||Thomas Morris sponsors a bill in the state
assembly to locate a normal school in La Crosse. The
legislature is convinced and allocates $10,000 to purchase a
||Main Hall constructed
||Fassett A. Cotton named first president of
La Crosse Normal School, which opens its doors for the purpose of
training public elementary and secondary school teachers.
||The first campus newspaper is published; it’s
called “The Racquet.”
||The basketball team takes the State Normal School
crown. The first yearbook is published and named, “The
Racquet,” the same name as the student newspaper. The
annual will keep that name until 1931 when it changes to
“The La Crosse.”
||The Physical Education Club is formed, eventually
becoming the longest continuous organization in the school’s
||Regents authorize training of teachers in physical
education as a specialty; the School of Physical Education
||Josephine M. Jones is appointed as the first Dean
||Construction of Wittich Hall is completed.
Faculty approve the organization of a six-member student council.
||La Crosse Normal celebrates its first Homecoming,
defeating Lawrence University, 14-9.
||Ernest A. Smith becomes the second president.
||George M. Snodgrass becomes the third president.
||La Crosse Normal is renamed the La Crosse State
Teachers College and is authorized to grant four-year
teaching degrees in physical education and secondary
||The college is accredited by North Central
Association as a teacher-training institution.
||La Crosse State Teachers College Association is
formed, governed by a student council of five men and five
women with junior or senior status. The college is divided
into divisions of elementary education, secondary education
and physical education. Homecoming’s “Hanging of the
Lantern” tradition begins over the south entrance to Graff
Main Hall at the suggestion of English teacher Orris O. White who said “We’ll hang the lantern in the old
college tower ... You won’t need to look for the key — the door will
||The college celebrates its 25th anniversary with
an enrollment of 645.
||Students adopt the name “Indians” for athletic
teams. In 1989, the name for men’s athletic teams is changed
to “Eagles.” Women’s teams, known as the “Roonies” since the
inception of intercollegiate competition in the early 1970s, become
the “Eagles” in 1990.
||Campus heating plant is constructed.
||Rexford S. Mitchell becomes the fourth president.
The Campus School opens. Students brought sleds, wagons,
bicycles, and an old wheelbarrow to move equipment from Main
Hall to the new building, later renamed Morris Hall.
||The school year is shortened from 40 weeks to 33
weeks to help answer the need for wartime workers.
||Expanded academic offerings include a joint
physical education and recreation minor.
|| Student government reorganizes into a Campus
Controls Council of 20 elected full-time students.
|| Women’s Self Governing Association forms to
regulate all matters pertaining to women students.
|| La Crosse State Teachers College becomes
Wisconsin State College, La Crosse. Wilder Hall becomes the
first campus residence hall. Regents authorize granting
bachelor’s of arts and bachelor’s of science degrees in the
|| Health education is added as a minor.
|| The first master’s of science degree is offered.
|| Students and faculty work “all day and into the
evening” Feb. 4 for Operation Booklift, a line carrying books
from Graff Main Hall to the university’s first library, the Florence
Wing Library, named for the school’s first librarian.
|| Reuter Hall opens as the first residence hall for
|| The college celebrates 50 years, with enrollment
at 1,821. Cartwright Center is constructed as the student
center. Additions are added in 1964 and 1984. Trowbridge
Hall opens as a women’s residence hall. Presidential
candidate John F. Kennedy speaks to a packed Graff Main Hall
|| First institution-wide general education program
|| White Hall, a residence hall for men, opens.
|| Regents authorize a master’s in elementary
education. Baird Hall is constructed as a residence hall for
|| The college is designated a state university; its
name changes to Wisconsin State University- La Crosse. The
university is then organized into Colleges of Education;
Physical Education; and Arts, Letters, and Sciences. Laux Hall is constructed
as a men’s residence hall and Anna Wentz Hall as a women’s residence
hall. Ralph Wall becomes band director and forms the Marching
Chiefs. The marching band keeps that name until 1990, when it
becomes the “Screaming Eagles” to reflect the name change of
|| Construction completed on Mitchell Hall and
Cowley Hall. The faculty senate is established.
|| Samuel G. Gates becomes the fifth president.
