Sunday, May 10, 2015

Plymouth State University (PSU), formerly Plymouth State College, is a regional comprehensive university located in Plymouth, New Hampshire and part of the University System of New Hampshire.

Plymouth State University is a coeducational, residential university with an enrollment of approximately 4,238 undergraduate students and 2,500 graduate students. The school was founded as Plymouth Normal School in 1871. Since that time it has evolved to a teachers college, a state college, and finally to a state university in 2003.

It was founded as a teachers' college, and it still retains a distinguished teaching program/major to this day. Since that time however, it has diversified its academic profile, adding many new majors and fields of study. The school has become known in recent years for its meteorology program (Judd Gregg Meteorology Institute), which is considered one of the best in the eastern United States, and is also strong in business, visual and performing arts, interdisciplinary studies, and psychology. Also, new majors such as Criminal Justice have been added and other programs have increased their stature, especially the natural sciences with the creation of The Center for the Environment. The university now offers a total of 19 academic departments, with 48 different options within the major programs.

Plymouth State is one of 311 institutions of higher learning nationwide included on the Carnegie Foundation Community Engagement Classification. According to Carnegie, PSU was honored for "excellent alignment of mission, culture, leadership, resources, and practices that support dynamic and noteworthy community engagement." Community service has long been a mainstay of the Plymouth State experience. The university’s motto, Ut prosim (“That I May Serve”), underscores the values upon which the Plymouth State University mission is built. During the 2009â€"2010 academic year, PSU students contributed approximately 220,000 hours to service.

The campus has grown substantially in recent years with the addition of the Hartman Union Building (HUB) and Boyd Science Center and renovations/expansions to the Silver Center for the Arts, Lamson Library, Prospect Dining Hall, and the Physical Education Center. To accommodate the increased enrollment figures, a new residence hall, Langdon Woods, was built, opening for residents in Fall 2006. Langdon Woods is one of the first collegiate residence halls in the U.S. to gain “Gold” certification by the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Green Building Rating System, which is the nationally accepted benchmark for the design, construction, and operation of high performance green buildings. There are also plans to expand certain key or "heavy use" buildings on campus, such as the P.E. Center, to accommodate new programs and athletic activities. Robert Frost, America's Poet Laureate, lived and taught at Plymouth from 1911 to 1912. The college has a campus newspaper distributed every Friday called The Clock, and is the first college newspaper in the nation, under editor-in-chief Emily Perry, to have a Sudoku puzzle.

Plymouth State gained national attention in 1985 when Sports Illustrated featured PSU student and football player Joe Dudek as their favorite to win the Heisman Trophy. Dudek, a running back for the Panthers, earned the attention for breaking Walter Payton's mark for career touchdowns.


Plymouth State University
Rounds Hall

Home to the PSU clocktower, it stands as one of the oldest buildings on campus. This building houses the Education, English, and Social Science departments. There are also several Computer Science and seminar classes held here.

Memorial Hall

Houses the Department of Computer Science & Technology, featuring three full-size computer labs, and the Geography program.

Hyde Hall

One of the largest academic halls on campus, this facility is home to the Foreign Languages, Mathematics, Business, Philosophy, and Psychology departments. It was named after longtime PSU professor and later President Harold Hyde.

Boyd Science Center

Renovated and expanded in 2003, the Boyd Science Center serves as the home of PSU's three natural sciences departments: the Department of Biological Science; the Department of Atmospheric Sciences and Chemistry, housing the university's meteorology program, and the Department of Environmental Science and Policy.

Hartman Union Building

The center of student life on campus, known as the HUB, is a multifunction building. It hosts functions and events, has administrative offices related to student activities, and contains a mail center, courtroom, computer clusters, workout facilities, and cafes. Students often go there between classes.

Silver Center for the Arts

Host of Plymouth's Performing Arts program (Music, Theatre, and Dance), the Silver Center is used for productions of the performing arts. Spaces in Silver include the Hanaway Theatre, a large proscenium theatre; the Studio Theatre, a smaller, more intimate "black box" theatre; and the Recital Hall, a smaller proscenium theatre. The Silver Center has hosted student performances over the years, including Guys and Dolls, Cabaret, and Tommy. Silver is also used as a display center for Fine Arts majors' competitions and final projects.

The Silver Center is also the home of the New Hampshire Music Festival, which performs classical and pops concerts in the Hanaway Theater and chamber music concerts in Smith Recital Hall. The festival begins the week after the July 4th holiday and runs through the middle of August.

