University of Minnesota Morris

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University of Minnesota Morris
University of Minnesota seal.png
Motto A renewable, sustainable education[1]
Type Public Liberal Arts College[2]
Established 1960[3]
Parent institution
University of Minnesota System
Academic affiliation
Council of Public Liberal Arts Colleges
Endowment $10,086,825[4]
Chancellor Jacqueline Johnson[5]
Students 1,896[6]
Location Morris, Minnesota, U.S.
Campus Rural
Colors Maroon & Gold[7]
Mascot Pounce the Cougar[8]
Sporting affiliations

The University of Minnesota Morris (UMM) is a public liberal arts college and a member of the Council of Public Liberal Arts Colleges located in Morris, Minnesota. As part of the University of Minnesota system, it was founded in 1960 as a public, co-educational, residential liberal arts college offering Bachelor of Arts degrees.


Although UMM officially opened its doors in 1960, the history of what became the current institution reaches to 1887. That year, the first building of the Morris Industrial School for Indians, an American Indian boarding school, was constructed on the site and run by the Roman Catholic Sisters of Mercy under contract to the US government. Beginning in 1898, the Office of Indian Affairs (today's Bureau of Indian Affairs) took over operations to introduce a more progressive curriculum.[9][10] The school closed in 1909, under a Congressionally authorized program to reduce the number of boarding schools in preference for locating schools on reservations, so that Indian families and communities would not be broken up. The campus was transferred to the State of Minnesota under the agreement that American Indians would always be admitted free of tuition; the current UMM still follows this policy. In 1910, the University of Minnesota (at the time based only in the Twin Cities campus), established a boarding school on the campus called the West Central School of Agriculture. In the 1950s, the University of Minnesota began phasing out its regional agricultural school. The residents of the Morris region convinced the university to develop the campus as a liberal arts college. The current UMM opened in September 1960.[3]

West Central School of Agriculture and Experiment Station Historic District
West Central School of Agriculture and Experiment Station Historic District.jpg
University of Minnesota Morris is located in Minnesota
University of Minnesota Morris
University of Minnesota Morris is located in the US
University of Minnesota Morris
Location 600 E. Fourth St., Morris, Minnesota
Area 42 acres (17 ha)
Built 1910
Architect Johnston, Clarence H. Sr.; et al.
Architectural style Bungalow/craftsman
NRHP Reference # 02001707[11]
Added to NRHP January 15, 2003
Morris Industrial School for Indians Dormitory
Dormitory at the Morris Industrial School for Indians.jpg
Location Off 4th St., Morris, Minnesota
Area less than one acre
Built 1899
NRHP Reference # 84001696[11]
Added to NRHP May 10, 1984

Several historic buildings of the West Central School of Agriculture and Experiment Station are listed in the National Register of Historic Places.[12][13] The Multi-Ethnic Resource Center, the oldest building on campus, dates back to 1899.[14]


Morris offers 35 majors and minors, 15 secondary education licensure areas, as well as eight pre-professional programs in education, the humanities, science and mathematics, and the social sciences.[15]

According to U.S. News & World Report, the five most popular majors on campus are biology, psychology, business administration and management, English language and literature, and history.[16]

Morris strives to offer high-caliber academics at an affordable cost. In 2014, U.S. News & World Report ranked UMM 139th in the "National Liberal Arts Colleges" list [17] and #7 in "Top Public Schools" for Liberal Arts Colleges.[18] Washington Monthly ranked UMM the #36 "Best Bang for Your Buck" school in 2014.[19] In May 2011, Consumers Digest ranked UMM in the Top 5 Values in Public Colleges and Universities.[20][21][third-party source needed] During the fall of 2010, both U.S. News & World Report and Forbes ranked UMM among their “Best College” lists.[22] Morris was ranked seventieth in the Top Public Schools in the National Liberal Arts Colleges category and made the Top 100 list of "Best Colleges: Most Students Studying Abroad" in U.S. News.[23][24] A significant number of Morris graduates enroll in advanced degree programs following graduation.

