FRAMINGHAM – Today in 1839, began what is now Framingham State University. On “July 3, 1839, three young women braved a fierce thunderstorm to enroll in a new school of higher education in Lexington, Massachusetts,” according to the Whittemore Library at Framingham State.
This school, the first state-supported school dedicated to training teachers in America, would one day become Framingham State University.
Today, the University is recognized as the oldest continuously operated public normal school in the United States
Three Early Graduates of Lexington
(L-R) Sarah Wight 1842, Eliza Rogers 1841, Mary Swift 1840. All three taught at the Perkins School for the Blind
“The Normal School, as it was known, came about due to the chronic need in an expanding United States for professional-quality teachers. While young people of the upper social strata could receive quality educations at private academies and universities, students who came from the middle and working classes and who attended free public schools received little or no education,” according to the history of the University.
Poorly trained teachers, incapable of properly educating students, could not teach the principles that would produce knowledgeable and valuable citizens in the young Republic.
Photos and copy courtesy of Framingham State University