Historical Background

The goal of preparing teachers has been central to the mission of UW-La Crosse ever since this institution began as a Normal school with 176 students and 14 faculty members in 1909. Today, the School of Education's administrative offices and faculty offices are located in Morris Hall, which honors the memory of Thomas Morris, the Regent and State Senator whose efforts resulted in the selection of La Crosse as the site of Wisconsin's eighth Normal School. Students were immediately attracted to La Crosse's teacher preparation program as demonstrated by the fact that La Crosse was one of only two Normal Schools (Milwaukee was the other) to achieve an enrollment of more than 1,000 students prior to World War II. La Crosse and Milwaukee also shared the distinction of being the first Normal Schools to offer graduate classes in education.