Whitney Center construction completed. Residence halls — Coate Hall for men, Angell
and Drake halls for women — open. Through work of the faculty senate
official instructional departments form renaming the
of Elementary and Secondary
Education to the
School of Teacher Education.
|| Sanford Hall for men and Hutchison Hall for women
open as residence halls. Separate colleges for education,
health-recreation physical education, and letters and
sciences are created.
|| On April 14, more than 60 staff and students move
the university library to the new $2.5 million Eugene W.
|| The Student Coordinating Committee is established
as the new student government. The first La Crosse State
University Alumni Association meeting is held. Master’s of
arts in teaching is offered as a new graduate program. The
former library building is renovated and renamed Wing
Communication Center, housing audiovisual and the mass
|| Through merger, the university becomes part of
the University of Wisconsin System with its name changing to
the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse. Kenneth E. Lindner
becomes the sixth president and then the first chancellor
(because of the merger, the name of the position is
converted to chancellor). The School of Business is created
under the College of Arts, Letters, and Sciences. “Dorm
life” becomes “Residence Hall life.” Amid a snowstorm,
campus radio station WLSU goes on the air, as scheduled, at
2 p.m. Jan. 4.
|| Mitchell Hall adds a track, pool, dance studios,
human performance lab, offices, tennis courts, and handball
courts. Laux and Drake Halls become the first co-ed residence halls.
The first campus minority studies conference is held. The first
“Campus Previews,” today known as “Campus Close-Ups,” are held for
|| Last year of operation for the Campus School. It
is renamed Thomas Morris Hall and becomes the center of the
elementary and secondary education programs. A cardiac
rehabilitation program is started as a joint effort between
the medical profession in La Crosse and the College of
Health, Physical Education, and Recreation.
|| The Marching Chiefs perform at the Orange Bowl.
Construction is completed on the Fine Arts Building, later
renamed the Center for the Arts, and North Hall, later
renamed Wimberly Hall. Division of University outreach becomes the first
organizational attempt to meet the continuing needs of
non-traditional students. A Career Planning Center and Placement
Office, today known as Career Services, is organized. More than
1,500 students gathered in “the pit” between Angell and Hutchison
halls see a group of people run by in nothing but sweat socks and
tennies, a “Streaking” fad in spring.
|| UW-L Student Association forms to succeed the
Campus Controls Council. Master’s degrees in business
administration and education-professional development are
|| The Reading Center is developed for teacher
training, reading skill improvement for UW-L students, and
assistance for area residents with reading problems.
|| Master’s degree programs are added in health
education, cardiac rehabilitation, and recreation. Women’s
studies program initiated.
|| Noel R. Richards becomes the second chancellor,
the institution’s seventh leader.
|| The School of Business and the School of Health,
Physical Education and Recreation are reorganized into
|| With the addition of land to the north in the
marsh, the campus acreage enlarges. The American Assembly of
Collegiate Schools of Business accredits the College of
|| UW-L celebrates 75 years with a variety of
activities, including an outdoor pageant recreating opening
ceremonies of the Normal School. Enrollment is 9,109.
|| Reuter Hall, the last traditional all-male
residence hall on campus, goes coed when fall classes begin.
|| The university enrolls a record 9,659 students.
With UW System-mandated enrollment downsizing, the record is
not expected to be exceeded.
|| The physical education and microbiology programs
are named as centers of excellence by the Board of Regents.
The university purchases Veterans Memorial Stadium from the
city for $1.
|| After lengthy debate, the name for men’s athletic
teams is changed to “Eagles.”
|| The National Athletic Training Association
re-accredits the undergraduate athletic training program.
The women’s athletic teams adopt the Eagles nickname.
|| Judith L. Kuipers becomes chancellor, and
the institution’s eighth leader and first woman at the helm.