Draper and Maynard Building (D&M)

A renovated sporting goods factory, D & M is home to the Art Department; the Health & Human Performance Department; the Karl Drerup Art Gallery, which presents professional exhibitions, lectures, films and other events; and the Collins Gallery for the exhibition of student work.


The university offers BA, BFA, BS, MAT, MBA, MS, and MEd degrees, the Certificate of Advanced Graduate Studies (CAGS) in Educational Leadership, and the Doctor of Education (EdD) in Learning, Leadership, and Community. Plymouth State is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges, the New Hampshire Postsecondary Education Commission, and the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE). Program-specific accreditations include the Association of Collegiate Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP) for undergraduate and graduate degrees in business, accounting, applied economics, management, and marketing; the Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education (CAATE) for athletic training; the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) for social work; the Society of Public Health Education and the American Association of Health Education (SOPHE/AAHE) for health education; and the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP) for the Master of Education in Counselor Education, including mental health counseling and school counseling concentrations.

The university currently has 19 academic departments. Within each department there are several different study options and degree programs. The most popular majors at Plymouth State continue to be Business (656 undergraduates enrolled) and Education (543 undergraduates enrolled) These two majors make up nearly 1,200 of the 4,238 undergraduate degree-seeking student population. Other popular majors include Physical Education, Health Education, Art, Social Science, Psychology, and Communication Studies. In 2011, Plymouth State University added a B.S. in Nursing degree to its list of available programs of study.


Plymouth State University's athletic teams are known as the Panthers. The athletic teams' colors are green and white. PSU competes in NCAA Division III Little East Conference (LEC) for most of its intercollegiate sports. It is most widely known for its successes in men's and women's skiing, football, basketball, and soccer, and women's field hockey, swimming and diving, and volleyball. The school's main rival is Keene State College, which also competes in the LEC. Every year the President's Cup is awarded to the school which has more victories in total sports competitions against each other.

Plymouth State University athletics mostly take place in the Physical Education (PE) Center which was opened in the Spring of 1969. Since that time it has undergone several expansions and renovations, and plans are now being developed to build a new, larger facility. Plymouth State varsity athletic teams have generally been quite competitive and excel in certain sports.

In 2008, the self-coached Men's Rugby club won the Division III national championship, defeating Furman University in the final. They declined promotion to the more competitive Division II, due to the number of graduating starters.

The 1993 women's varsity tennis team claimed the Little east conference championship and during the NEWITT (New England Women's Intercollegiate Tennis Tournament), the number 1 doubles combo of Laura comi and shea Hansen reached the semi-finals. Plymouth state panther award winner Laura Comi (number 1 singles player from 1990â€"1993) holds the record of most wins in plymouths women's tennis history with a season of 10-1. Coached by Dave Webster.

In November 2008, the Plymouth Women's Volleyball team upset Colby-Sawyer College to claim the 2008 ECAC Division III New England Volleyball championship.

Museum of the White Mountains

The Museum of the White Mountains brings art, history, literature, science, tourism and more together to create an interdisciplinary understanding and experience of the White Mountains region â€" both physically and virtually.

Among the collections acquired by the museum are:

  • Archives and images, including rare glass-plate photographs, stereoscopic images, hotel ledgers, postcards and more donated by the late Dan Noel.
  • A comprehensive collection early and first edition as well as more recent books and guides about the region from John W. (Jack) and Anne H. Newton.
  • White Mountains art by women artists from Frances "Dolly" MacIntyre.
  • Images and collectables from the Balsams Grand Resort Hotel from Steve Barba.

Notable people


  • Ed Ashnault (1960), collegiate baseball, basketball and football coach
  • Joe Dudek, All-American collegiate football player, Heisman trophy finalist & former Denver Broncos player
  • Jeffrey R. Howard (1978), U.S. Courts of Appeals judge
  • Bill Morrissey, American folk singer, attended in 1971 (did not graduate)
  • Ethan Paquin, B.A., American poet
  • Paul Reubens ("Pee Wee Herman") (1970), attended, did not graduate
  • Laura Silva (2009), Miss New Hampshire USA 2007
  • Matt Tupman, Major League Baseball player for the Kansas City Royals (freshman only)


  • Robert Frost, American poet; taught at Plymouth Normal School in 1911


Plymouth State University

External links

  • Official website
  • Official athletics website
  • Museum of the White Mountains

Plymouth State University
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