UMSL’s story began – and continues to this day – with the people of greater St. Louis and the vision they had to do more for the city and each other.
A timeline of our past six decades captures a history shaped by a persistent commitment to forward-thinking, action-oriented transformation; one that continues into our present.
A glimpse of our future reveals UMSL’s multi-tiered, strategic plan to carry that same transformative mission and spirit forward for years to come.
In short, we are quite proud of our history of embracing and making change, and we are just getting started.
The citizens of Normandy pass a bond allowing Normandy School District officials to purchase the Bellerive Country Club for $600,000. Their vision is to transform the 128 acres into a community college site. Initially criticized for such a “speculative venture,” they persist.
The two-year Normandy Residence Center opens for classes. Enrollment totals 215 freshmen, who squeeze into 12 classrooms in the old clubhouse. A sparse faculty is provided by the University of Missouri.
The University of Missouri purchases the Normandy Residence Center; The University of Missouri–St. Louis is officially born. The Bellerive Country Club clubhouse remains the only campus structure.
James Bugg becomes the first Chancellor of UMSL.
Benton Hall, the first classroom-laboratory building, is completed.
Clark Hall is completed.
The Thomas Jefferson Library was designed to house more than 240,000 volumes and allow seating for 1,000 students within its 5 stories. The area outside of the original "TJ Library" entrance also sported a swimming pool and basketball court, which have since been removed along with the old country club administration building.
Stadler Hall, a prominent academic building on campus, was completed during the 1970s
Classroom space virtually doubles with the completion of five more buildings: The Mark Twain Building; the University Center, the student union; the J.C. Penney Building, Lucas Hall, and the Social Sciences and Business Building.
UMSL purchases the former Marillac College south of Natural Bridge Road, cementing the cornerstone of what would become South Campus.
Marguerite Ross Barnett becomes the first female and first African American Chancellor of UMSL.
Another boom of physical transformation for campus takes hold as Blanche Touhill becomes Chancellor. A variety of on-campus living options are established for the first time in UMSL history, including dormitory living, a gated student apartment complex, and The Provincial House. The Kathy J. Weinman Building, home to the Children’s Advocacy Center and the Center for Trauma Recovery, is also added. The university also begins a series of property acquisitions surrounding North Campus, along University Boulevard (formerly North Florissant Road), and in unincorporated St. Louis County.
The Millennium Student Center opens, funded by the beating heart of UMSL – our students. The thriving hub for student services, event space, campus dining, study spaces and more gives a new physical heart to the center of campus.
The Normandy Hospital building is acquired, bringing the South Campus complex to 44 acres, 20+ buildings, and 1,000 residential units.
The $56 million Blanche M. Touhill Performing Arts Center opens. Other renovations during this boom period in the early 2000s include a redesign of West Campus Drive, the addition of three 600-space parking garages, the acquisition of the St. Louis Mercantile Library, and construction of the Computer Center Building.
Tom George, who would become the longest running Chancellor in UMSL history, begins his leadership.
The $36 million Recreation and Wellness Center opens thanks to a vote of funding by the Student Government Association. State-of-the-art fitness equipment and workout space, a rock-climbing wall, and a 155,000-gallon pool once again transform North Campus. In the same year, $13.6 million in state bond funds allows for further renovation of Benton Hall.
Anheuser-Busch Hall, named in honor of a lead $2.5 million gift from the Anheuser-Busch Foundation, opens as the new home of the College of Business Administration.
UMSL celebrates its 100,000th graduate, newly minted BS in Psychology alum, Marco Pipoly.
After serving as provost and executive vice chancellor for academic affairs, followed by interim chancellor, Dr. Kristin Sobolik is named the eighth chancellor of UMSL.
Construction begins on the $7 million Nursing Learning Resource and Simulation Center.
St. Louis Public Radio celebrates 50th anniversary.
The UMSL Black Faculty and Staff Association celebrates 40 years
UMSL is proud to serve as the home of St. Louis Symphony Orchestra’s 2023/2024 season.