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Millersville University of Pennsylvania

Coordinates: 40°00′00″N 76°21′22″W / 40°N 76.356°W / 40; -76.356
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Millersville University of Pennsylvania
Former names
Lancaster County Normal School (1855–1859)
Millersville State Normal School (1859–1927)
Millersville State Teachers College (1927–1959)
Millersville State College (1959–1983)[1]
MottoSeize the Opportunity
TypePublic liberal arts
master's level
doctoral level
Endowment$43.9 million[2]
PresidentDaniel A. Wubah
Academic staff
299 full-time
Administrative staff
540 staff and administration
CampusSuburban, 250 acres (100 ha)
Colors    Black and gold
Sporting affiliations
MascotMillersville Marauder and Skully (Marauders)

Millersville University of Pennsylvania (commonly known as Millersville University, The Ville, or MU) is a public university in Millersville, Pennsylvania. It is one of the fourteen schools that comprise the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education (PASSHE). Founded in 1855 as the first Normal School in Pennsylvania, Millersville is accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools[3] and the Pennsylvania Department of Education.[4]

First established in 1854 as the Millersville Academy out of the since-demolished Old Main,[5] the academy specialized in a series of workshop-style teacher institutes in response to the 1834 Free School Act of Pennsylvania.[6]


Millersville University was established in 1855 as the Lancaster County Normal School, the first state normal school in Pennsylvania. It subsequently changed its name to Millersville State Normal School in 1859 and Millersville later became a state teachers' college in 1927. It was renamed Millersville State College in 1959 and officially became the Millersville University of Pennsylvania in 1983.

The original Old Main of 1854

In November 1852, the Lancaster County Educational Association met in Strasburg to form an institute for teacher training. The first institute, which led to the Lancaster County Normal School and received significant support from Thomas H. Burrowes, was held in January 1853. While the Association was working to organize, Lewis M. Hobbs, a popular teacher of the Manor district, lobbied heavily in Manor township for a more permanent training facility for teachers. Jacob Shenk, a local farmer, donated a tract of five acres (the present-day site of Ganser Library, Biemesderfer Executive Center, and Dutcher Hall) with Hobbs collecting investments from local residents. On April 17, 1855, Lancaster County Normal School opened with James P. Wickersham as principal and a peak of 147 teachers in attendance. The school president was Thomas H. Burrowes and the vice president was Lewis M. Hobbs. November 5, 1855, marked the start of the first full session, with a new expansion of the original Academy building that made 96 rooms available for nearly 200 students and their teachers.[7]

Completed in 1894, the Biemesderfer Executive Center, also known as the Old Library, is the centerpiece of Millersville University's campus. The executive committee of the Board of Trustees designated $27,500 for the construction of the library in 1891, with the contract awarded to Lancastrian D.H. Rapp, who submitted the lowest bid in a blind auction.[8]

The Millersville University Library is housed in Ganser Hall. In September 2011, the university closed Ganser Hall for two years for renovations.[9] On August 26, 2013, the Ganser Library reopened as the McNairy Library and Learning Forum at Ganser Hall.

In August 2021, a Millersville student by the name of Matthew Mindler was reported dead. He had been reported missing after not showing up for classes, and having cut off contact with his family. His body was found in Manor Township, Pennsylvania, near the Millersville campus. He was a 19-year-old freshman, and had been a child actor in the past, starring in the film "Our Idiot Brother". His death was ruled a suicide.[10]

School principals[edit]

College/university presidents[edit]


Lombardo Welcome Center[edit]

The Lombardo Welcome Center at Millersville University

On August 29, 2015, local community members Samuel and Dena Lombardo announced a gift to Millersville University for the creation of the university's new Welcome Center and the first state-of-the-art Net-Zero energy building on campus.[12] This building, named the Lombardo Welcome Center, opened in January 2018. Equipped with solar panels, state-of-the-art energy-efficient glass, and an interior design inspired by feng shui principles, the Lombardo Welcome Center will produce as much energy as it consumes.[13] On the grounds of former Hull Hall, the Lombardo Welcome Center houses the offices of Admissions, Housing & Residential Life, University Marketing and Communications, and the Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs & Enrollment Management.

Francine G. McNairy Library & Learning Forum[edit]

McNairy Library at Millersville University

Originally built from 1965 to 1967 on the grounds of Old Main, the Helen Ganser Library closed its doors in 2011 for an extensive 2-year renovation project and re-opened in 2013 as the Francine G. McNairy Library & Learning Forum. The entire complex is named after Millersville's 13th President, Dr. Francine McNairy, who began her career at Millersville first as Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs before becoming president in 2003.[14] Ganser Hall, named for Helen A. Ganser (1911–1952), librarian and head of the Library Science Department,[15] is the 9-story building that houses the university's academic collection. Serving as the academic heart of campus for over 40 years, Ganser Hall began with the two famous "Bookwalks" of 1967.