Music discipline[edit]

The music discipline provides performing opportunities such as choir, symphonic winds, jazz ensembles, orchestra, and recitals.[25]

The annual jazz festival was founded by Jim "Doc" Carlson in 1979.[26] World-renowned jazz artists are invited to host clinics and master classes for high school, community, and college jazz ensemble. Each night of the festival concludes with performances by student jazz combos, ensembles, and the guest artists backed by Morris Jazz I.[27]

Green campus[edit]

In August 2009, Mother Jones Magazine chose the University of Minnesota Morris as one of its top 10 "cool schools" in the United States, stating that the school is great for alternative energy enthusiasts.[28]

Morris is one of the first public colleges to generate on-site renewable power from local resources, such as corn stover. At the south edge of campus, a biomass gasification plant—fueled by crop residues from nearby farms—generates steam. The biomass gasifier is part of an integrated system for heating and cooling campus buildings. The combined heat and power system includes a steam turbine, which generates renewable electricity from gasifier steam, and a steam—powered absorption chiller.[29]

At the campus’s Regional Fitness Center, locally manufactured solar thermal panels collect the sun’s energy to heat swimming pool water. A solar photovoltaic system on the south side of the science building converts sunlight into electricity. On the glacial ridge overlooking the campus, two 1.65 megawatt wind turbines generate renewable electricity for the campus and the region. Shifting to renewable power is just one piece of the campus’s comprehensive sustainability strategy. Other measures include historic building reuse, green building design and construction, conservation, local foods programs, hybrid vehicles, innovative curriculum, and community outreach. The Morris campus is a nationally recognized sustainability leader and serves as a model community.[30]

In August 2013 the University of Minnesota Morris opened the Green Prairie Living and Learning Community.[31] Construction on the building began in December 2012. The building is designed to house 72 students including 4 community advisors and a hall director. The building will house students during summer for special events and camps. There are kitchen facilities, a central lounge and patio, and study space. The Green Prairie Living and Learning Community was designed to meet Minnesota B3 sustainability guidelines and LEED Gold certification. It is constructed with high thermal mass insulated concrete forms (ICF) to prevent winter heat loss and summer heat gain. This is the first Residence Hall on the Morris campus to have suites.


UMM's athletic teams have experienced varied success during the school's history.[32] The 1970s were marked by success in basketball and football. Olympic wrestler, Dennis Koslowski, wrestled for the Cougars in the early 1980s. After a move in the early 1990s as a non-scholarship Division II and a brief experiment with athletic scholarships, Cougar athletics found a more appropriate home in NCAA Division III's Upper Midwest Athletic Conference. They are the first member of the UMAC to be a public, state-supported institution – all other members over the years were private institutions, usually with a religious affiliation.

UMM was, in 1993, the first college in the United States to sponsor women's wrestling as an official varsity sport. The program was cut in 2003 due to budget constraints. In 2006, a new men's soccer team was announced.

In 2006, UM Morris opened a new football stadium named Big Cat Stadium, just south of the school's Regional Fitness Center. BCS is also used by the Morris Area High School Tigers. The new stadium replaced Cougar Field which had been used from 1970 to 2005. The school's first football field, named Miller Field, was used from 1961 to 1969.

In 2006, the Minnesota Morris Cougars football team captured their first UMAC championship in the Hubert H. Humphry Metrodome signaling the end of coach Ken Crandall's coaching career at UMM. The last conference title for the Cougar football program was the Northern Intercollegiate Conference (NIC) title in 1987, the second of two straight NIC titles. Over the next three years, the Cougars suffered losing records under coach Todd Hickman. In 2010, the team overcame their preseason rating (tied for last) to end the season with a winning record (5–4) and ending in a three way tie for 3rd in the conference.


The university operates the radio station " the U-90 alternative, the prairie's only alternative" 89.7 FM (KUMM), and produces at least three television programs that air on PBS stations in the state. Pioneer Public Television carries Prairie Yard and Garden,[33][34] Academic Challenge and Minnesota Rivers and Fields.[35] UMM also has a student-run publication: The University Register, a newspaper which is published weekly.

Since 2005, the university has held an annual film festival, referred to as the UMMys, in the spring. Past winners include: "The Amazing Adventures of Beeman", "Rumspringa: The Musical" (a story about the forbidden love between a young Amish girl and a robot), and "The Chancellor's Daughter".[36][37]

Residence halls[edit]

The residence halls on campus are:[38]

  • Clayton A. Gay Hall (Gay Hall) – Underclassmen Residence Hall. Also home to Student Health Services and the Office of Residential Life (ORL).
  • David C. Johnson Independence Hall (Indy Hall) – Underclassmen Residence Hall
  • Pine Hall – Underclassmen Residence Hall
  • Blakely Hall – Upperclassmen Residence Hall (inactive during the 2013–2014 year)
  • Spooner Hall – Upperclassmen Residence Hall
  • On-Campus Apartments – Upperclassmen Apartment Housing
  • Green Prairie Living and Learning Community – Underclassmen and Upperclassmen Residence Hall and Suites[31]

Notable people[edit]




