Preserving the past for the future...

Following fierce competition with surrounding communities and pledges from the city and county of land and $50,000 in cash, Stevens Point Normal opened its doors in 1894 to 300 students. Several programs were offered in teacher preparation to anyone who had completed at least an eighth grade education and was not less than 15 years old.

Besides teacher preparation, "domestic science," later known as home economics, was a popular course led for nearly 40 years by Bessie May Allen. Fred Schmeeckle, hired in 1923, established courses in conservation education which eventually grew into today's College of Natural Resources with one of the largest undergraduate enrolments in the country. The curriculum continued to expand and in 1927 Stevens Point Normal became Central State Teachers College with the right to grant four-year teaching degrees.

After World War II more and more students were seeking an education in liberal arts rather than teacher training. The state legislature responded in 1951 when the school became a Wisconsin State College authorized to grant liberal arts bachelor's degrees.