Lowell State College
|Established||June 6, 1894|
|Location||Lowell, Massachusetts, United States
Lowell State College was a public college located in Lowell, Massachusetts, United States. Founded in 1894 as the Lowell Normal School, it was chartered as teacher training institution for women. The college merged with nearby Lowell Technological Institute in 1975 to become the University of Lowell, a comprehensive institution. In 1991, the campus was incorporated into University of Massachusetts system as the University of Massachusetts Lowell.
The Lowell Normal School was chartered in 1894 as a teacher training institution for women. The tenth and final normal school to be established in Massachusetts, it opened in 1898 with 108 students and five faculty members. The original classroom building opened the next year at the corner of Broadway and Wilder Streets, and quickly became a landmark in the city. Designed by local firm Stickney & Austin, it reflects the fashion of the time: high-style Beaux Arts with classical symmetry, arches, cast-iron lampposts and yellow brick. Its design was influenced in part by Lowell High School, which was also designed by Lowell native Frederick W. Stickney. Frank Coburn, for whom the hall was later named, served as the school's first principal until 1908.
The main mission of the school at that time was to prepare students for the teaching of elementary education. Courses typically took two years, with the third and fourth years optional because of space in the building. In 1910, the mission of the school expanded with the creation of a three-year music program. As the mission of the school was to train the students, they needed space so that the students would be able to practice their skills. The nearby Bartlett Training School was first used when twenty seven rooms were made available.
After being threatened with closure during the Great Depression, school administrators rallied local support to help keep it open. A delegation of prominent individuals representing Lowell's powerful interest groups traveled to Boston and convinced state officials of the school's importance. The result was that the school not only survived but continued to grow and expand. In 1950, Dr. Daniel O'Leary assumed the presidency and initiated an ambitious building program. The physical plant of the campus expanded during post-war era from a single structure to a multi-building complex, forming an area now known as UMass Lowell's South Campus. The dedication of several buildings named for each of the school's six presidents was held on June 9, 1974. These buildings were built in the style of brutalism. The school gained university status in 1959.
In 1972, a feasibility study was conducted on merging the school with the nearby Lowell Technological Institute. In 1975, the schools merged to form the University of Lowell, which changed its name in 1991 to the University of Massachusetts Lowell. Today, the school's campus is known as the South Campus of UMass Lowell.
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