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100 Years; 53,457 Dreams

In 1906, more than a few new ideas lit the century’s early days. It was the year that saw the invention of the Tungsten light bulb, and granted a patent to the Wright Brothers for a “Flying Machine.”

Ingenuity sparked change across the country, and in that same year, at Colorado Teachers College in Greeley, Colorado, the entire college staff held a discussion on graduate study. The college appointed a committee on graduate instruction and charged them with developing a graduate program and aiding and fostering research.

By 1913, the program of graduate study was fully developed and the college offered a Master of Arts degree, bestowing its first three Master’s degrees on Frank Y. Moseley, Mary T. Lowery and William F. Burgin, in 1914. One year later, the “Department of Graduate Work” became the Graduate School. 

Over the last 100 years, the graduate school has awarded 53,457 degrees. For each of those degrees, there was a student with a dream, professors who supported and encouraged that dream, and hours of research, study and discussion. It is with appreciation for the work of the last century, and enthusiasm for the work that lies ahead, that we celebrate the graduate school’s centennial year.

In 1920, Faculty Advisor Rae Blanchard wrote in The Crucible about the Graduate College’s purpose. The Graduate College aims, she said, “to stimulate the teaching spirit, inculcate and foster a love for research, and to develop in teachers the right attitude toward educational problems.”

Those three goals planted the seeds for graduate education at UNC, and the program has grown and evolved into one that inspires students and transforms lives.

“Beginning with our first graduate class, the University of Northern Colorado continues a proud tradition of graduate education,” said Acting Dean of the Graduate School Linda Black, EdD, LPC as she welcomed new students. “You will find outstanding research facilities, scientific and educational laboratories, and extensive library resources to stimulate your sense of inquiry, enhance your ability to master complex topics, and to help you immerse yourself in your chosen profession.”

And so the work that began in the early part of the 20th century sparks light into the 21st century. We hope you’ll take a moment to explore the Graduate School’s history, and that you’ll join us as we step into the future, empowering others, learning together, promoting human understanding and making a difference regionally and globally through transformative graduate education.

Class of 1913

Class of 1920

1956 Doctoral Graduates

Photographs provided by UNC Archival Services