150th anniversary of first day of classes at Peru State College

150th anniversary of first day of classes at Peru State College

Peru, Nebraska – October 24 is the 150th 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 21.

October 24, 2017 will see several events on campus to honor the College’s first day of class anniversary. Alumni, former faculty and staff members, community members or other friends of the College interested in attending some or all of the October 24 Celebration are welcome.

Here is a schedule of events for October 24:

                      10:55 a.m.     All-College Photo

11:00 a.m. -12:30 p.m.     Old-Fashioned Birthday Games on the Quad hosted by PSEA

11:30 a.m. -12:30 p.m.      Jazz on the Green

12:30 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.     Birthday Deserts and Ice Cream in the Student Center hosted by Professional Staff Senate

All-College Photo

An all-college photo will be taken on the quad at 10:55 a.m.  All faculty, staff and students on campus at that time will be strongly encouraged to attend; however off-campus students and faculty, alumni and friends of the College are also invited.

Dr. Dan Hanson, president of Peru State, said, “The all-college photo continues the decades-old tradition of taking these large-group photos on the quad. This photo will be a tribute to our sesquicentennial year and a wonderful artifact for the future.”

All-College photo from before the Jindra Fine Arts Building was built.

All-College photo from before the Jindra Fine Arts Building was built.

PSEA – Education Roots

The Peru State Education Association (PSEA) will host old-fashioned birthday games on the quad.  PSEA is also hosting a number of supply drives to benefit schools.

PSEA is hosting a book drive to try and raise 150 books for Northside Elementary School in Nebraska City.  PSEA will raise 150 books in honor of Peru State’s 150 years.  The books will be donated on November 1.

PSEA Secretary and Outreach Coordinator, Kaelia Nelson, writes, “We started as an education school and want to celebrate our roots by helping others throughout their education. If anyone has any books they are willing to part ways with there will be collection boxes in the School of Education office as well as the Library. We will also have a booth set up on the quad on October 24.”

PSEA is also hosting a Box Tops drive to benefit Hayward Elementary School in Nebraska City.  According to boxtops4education.com, each clipped Box Top is worth $0.10 for the school and a school can raise a maximum of $20,000 in clipped Box Tops in a school year.

Nelson continues, “There are many products that have Box Tops on them and it’s super easy to cut them out and then just drop them by [the October 24 celebration or one of the collection points on campus]. They really are going to a great cause . .. the more people on board the more we are able to really make a difference for the kids in our local schools.”

Finally, PSEA is hosting a school supply drive for schools in Houston.  They are seeking pens, pencils, markers, sharpies, dry erase markers, facial tissues, hand sanitizer and wipes.

Jazz on the Green

Jazz on the Green is a seasonal favorite of the campus community.  The long-running tradition will play as usual in the week running-up to Homecoming, this year coinciding with the 150th anniversary of the first day of class.

The Peru State Jazz Band will the campus quad with toe-tapping tunes while and outdoor lunch is served. Lunch for Jazz on the Green will be $6.50.

Birthday Party

The PSEA may bring the games, but the Professional Staff Senate (and Creative Dining) is providing the dessert!  In addition to birthday cake and ice cream, homemade desserts will be donated by staff and faculty.

Professional Staff Senate President, Emily Volker, writes, “Celebrating a birthday party always brings the family together! Professional Staff Senate wants to do the same celebrating Peru State’s 150th with dessert with the entire college family.”

Homecoming and more:

An entire range of events are scheduled for this week including a Homecoming parade and football game on Saturday, October 28; a week of theatrical performances of The Arsonists; two nights of choir concerts; an All-Alumni Dinner on Friday night; a Friday night volleyball game; Saturday morning’s Nebraska’s Toughest Mile; an open invitation to the region for food and games on the quad on Saturday; and Boo Bash on Sunday, October 29.


For more information about this release or other Peru State communications, please contact Jason Hogue, Peru State College Marketing and Communications, 620-363-2461.