Marshall is Chosen

On October 10, 1963, Marshall, MN was chosen as the site for a new college after a selection committee visited every community in a 19-county area.  There was great celebration in Marshall.

Naming the College

It's interesting to note how and when the name Southwest State came about.  Most of the Marshall community and the members of the college committee wanted it to be known as Marshall State College, similar to Winona State College, Mankato State College, and others as they were known at the time.
However, in September of 1964 Governor Rolvaag came to Marshall and welcomed the community into the state university system.  In preparing the governor's speech, educational consultant and speech writer Sally Luther inserted the name Southwest Minnesota State College and from that point on it's been known as Southwest with various name changes over the years.

The Charter Class

On September 18, 1967 Southwest Minnesota State College opened its doors and 509 students enrolled and entered as the charter class along with 44 faculty members and 52 staff personnel.  From that point on there was no turning back and Southwest Minnesota State University became a total reality. 

Contribute to a Great History

Get involved in the Alumni Association and add to the great history of SMSU.  Register online and join in at events, networking, and supporting the university through your time, energy, and donations.