Business and Education are accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business[43] and the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education,[44] respectively.

Hagerstown center[edit]

Established in January 2005, the University System of Maryland at Hagerstown (USM-H) is a regional higher-education system center located in downtown Hagerstown, Maryland. The center offers upper level undergraduate classes, as well as master’s-level programs. Frostburg State University is one of five universities offering courses at the center. Baccalaureate programs offered by FSU at USMH include: business administration, early childhood education, psychology, sociology and liberal studies. Graduate programs include: elementary and secondary education.

Unusual programs[edit]

The Adventure Sports Concentration is offered as a collaborative program with Garrett College in Western Maryland.[45] Ethnobotany, introduced in 2007, is one of only two of programs in the United States on the cultural use of plants.[46] The program emphasizes experiential learning and practical experiences.

Notable faculty[edit]



The average GPA of an undergraduate student accepted at Frostburg State University is 3.11. Additionally the combined reading and math SAT scores range from 870–1040 when looking at the 25th though 75th percentiles. In 2008 there was 1 professor for every 17 students. In 2008, the retention rate was 72%. It takes an average of 4.6 years for students to earn their undergraduate degree. In 2009 Frostburg State University accepted 59% of all 4,495 applicants. In 2008 94% of the graduates were employed within one year of graduating.[47]


The 2009 undergraduate population was made up of 51% male and 49% female students; the following chart shows the recent change in enrollment of undergraduate males and females.

Gender Fall 05 Fall 06 Fall 07 Fall 08 Fall 09
Male 2217 2230 2223 2368 2416
Female 2104 2022 2112 2214 2339

The graduate population is made up of 30% male and 70% female students; the following chart shows the recent change in enrollment of graduate males and females.

Gender Fall 05 Fall 06 Fall 07 Fall 08 Fall 09
Male 251 228 226 219 190
Female 469 430 432 414 440

Geography of students[edit]

At Frostburg State the largest class as of 2009 is the freshman class. However, the classes are fairly evenly distributed.[48] In the 2009 academic year, 1,610 undergraduates lived on campus, while 3,145 lived off campus. Additionally, 9 graduate students live on campus, while 629 live off campus.

The top six counties in Maryland that undergraduate students come from are Allegany, Montgomery, Prince George's, Baltimore, Frederick, and Anne Arundel counties.

Maryland Counties Fall 05 Fall 06 Fall 07 Fall 08 Fall 09
Allegany 791 755 751 789 792
Montgomery 465 457 484 475 495
Prince George's 324 330 373 423 470
Baltimore County 271 294 292 346 347
Frederick 249 240 260 270 302
Anne Arundel 254 248 242 254 296

The top six counties in Maryland that graduate students come from are Allegany, Washington, Garrett, Frederick, Montgomery, and Anne Arundel.

Maryland Counties Fall 05 Fall 06 Fall 07 Fall 08 Fall 09
Allegany 229 219 215 174 173
Washington 162 139 164 167 139
Garrett 43 42 42 41 46
Frederick 33 30 29 26 40
Montgomery 13 6 10 8 18
Anne Arundel 10 6 3 7 13

The top six states undergraduate students come from are Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia, "foreign", West Virginia, and Washington, D.C.

States Fall 05 Fall 06 Fall 07 Fall 08 Fall 09
Maryland 3864 3821 3940 4182 4330
Pennsylvania 135 123 120 133 151
Virginia 95 102 86 79 68
Foreign 41 43 22 34 48
West Virginia 74 57 45 46 46
Washington D.C. 28 22 36 37 34

The top five states graduate students come from are Maryland, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Foreign, and Virginia.[48]

States Fall 05 Fall 06 Fall 07 Fall 08 Fall 09
Maryland 533 489 490 456 471
Pennsylvania 102 105 99 104 82
West Virginia 52 39 40 36 41
Foreign 11 7 8 8 14
Virginia 3 5 6 5 5


Bobcat Stadium

Frostburg State University participates in the NCAA Division III level and is currently a member of the Capital Athletic Conference, as well as participating as an associate member of the New Jersey Athletic Conference for football. However, prior to 2010, FSU was competing as a member of the Allegheny Mountain Collegiate Conference.[49] FSU’s football team was a member of the ACFC, but has moved to Empire 8 in 2011.[50] FSU teams have participated in and won many championships, Baseball having the most championship victories.[51] There will be a total of 19 varsity teams during the 2010–2011 academic year. Various club and intramural sports are available on campus.


Frostburg State University's new $71 million Center for Communications and Information Technology

The Bobcat Arena is located in the Harold J. Cordts Physical Education Center. It seats 3,600 people and is used for the men’s and women’s basketball teams as well as for the volleyball team. Other club and intramural teams also practice in the Bobcat Arena.

The Bobcat Natatorium is located in the Cordts PE Center and houses the men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams.

