Minnesota State University Moorhead

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"Moorhead State University" redirects here. For the university in Morehead, Kentucky, see Morehead State University.
Minnesota State University Moorhead
Minnesota State University Moorhead Seal.svg
Motto Sacrifice, Service, Loyalty
Type Public
Established 1887
Endowment $15.6 million [1]
President Anne E. Blackhurst
Provost Joseph Bessie
Administrative staff
Students 8,140[2]
Undergraduates 7,568
Postgraduates 572
Location Moorhead, Minnesota, U.S.
Campus Suburban
140 acres (57 ha)
Colors White, Red and Grey
Athletics NCAA Division IINSIC
Mascot The Dragons
Affiliations Minnesota State Colleges and Universities System
Website www.mnstate.edu
Minnesota State University Moorhead Logo.svg

Minnesota State University Moorhead (MSUM) is a four-year, public university located in Moorhead, Minnesota. The school has an enrollment of 6,624 students and 266 full-time faculty members. MSUM is a part of the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities (MnSCU) system. MSUM is located on the western border of Minnesota on the Red River of the North in Moorhead; across the river lies Fargo, North Dakota.


The plans for what would become MSUM were laid down in 1885, when the Minnesota State Legislature passed a bill declaring the need for a new state normal school in the Red River Valley, with an eye on Moorhead. The State Senator who proposed the bill, State Senator Solomon Comstock, donated 6 acres (2.4 ha) and appropriated the funds that would go to form Moorhead Normal School, which opened in 1888. In 1921, the State authorized the school to offer the four-year Bachelor of Science degree in Education in order to satisfy the need for high school teachers in northwest Minnesota, and the school became Moorhead State Teachers College.

With the entrance of World War II, the college entered into a contract with the Army Air Corps to train aviation students. After World War II, enrollment swelled to more than 700 students and the school diversified and broadened into both a liberal arts and professional curriculum. The school began offering a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1946 and graduate programs by 1953. As a result of the broadened offerings, by 1957 the name was changed to Moorhead State College. In 1969, the school joined a cooperative cross-registration exchange with neighboring Concordia College and North Dakota State University, creating the Tri-College University. The school continued to increase its number of programs and by 1975, the State Legislature that year granted the school university status under the name Moorhead State University. In 1995, Moorhead State became part of the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities (MnSCU) system. On July 1, 2000, the school officially became Minnesota State University Moorhead.

Lommen Hall, home to Elementary & Early Childhood Education, the Secondary Education, and the Special Education departments.

Minnesota State University Moorhead was rated the 18th top liberal arts college in the midwest by TIME magazine in 2008.

Name changes[edit]

  • Moorhead Normal School (1887)
  • Moorhead State Teachers College (1921)
  • Moorhead State College (1957)
  • Moorhead State University (1975)
  • Minnesota State University Moorhead (2000)

Presidents of MSUM[edit]

  • 1888-1899 Livingston C. Lord
  • 1899-1919 Frank A. Weld
  • 1919-1923 Oliver Dickerson
  • 1923-1941 Ray MacLean
  • 1941-1955 Otto W. Snarr
  • 1955-1958 A.L. Knoblauch
  • 1958-1968 John Neumaier
  • 1968-1994 Roland Dille
  • 1994-2008 Roland Barden
  • 2008–2014 Edna Mora Szymanski
  • 2014–present Anne E. Blackhurst


  • Enrollment: approximately 8,140 students
  • Top Majors: Elementary Inclusive Education, Business Administration, Art, Biology, Mass Communications, Psychology, Criminal Justice, Accounting, Exercise Science, Social Work, Music, Computer Science, Special Education, and Graphic Communications.
  • Student/Faculty Ratio: 16:1
  • Average Scholarship: $950
  • Alumni: Over 46,000
  • MSUM offers in-state tuition for Minnesota residents and veterans.
  • 16% of freshman participate in intercollegiate athletics.
  • More than 1,600 students live in campus residence halls.
  • MSUM offers more than 120 Student Organizations.
  • In 2008, MSUM formally banned smoking on all University property.
  • Each student attending MSUM pays a .43 cent per credit fee to fund the Minnesota State University Student Association, a student-led non-profit that advocates on behalf of all Minnesota state university students.