Performing arts[edit]

Millersville's Office of Visual and Performing Arts manages two performing arts centers in Lancaster County: The Ware Center and Winter Visual & Performing Arts Center.[16]

Winter Visual & Performing Arts Center[edit]

Millersville University Music Students utilizing the tech in the piano lab.

Built as an expansion of Lyte Auditorium in Alumni Hall,[17] the new Charles R. and Anita B Winter Visual and Performing Arts Center has a new entrance off Cottage Avenue in Millersville. The grand opening occurred on Friday, October 12, 2012, after two years of renovations to the original structure, Lyte Auditorium. Named for local philanthropist Charles Winter, whose daughters are both Millersville graduates,[18] The new Visual and Performing Arts Center, a $26 million construction and renovation project,[19] enhances the original 29,041-square-foot building of 700 seats with a 59,452-square-foot addition.[20] Part of the university's master plan to effectively use and reuse existing land, facilities, and infrastructure, the new Winter Visual & Performing Arts Center houses features a concert hall, recital hall, performance hall, classrooms, a recording studio, piano lab, a music library, faculty offices and more.[21] Known by students as the VPAC (for Visual and Performing Arts Building), other features of the state-of-the-art building are a scenery shop, soundproof classrooms, several sitting areas, a music library and approximately 20 Soundlok rooms, which are modular sound-isolation rooms for practicing.[17]

The Ware Center[edit]

Crowd applauding a performance at a live theater.
A crowd watches a performance at The Ware Center

The Ware Center is a performing arts center in Lancaster, PA and the Lancaster city campus of Millersville University. Located on North Prince Street at the end of Lancaster's Gallery Row, the center is part of the Millersville University's Department of Visual & Performing Arts.[22][23] Originally designed by architect Philip Johnson, the $32 million building opened in 2008 as the home of the now defunct Pennsylvania Academy of Music.[24][23][25] Since 2010, it has hosted classes for nearly 1,000 Millersville University students during Fall and Spring semesters.[26] Various art exhibits and live performances are held at this venue throughout the year, and the facility can be rented out as a private event venue and banquet hall.[24]


Degree programs and certifications[edit]

According to the 2020-2021 undergraduate course catalog Millersville University offers:[27]

  • 150+ bachelor's degree programs

According to the Graduate and Professional Studies program finder, Millersville University offers 74 graduate programs:[28]

  • 3 doctoral degree programs
  • 25 master's degree programs
  • 46 certificates and certifications


  • College of Science and Technology[29]
  • College of Education and Human Services[30]
  • College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences[31]
  • The Lombardo College of Business[32]
  • College of Graduate Studies and Adult Learning[33]
  • Honors College[34]
  • The Tell School of Music


Millersville University sponsors 19 intercollegiate varsity sports which compete in NCAA Division II.

A statue of the Marauder, one of Millersville's mascots.

Intramural and club teams[edit]

Notable alumni[edit]

Art and Literature[edit]

Business and Industry[edit]


Entertainment and Media[edit]

Politics, Government, and Military[edit]

Science and Medicine[edit]





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  2. ^ "Millersville University of Pennsylvania". U.S. News & World Report.
  3. ^ Info724 Ltd. "Middle States Commission on Higher Education". Msche.org. Retrieved 2015-11-18.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)
  4. ^ "EDNA". Edna.ed.state.pa.us. Retrieved 2015-11-18.
  5. ^ Bicentennial Committee, 1961
  6. ^ Downey, Dennis B. We Sing to Thee, 2004.
  7. ^ Graver, Lee. (1955). A History of the First Pennsylvania State Normal School.
  8. ^ Slotter, Carole L. (1982). The Centerpiece of the Campus. Science Press. LCCN 82-62395. OCLC 9223539.
  9. ^ "Why Will it Take 2 Years". Millersville Library Renovation Information (blog). 2010-12-22. Retrieved 2011-01-01.
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  12. ^ "The Lombardo Welcome Center Opens on Campus". Millersville NEWS. 13 July 2018.
  13. ^ "Millersville University receives $1 million gift for 'net energy zero' welcome center | Local News". lancasteronline.com. 2015-08-29. Retrieved 2015-11-18.
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  17. ^ a b "New Millersville University performing arts center getting its final touches | News". lancasteronline.com. 2012-05-28. Retrieved 2015-11-18.
  18. ^ Local philanthropist Dr. Charles Winter, a retired orthopedic surgeon, donated $1 million to Millersville University in 2007 to support renovations and additions to Lyte Auditorium. Two of his daughters graduated from Millersville.
  19. ^ Writer, AD CRABLE Staff. "Millersville University unveils $26 million arts center". LancasterOnline. Retrieved 2017-03-14.
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External links[edit]

40°00′00″N 76°21′22″W / 40°N 76.356°W / 40; -76.356