Bob Wells Field is home to the FSU baseball team, and is long through center field and long down the sidelines. In addition to the 250 person seating next to the field.

The FSU softball team plays in the Bobcat Field, which opened in 2001. There is seating for around 250.

The Cordts Tennis Complex is home to FSU’s men’s and women’s tennis teams and is located behind the Cordts PE Center. It contains 6 courts.

The Bobcat Stadium was opened in 1974 and has an 8-lane, track. There are 4,000 seats. It is home to the FSU football, men’s and women’s soccer, field hockey, men’s and women’s lacrosse, and men’s and women’s track and field teams.

Student life[edit]

Activities on campus[edit]

The Bottom Line, the student newspaper, has a weekly circulation of 2,500 copies.[52]

Allen Residence Hall on the Frostburg campus

SGA (Student Government Organization)

All students are represented by the two branches of the Student Government Association: the Executive Council and the Senate. The SGA develops and administers student self-government policies, provides services to students, communicates with faculty and administration and decides how the student activity fees will be spent.[53]

Frostburg TV/News

FSU-TV3 is Frostburg State University's 24-hour educational access channel.[54] It is programmed and operated by students in the Department of Mass Communication, located in the Center for Communication and Information Technology.[55] The Frostburg studio is equipped with state of the art equipment, programmed and operated by both students and faculty each semester.[56] FSU-TV3 presents programming including documentaries, concerts, guest speakers, sports and city council meetings.[57]


WFWM radio is a public service of Frostburg State University in Frostburg, Maryland. It broadcasts informational, educational, and cultural programming 24 hours a day to the westernmost counties of Maryland and adjacent areas in Pennsylvania and West Virginia. WFWM operates at an assigned frequency of 91.9 MHz. It also operates a translator station, W242AD (96.3 MHz), in Oakland, Maryland. Some of WFWM's daily programming includes: locally produced programming and news as well as the public syndicate network of National Public Radio (NPR), the Associated Press, and National Weather Service. Main transmission facilities are located on Dan's Mountain in Midland, Maryland. WFWM also maintains and assists XFSR, the FSU student intranet radio station.[58]

Former office of the student run newspaper The Bottom Line

Fraternities and sororities[edit]

The school has a large number of nationally and internationally recognized fraternities and sororities. Recognized fraternities and sororities and the date that they were established at Frostburg State University:[59]




Music organizations[edit]

Professional organizations[edit]

Local Greek Letter Organizations[edit]

There are also several Local Greek letter organizations that have either started in Frostburg, MD or were previously nationally recognized organizations but have since been made inactive. These organizations are not recognized by Frostburg State University as student organizations.[60]

Local Fraternities[edit]

  • Alpha Delta Chi Established 1964, chartered by Delta Chi from 1991-2011.
  • Alpha Theta Chi Established 1935 (Formally Tau Kappa Epsilon, Omega Sigma Phi, Delta Kappa, Sigma Phi, Theta Chi,)
  • Delta Phi Omega Established 1975
  • Kappa Chi Kappa (Formally Pi Lambda Phi)
  • Omega Epsilon Established 1993 (Formally Delta Tau Delta)
  • Omega Kappa Zeta Established 1999
  • Sigma Tau Psi (Formally Sigma Tau Gamma, Inactive 2014)

Local Sororities[edit]

  • Delta Delta Established 1986 Chartered by Phi Sigma Sigma 1989-1999
  • Kappa Beta Sigma Established 2002
  • Kappa Gamma Delta Established 2000
  • Kappa Tau Epsilon Established 1987
  • Zeta Phi Established 1996

Notable alumni[edit]

Arts and culture[edit]

Music facilities[edit]

Most performances are in the Pealer Recital Hall, which seats 458 people.[75]

Mountain City Traditional Arts[edit]

Mountain City Traditional Arts is dedicated to the education, sales, documentation and perpetuation of regional art and cultural heritage, and is a partnership of the Allegheny Arts Council, Folklore & Folk life Programming at Frostburg State University, and the Frostburg First Main Street Program

Children's Literature Centre[edit]

The Children's Literature Centre at Frostburg State University is housed within the College of Education. This centre was founded by Dr. William Bingman in 1982 to honor two former Education faculty.

Each year, the centre sponsors the Spring Festival of Children's Literature, which brings together nationally and internationally recognized children's authors and illustrators with teachers, librarians, media specialist and lovers of children's literature. In 2009, the festival included featured speakers Kadir Nelson, Doreen Rappaport, Matt Tavares and Gennifer Cholendenko. The centre sponsors several free community events for children, based around children's literature.[76]


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  76. ^ Centre's web page


External links[edit]

Coordinates: 39°39′01″N 78°55′57″W / 39.650352°N 78.932530°W / 39.650352; -78.932530