"Minnesota State University Moorhead is a caring community promising all students the opportunity to discover their passions, the rigor to develop intellectually and the versatility to shape a changing world."[3]

Academic programs[edit]

Weld Hall, the oldest building on campus.

MSUM offers 82 undergraduate majors with 99 emphases and 14 graduate degree programs. MSUM's colleges: The College of Arts, Media and Communication; the College of Business and Innovation; the College of Education and Human Services; the College of Humanities and Social Sciences; and the College of Science, Health and the Environment.

MSUM is accredited by 14 national accrediting and certification agencies, including the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.[4] The MSUM School of Business is fully accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business International (AACSB).[5]

The Nursing program is accredited at both the baccalaureate (BSN) and master’s (MS in nursing) levels by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). Additional areas of accreditation include: Speech, Language and Hearing Sciences; Athletic Training; and Teacher Education.[6]

MSUM also collaborates with Concordia College and North Dakota State University on a Tri-College University program that offers students the chance to take courses between the three campuses that can be credited toward their degree.

University rankings
Forbes[7] RNP
U.S. News & World Report[8] 108
Master's University class
Washington Monthly[9] 366


Minnesota State University Moorhead teams participate as a member of the National Collegiate Athletic Association's NCAA Division II. The Dragons are a member of the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference (NSIC). The MSUM athletic teams are called the Dragons.

Men's sports
  • Basketball
  • Cross country
  • Football
  • Track & field
  • Wrestling
Women's sports
  • Basketball
  • Cross country
  • Golf
  • Soccer
  • Softball
  • Swimming & diving
  • Tennis
  • Track & field
  • Volleyball

MSUM has a wide variety of intramural sports including flag football, softball, and soccer. Club teams are also available for men's and women's rugby, men's and women's lacrosse, and baseball which compete nationally.

Study abroad programs[edit]

MSUM maintains a large number of study abroad programs throughout the world. Programs organic to MSUM include the following:





MSUM operates the New Rivers Press, a nonprofit literary press founded in 1968.

The campus newspaper is The Advocate, formerlyThe MiSTiC. The MiSTiC was closed by university administration in 1970.[10]

The school also publishes a literary magazine, Red Weather,[11] with the support of the English Department. The yearly publication is a journal of prose, poetry, interviews, photography and art by current undergraduates and graduate students, faculty, staff, and alumni.

Students produce a weekly open-submission literary journal entitled The Yellow Bicycle, a collection of poetry, prose, essays, and reviews.[12]

MSUM produces a weekly faculty/staff newsletter called Continews[13] and a quarterly publication for its alumni titled Alumnews.[14]

Dragon Radio[edit]

The school's college radio station is KMSC, which airs on AM 1500. KMSC is a student organization that has been set up to run as a Non-profit Educational radio station and serves as an in-house learning facility.[15]

Notable events[edit]

MSUM sponsors a Student Academic Conference annually. The Student Academic Conference provides student researchers from each of its colleges with the opportunity to present their work to faculty, administration, peers, and the general public in a formal academic setting.[16] The conference was first offered in 1998.[17]

The conference provides a formal setting for upper class students to present their research from classes required under their major. There is a possibility of the student's research being published or presented at a state, regional, or national conference. The Student Academic Conference is a great opportunity for students and MSUM to gain recognition on a larger scale.

Any major or discipline can present at the conference as long as it abides by conference rules based on which forum the student chooses to present the research. There is an option to orally present using visual aids, Powerpoint, etc..., or the student can construct a poster board displaying key points and results to be presented in a more informal manner taking questions and inquiries from onlookers.

The conference is kicked off by a luncheon for all the participants. For some majors, presenting at the conference is mandatory in which the student presents their discipline's research from their senior seminar or thesis class.