See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Liberal Arts—Renewable, Sustainable". University of Minnesota Morris. Retrieved September 6, 2012. 
  2. ^
  3. ^ a b "Campus History". University of Minnesota Morris. Retrieved 2012-09-06. 
  4. ^ pg.16
  5. ^
  6. ^ "Campus and Unit Enrollment by Academic Level for Fall 2012". University of Minnesota Office of Institutional Research. Retrieved 2012-10-12. 
  7. ^ University of Minnesota, Morris Graphic Identity Guidelines (PDF). Retrieved 2015-08-05. 
  8. ^
  9. ^ "National Register of Historic Places Registration Form: West Central School of Agriculture and Experiment Station Historic District" (PDF). University of Minnesota Morris. 2008. Retrieved 2008-08-22. 
  10. ^ "City of Morris – Morris Human Rights Commission: Morris Indian Boarding School". City of Morris. Retrieved 2011-01-11. 
  11. ^ a b National Park Service (2010-07-09). "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 
  12. ^ [1][dead link]
  13. ^ "WCSA Historic District National Register". University of Minnesota Morris. Retrieved 2012-09-06. 
  14. ^
  15. ^
  16. ^ "University of Minnesota—Morris". U.S. News & World Report. Retrieved 2014-09-12. 
  17. ^ "University of Minnesota—Morris". U.S. News & World Report. Retrieved 2014-09-12. 
  18. ^ "Top Public Schools: National Liberal Arts Colleges". U.S. News & World Report. Retrieved 2014-09-12. 
  19. ^ "College Guide 2014 Best Bang for the Buck Rankings – All Schools". Washington Monthly. Retrieved 12 September 2014. 
  20. ^ Korn, Judy (May 16, 2011). "Consumers Digest ranks University of Minnesota, Morris in top five in nation in college value". University of Minnesota Morris. Retrieved 2012-09-06. 
  21. ^ "Consumers Digest Names Top 100 College Values". PRNewswire. May 2, 2011. Retrieved 2012-09-06. 
  22. ^ "America's Best College Buys". Forbes. August 11, 2010. 
  23. ^ Korn, Judy (August 31, 2010). "Morris makes Best Colleges List in U.S. News and Forbes rankings". University of Minnesota Morris. Retrieved 2012-09-06. 
  24. ^ "UMC to Stress Studying Abroad, Regents Want Half of Students on all Campuses to Learn Overseas". Grand Forks Herald. February 20, 2005. 
  25. ^ "Music Major/Minor Information". University of Minnesota Morris. Retrieved 2012-09-06. 
  26. ^ "Jazz Fest concerts broadcast online". Morris Sun Tribune. April 1, 2009. Retrieved 2012-09-06. 
  27. ^ "Morris Jazz". University of Minnesota Morris. Retrieved 2012-09-06. 
  28. ^ Butler, Kiera (September–October 2009). "MoJo Mini College Guide [2009 Edition]". Mother Jones. Retrieved 2012-09-06. 
  29. ^
  30. ^
  31. ^ a b "Green Prairie Living and Learning Community". University of Minnesota Morris. Retrieved 26 August 2013. 
  32. ^ Rand, Michael (February 11, 2011). "Brothers on two benches at Minnesota-Morris". Star Tribune. 
  33. ^
  34. ^ "About Prairie Yard & Garden". Pioneer Public Television. Retrieved 2012-09-06. 
  35. ^ "Minnesota Rivers and Fields". University of Minnesota Morris. Retrieved 2012-09-06. 
  36. ^ "at the UMMys « stone kite". Stone Kite. April 24, 2009. Retrieved 2012-09-06. 
  37. ^ "Robot Love in the Big City". Observe The Banana. February 28, 2009. Retrieved 2012-09-06. 
  38. ^ "Housing Rates & Fees: Room / Board Rates, Fall 2011 – Spring 2012". University of Minnesota Morris. Retrieved 2012-09-06. 
  39. ^ "Sara McMann UFC Bio". Retrieved 2016-08-05. 
  40. ^ "Pharyngula". 
  41. ^ Blake, Laurie (November 8, 2010). "John Stuart Ingle painted Betty Crocker". Star Tribune. Retrieved 2012-09-06. 
  42. ^ Korn, Judy (August 26, 2010). "Keep an eye out for Jim Hall, new Morris IT director, on campus and in the community". University of Minnesota Morris. Retrieved 2012-09-06. 
  43. ^ "I'm moving soon". SourceForge. Retrieved 2012-09-06. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 45°35′23″N 95°54′10″W / 45.58972°N 95.90278°W / 45.58972; -95.90278