Reorganization of the general education program takes place. The
State Building Commission approves the Murphy Library addition, a
student life building, and the Cleary Alumni and Friends Center.
|| The university becomes one of the founding
members of the La Crosse Medical Health Science Consortium,
a collaboration with Viterbo University, Western Technical College,
Franciscan Skemp Healthcare and Gundersen Lutheran to provide
medical education, research and training.
|| The university receives reaccreditation in the
College of Business Administration by the American Assembly
of Collegiate Schools of Business and of the teacher
education programs by the National Council for Accreditation
of Teacher Education.
|| Under Chancellor Kuipers’ strategic plan,
“Forward Together,” the university reorganizes colleges and
departments into the College of Business Administration, College of
Health, Physical Education and Recreation, College of Science and
Allied Health, College of Liberal Studies, School of Arts and
Communication, School of Education, and Graduate Studies. UW-L’s
first World Wide Web site goes online.
|| The Cleary Alumni & Friends Center and the Murphy
Library addition/remodeling finished.
|| Women’s sports and the College of Business
Administration celebrate 25 years. Construction begins on a
student life center, which opens in 1997 as the Recreational
|| The undergraduate research program is implemented
with a $20,000 starting fund. The Hoeschler Clock Tower
is finished and becomes the new home for the traditional hanging of
the lantern during Homecoming. Main Hall is renamed the Maurice O.
Graff Main Hall, honoring the long-time retired vice chancellor.
|| Groundbreaking occurs for the $27 million Health
Science Center, funded through state and local funding via
the La Crosse Medical Health Science Consortium. The
building opens in 2000.
|| The National Council for Accreditation of Teacher
Education re-accredits the School of Education’s
undergraduate and graduate programs.
|| Chancellor Judith Kuipers resigns to become
president of The Fielding Institute in Santa Barbara, Calif. Grand
opening of the Archaeology Building and Laboratories, a $380,000
renovation of the campus’ original power plant. North Hall is
changed to W. Carl Wimberly Hall, honoring the longest-serving
academic vice chancellor in the UW System who served campus from
|| Former Provost Douglas N. Hastad is named the
university’s ninth leader. University athletic teams earn
four national championships— NCAA III indoor track and
field, outdoor track and field, and cross country, and the
women’s National Collegiate Gymnastics Association title.
Flood waters cancel baseball and softball games on the
university’s diamonds during the Mississippi River’s
third-highest crest of 16.41. The $9.9 million renovation to
Wing Technology Center is dedicated Sept. 13, just two days
after students, faculty and staff respond to terrorist
attacks in New York City and Washington, D.C., by holding an
evening candlelight vigil. A master’s degree in software
engineering is offered, the only such program in Wisconsin
or Iowa, and one of 50 nationwide.
|| Men runners accomplish the “triple crown” by
earning three more NCAA III titles — cross country, fall
2001; indoor track and field, winter 2002; outdoor track and
2002— The women’s gymnastics team earns the
National Collegiate Gymnastics Association title. For the first
time, grades are available exclusively on the university’s Web site
or by telephone.
|| Accountancy students rank No. 1 nationally among
those taking the Certified Public Accounting exam in
November 2002. Students register for spring semester 2004
classes for the first time using TALON, an online system
that replaces touch-tone phone registration and offers a
variety of other services.
|| The College of Education, Exercise Science,
Health and Recreation is the new name of the College of
Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Teacher
Education. Senior Andrew Rock, from Stratford, Wis., becomes
the university’s first student-athlete to compete in the
Summer Olympics — and earn a gold medal. Rock, a member of
the men’s 4x400 relay team, ran in the semi-finals which
qualified the team to run for the gold.
|| Reuter Hall is demolished and work on a new $22.3
million residence hall begins. The click of a mouse replaced
No. 2 pencils when faculty were required to submit final
grades using a user-friendly Web site instead of paper
|| Chancellor Doug Hastad resigns to become
president of Carroll College
The new Reuter Hall, a suite-style residence hall, opens to
upperclassmen returning for fall classes.
|| Joe Gow is named the university’s 10th leader.
|| Construction of $16.6 million Veteran’s Memorial
Field Sports Complex begins.
|| The university celebrates its 100th anniversary.