Building a reputation

180 Years on the ground’s of Bloomsburg University


Ed Murphy

The beloved Carver Hall shown above in all of its glory. The golden top we look for directions in the night was added in 1900. This building homes the offices of the President and Provost of the University.

Gabrielle Reyes, Features Editor

Bloomsburg University has been around for around 180 years. That’s a lot of history! I had no idea what Bloomsburg was until I researched about it in high school. We walk around this campus not realizing the foundations that were set for this university to thrive on. 

From 1839 to 1855, Bloomsburg University started off as an academy to establish and teach the youth elements of a classical education. In 1856, it was reorganized as Bloomsburg Literary Institute. 

In 1866, the land where we know as a home away from home was acquired naming Henry Carver the first principal and president. 

The name Carver should ring a bell as Carver Hall was named after him later in time at 1954 which is the landmark for todays university. For a little while, Bloomsburg Literary Institute added “State Normal School” to its name. 

However, in 1916, it was bought by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania naming it Bloomsburg State Normal School. 

During the Progressive Era of the 1920’s, Bloomsburg expanded from secondary prep courses for teachers to full-time teacher education. 

At this time you were now able to receive a bachelor degree of science in education. Also at this time, Francis Haas, Another name we have heard of, was under administration adding a new degree in business education. We later dedicated our building of galleries, office space and auditorium to him naming it Haas Center for the Arts in 1967. 

Speaking of history, during World War 2, the US Navy training program for flight instructors and officers was conducted on campus. If you know where I’m getting at, then you’re right. The academic building home to the ASL/ English Interpreting Majors, Special Education, Exceptionalities program and Education of the Deaf/ Hard of Hearing, Navy Hall, was named after this event. Before this event, Navy Hall was originally a junior high school. 

Passing through time, we see Bachelors of arts, for liberal arts programs in humanities, social sciences, natural sciences, and mathematics set up with masters and doctoral programs added as well.

On July 1, 1983, the commonwealth legislation established the 14 member state system of higher education, adopting the current name of our school, Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania. 

Looking back at history truly gives us a feel of how much this university has grown. It is clear that a lot of interesting obstacles were made to give us what we have today being  the 4rd largest on those 14 state system of Pennsylvania.