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Minnesota State University, Mankato
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Oct. 7: Founders Day

Minnesota State Mankato to celebrate its 145th anniversary today.

Minnesota State University, Mankato Media Relations Office, 10-2-2013

Mankato, Minn. – Minnesota State University, Mankato will hold its third annual Founders Day on Monday, Oct. 7, celebrating the 145th year of its founding in 1868.

The celebration, free and open to students, faculty, staff and the public, will be held from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the Lincoln Lounge, located on the first floor of Centennial Student Union.

The Maverick Athletic Band will perform at 11 a.m. to open a brief program that will include remarks from Minnesota State Mankato President Richard Davenport and Minnesota State Student Association Vice President Ben Shakespear. Cake will be served beginning at 11:15 a.m.

There will also be a display set up by University Archives that highlights the history of the institution.

For more information on Founders Day activities, please contact Jen Myers, interim director of alumni relations, by phone at 507-389-1794, or by email at

Minnesota State Mankato was founded in 1868 as Mankato Normal School, serving 27 students, with a purpose of instructing students in the science and art of teaching. The first class graduated in June 1870 with 10 students.

In 1921, the school became Mankato State Teachers College and began offering two- and three-year degrees. In 1939, the first four-year degrees were awarded. The first master’s degrees were awarded in 1954, and the first doctorates were awarded in 2009.

The school became Mankato State College in 1957, with an enrollment of 7,000. It became Mankato State University in 1975, with enrollment of 14,000, and Minnesota State University, Mankato in 1998. Enrollment is currently more than 15,000 students, and Minnesota State Mankato now offers more than 140 undergraduate programs and 80 graduate programs.

Davenport became the twelfth president of the University on July 1, 2002.

More information on the history of the institution is available here.

Minnesota State Mankato is a comprehensive university and is part of the Minnesota State Colleges & Universities system, which comprises 31 state institutions.

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