Positioning the University for the Future

A Second Century of Excellence - Our Centennial Campaign and Beyond

On September 11, 1911, Middle Tennessee Normal School opened its doors to the people of Tennessee – beginning with 347 students and 15 faculty members. We began as one of three teacher preparatory schools in Tennessee committed to educating and training teachers for the state’s primary and secondary school systems.

We were and are deeply rooted in a commitment to meeting the needs of each student and enhancing the quality of life throughout our state. As we matured to become a college and later Middle Tennessee State University, our commitment to students never wavered. MTSU is recognized as Tennessee’s Best comprehensive university, offering a supportive learning environment, an outstanding faculty, and a uniquely personalized student experience in keeping with our diverse student population.

The University’s blueprint for individual success is derived from our Academic Master Plan featuring three primary objectives:

  • Maintaining our commitment to quality – Talented students engaged with distinguished faculty in an embracing, but academically challenging, community.
  • Fostering a student-centered environment – Keeping the academic, cultural, and societal needs of our students at the forefront of all that we do; and
  • Building strategic partnership and alliances – Establishing relationships with the broader community that support our educational programs and provide breadth and relevance to our academic offerings.

Our University relied on funding from the State of Tennessee during most of our first century. In more recent years, state support became only one funding stream along with student tuition and fees and private philanthropy.  As we passed the milestone of our 100th year, and recognizing that achieving our key objectives would require strategic philanthropic support, the Centennial Campaign for Middle Tennessee State University was launched. Through the generosity of alumni, friends, and community leaders, more than $105 million was raised from  impactful gifts that will help MTSU maintain a strong commitment to quality, foster a student-centered environment, and build strategic partnerships.