149th anniversary of first day of classes at Peru State College; campus featured in Legacy of Nebraska 2017 Calendar

149th anniversary of first day of classes at Peru State College; campus featured in Legacy of Nebraska 2017 Calendar

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 24, 2016, 12:00 p.m. CDT
Contact Jason Hogue, Peru State College Marketing and Communications, 402.872.2429

 

Peru, Nebraska- October 24 is the 149th anniversary of the first day of classes at what is now known as Peru State College. On June 20, 1867, the fledgling state government of Nebraska named Peru, Nebraska, as the home of the state’s first college. The college was a Normal School dedicated to training teachers.

Following the school’s founding, Ernie Longfellow wrote in “The Normal on the Hill,” “The first term opened October 24, 1867, with thirty-two pupils enrolled in the Normal School.”

The comparatively late start in 1867 followed the harvest. The first day of classes at Peru State this year was August 22.

Nebraska’s Sesquicentennial Legacy of Nebraska 2017 calendar will also honor Peru State’s first day of classes by featuring Todd Williams “Counties of Nebraska” painting of the Peru State College campus in the month of October. Williams created a painting for every county in Nebraska to help celebrate the sesquicentennial of its statehood.

Williams’ impressionistic painting is based on a photo of the Peru State campus quad in 1924. The painting features a Model T Ford, students and iconic campus buildings including the current library with its original roofline. The painting is done in oil and the tabernacle frame is covered in 24k gold gilt.

The calendar can be purchased online at ne150.org/store and at historical societies across the state.

In addition to being included in the calendar, the Nemaha County painting is now on display inside the College Library.  It can be found to the north of the main desk after entering the west doors on the main level.

Dr. Dan Hanson, president of Peru State College, with Todd Williams to either side of the Nemaha County painting.

Dr. Dan Hanson, president of Peru State College, with Todd Williams to either side of the Nemaha County painting.

The Nebraska State Normal School, now Peru State College, will be celebrating its 150th anniversary in 2017. The celebration will include several special events and the publication of a commemorative book through the Omaha World-Herald.

Peru State College will celebrate the 150th anniversary of its first day of classes at the October 2017 Homecoming. Regular Homecoming activities will be augmented by special attention to the college’s historic role in the development of the region and state.

On June 20, 2017, the college will also host a Nebraska Sesquicentennial Commission “Signature Event,” Peru State College’s Charter Commemoration: Nebraska’s Higher Education Beginnings. Other events include a special recognition at the May 2017 commencement and alumni activities.

The college is also planning the opening of a new Visitor and Interpretive Center on campus with additional exhibits spread around campus. Faculty will present programs in their fields that represent the long academic history of the college.

Dr. Dan Hanson, president of Peru State College, said, “We have been planning the sesquicentennial since 2011. I hope alumni and everyone in the region will be able to visit campus at least once in 2017.”

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For more information, visit www.peru.edu or call 1-800-742-4412.

About Peru State College: Peru State’s “Campus of a Thousand Oaks,” an arboretum, is nestled in historic southeast Nebraska. The state’s first college, Peru State offers a unique mix of innovative online and traditional classroom undergraduate and graduate programs, including online graduate degrees in education and organizational management. It is a college of choice fostering excellence and student achievement through engagement in a culture that promotes inquiry, discovery and innovation.