Notable alumni[edit]

Notable faculty[edit]

  • Roland Dille (1924-2014), Professor of English, Dean of Academic Affairs, then President for 26 years
  • David Mason (b. 1954), Poet & writer
  • Thomas McGrath (1916-1990), Poet, Rhodes scholar, and Professor of English
  • James Wright (1927-1980), Poet
CASE Carnegie Foundation Award Winners

Minnesota State University Moorhead professors have been recognized with more CASE Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching Professors of the Year designations than any college or university, public or private, in Minnesota, the Dakotas, Iowa, or Wisconsin. One professor has earned CASE Carnegie United States Professor of the Year designation and eight professors have earned designation as CASE Carnegie Minnesota Professor of the Year.[20][21]

Brian Wisenden 2013 Minnesota Outstanding Professor of the Year[20][21]
Russ Colson 2010 United States Outstanding Professor of the Year[20][22][23]
Martin Grindeland 2008 Minnesota Outstanding Professor of the Year[20][21][24]
Ellen Brisch 2007 Minnesota Outstanding Professor of the Year[20][21][25][26]
Mark Wallert 2005 Minnesota Outstanding Professor of the Year[20][21]
Jim Bartruff 2001 Minnesota Outstanding Professor of the Year[20][21]
Andrew Conteh 1999 Minnesota Outstanding Professor of the Year[20][21]
David Mason 1994 Minnesota Outstanding Professor of the Year[20][21]
Evelyn C. Lynch 1992 Minnesota Outstanding Professor of the Year[20][21]
Delmar J. Hansen (deceased) 1987 Minnesota Outstanding Professor of the Year[20][21]

See also[edit]

Coordinates: 46°51′59″N 96°45′43″W / 46.8663522°N 96.7620251°W / 46.8663522; -96.7620251[27]


  1. ^ http://www.prairiebizmag.com/event/article/id/22774/
  2. ^ "MnSCU Viewbook 2014" (PDF). Minnesota State Colleges and Universities. Retrieved 2015-07-28. 
  3. ^ Mission Statement. Minnesota State University Moorhead."
  4. ^ "The Bulletin 2011‐2012: Accreditation/Certification. Minnesota State University Moorhead. 2011.
  5. ^ Ponzillo, Amy. "Minnesota State University, Moorhead Earns AACSB International Accreditation." AACSB International News Release. 2010-01-07.
  6. ^ [1] Minnesota State University Moorhead. 2013.
  7. ^ "America's Top Colleges". Forbes. July 5, 2016. 
  8. ^ "Regional Universities Rankings". America's Best Colleges 2016. U.S. News & World Report. Retrieved February 23, 2016. 
  9. ^ "2015 Master's Universities Rankings". Washington Monthly. 2015. Retrieved February 23, 2016. 
  10. ^ Shafer, Richard. "Spinning the Zip to Zap: Student Journalist Responsibility and Vulnerability in the Late 1960s." North Dakota Journal of Speech & Theatre. 2000.
  11. ^ Red Weather. Minnesota State University Moorhead, Department of English.
  12. ^ The Yellow Bicycle: an Open-Submission Weekly Literary Journal for MSU Moorhead.
  13. ^ Continews. Minnesota State University Moorhead.
  14. ^ Alumnews. Minnesota State University Moorhead Alumni Foundation.
  15. ^ KMSC Dragon Radio: About.
  16. ^ "Student Academic Conference 2011." Minnesota State University Moorhead. 2011-04-19.
  17. ^ "Student Academic Conference: History." Minnesota State University Moorhead. 2011-04-19.
  18. ^ http://www.nba.com/coachfile/david_joerger/index.html?nav=page
  19. ^ "Chris Tuchscherer MMA Bio". Retrieved 2014. 
  20. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k "U.S. Professors of the Year." Council for the Advancement and Support of Education. Accessed 2011-08-31.
  21. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Johnson, Jessie. "Dragons on Fire." OPEN Magazine, pp. 48-53, Fall 2009.
  22. ^ Peterson, Hon. Collin C. "In Honor of Dr. Russ Colson" in the United States House of Representatives (Extensions of Remarks - November 30, 2010). The Congressional Record, 111th Congress. 2010-11-30.
  23. ^ "CASE, Carnegie Name 2010 U.S. Professors of the Year." CarnegieFoundation.org. 2010-11.
  24. ^ Harlow, Tim. "Top honor for North Hennepin professor." StarTribune. 2008-11-20
  25. ^ Ehrichs-Engle, Heather. "Yes, We Have Come a Long Way." High Plains Reader. 2008.
  26. ^ Krings, Mike. "KU alumna named Minnesota Professor of the Year." KU News Release. 2007-12-13.
  27. ^ U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: Minnesota State University - Moorhead

External links[edit]