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Celebrating a century

Celebrating a Century

There is a spirit about MSU Texas that draws you in from the very beginning. It resonates differently for each person it attracts, but the enduring spirit always leads back to the people and the long-lasting relationships formed here.

You see as Mustangs with free spirits, each with our own character and style, we run together and work together as a team representing strength, individuality, and unity. If we are separated we are distinctly different, but together we create a bond that cannot be broken.

It is that same free, yet courageous, spirit that has guided our journey of discovery and growth since our inception in 1922.

This year we pay tribute to the past, celebrate the present, and envision the future of MSU Texas. And we do so with a Spirit Always Bold.

Take a trip through 100 years...

Classes are held at Reagan High School located in downtown before expansion to the Avenue H location in May 1924. Wichita Falls High School and Midwestern State University (then called Wichita Falls Junior College) shared both the facility and faculty before moving to the present-day campus on Taft Boulevard in 1937.

The third floor of Wichita Falls High School was used for Wichita Falls Junior College classes before the junior college moved to the Taft Boulevard location in 1937.

Dr. Randolph Lee Clark’s bold vision for education in Wichita Falls included the dream of a junior college.

“Now is the time and place for dreaming dreams.”

Portrait of Dr. Randolph Lee Clark, Sr.

The yearbook, Wai-Kun, and student newspaper, The Wichitan, are established.

Enthusiasm for football, baseball and basketball are high at Wichita Falls Junior College in its early years, but it is tennis and track that triumph with tennis bringing home the first state championship in 1927. In 1930 due to the Depression, all sports are disbanded until the basketball team reappears in 1937 under athletic director D.L. Ligon. Football returned in 1944.

Wichita Falls Junior College Indians in Action - Wai-Kun 1926

Hardin Trust of $1 million is established, and W.B. Hamilton and N.H. Martin donate 40 acres of land located “at the end of a dusty, rural road, grandly called Taft Street” for a campus site.

The college acquires a new, 40-acre campus of its own on the south side of Wichita Falls. Rising above pastures and wheat fields is the recently finished Hardin building. Also in that same year, the college is renamed Hardin Junior College in honor of Mr. and Mrs. John G. Hardin.

1936 artist rendering of the Hardin Building

Forty additional acres are purchased for campus.

The School of Nursing is established in conjunction with Wichita General Hospital.

Memorial Hall, the first women’s dormitory, opens.

The senior college division is added and the name altered to Hardin College. However, to continue receiving district and state taxes for junior colleges, Hardin Junior College operates separately.

Hardin Students Hold Assembly on Campus - 1947

First bachelor’s degrees are awarded.

After 15 years of bearing the Hardin name and with remarkable growth, the university grows discontent with the Hardin name because of confusion with Hardin-Simmons, Mary Hardin-Baylor and even Harding University in Arkansas. On January 17, 1950, the board approves a new name: Midwestern University.

Thomas Hammond was the first student to enroll in the graduate school in 1952 Wai-Kun 1952

Clark Student Center is constructed. In 1961, the University names the center in memory of C.H. Clark.

Aerial photograph of the Clark Student Center taken from the Science Building on Midwestern University

President James B. Boren is instrumental in obtaining 35 bronze bells for the Hardin Tower. The bells were cast in Aarle-Rixtell, Holland, by a foundry operating since 1660. Noted carillonneur Dr. Frederick Marriott from Chicago University gives the initial concert ending with Midwestern’s new alma mater.

Jim Jensen, a junior in 1961, plays the carillon. Today, carillonneur Jim Quashnock provides music from the carillon.

Midwestern University accepts its first African American students, almost four years after Willie Faye Battle was accepted to the university and then turned away after appearing in person on campus.

“I am very proud of Midwestern University because of the fact that I know my sister had a great point in getting Midwestern to be what it is today by applying.”

- O'Linda Battle Barnett, Administrators honor first African American students, - The Wichitan 2018

Breaking the Color Barrier: Four Who Dared, The Wichitan 1990

The first charters of national social fraternities and sororities are installed.

Midwestern University becomes part of the Texas Colleges and Universities System and the junior college division is dissolved.

Construction of Moffett Library begins. The library is dedicated and named for state Sen. George (Cotton) Moffett of Chillicothe on May 29, 1964. Also in 1964, the library becomes a depository for U.S. government publications.

Aerial photograph of Moffett Library

Planning for the physical education building is featured in the Wichita Falls Times:

“Tentative plans for a new physical education facility at Midwestern were approved by the university’s board of regents Thursday.”

Aerial photograph of construction of the physical education building, later named in honor of D.L. Ligon.

Bolin Science Hall is dedicated.

Photograph of the Science Building before its dedication

The Wichita Falls Museum and Art Center opens. Now named the Wichita Falls Museum of Art at MSU Texas, the museum was acquired by the university in 2005.

“Founded in the mid-1960s by visionary members of the community and spearheaded by the Junior Service League during a decade of political and social change and uncertainty, the Wichita Falls Museum and Art Center opened its doors on April 1, 1967.” - WFMA website

Groundbreaking ceremony for the Wichita Falls Museum and Art Center

On December 4, after a tremendous community undertaking involving hundreds of volunteers, the master switch is thrown and the MSU-Burns Fantasy of Lights becomes a reality on the Hardin Administration Building lawn.

The university is renamed Midwestern State University by action of the Texas Legislature.

On January 29, Texas Gov. Dolph Briscoe helps to dedicate the $5.5 million Fine Arts building, known today as the Fain Fine Arts Center.

Construction of the MSU Fine Art Building – clipping from the Oct. 10, 1976, Wichita Falls Times

The auditorium located north of Hardin Building was named Akin Auditorium in honor of J.W. and Nita Akin.

Dedication ceremony of auditorium for Nita and J.W. Akin

After a 32-year absence, non-scholarship football is reinstated.

Bolin Fountain, donated by Aurora and Phil Bolin, is constructed in the Quadrangle.

MSU Athletics begins its move to the NCAA Division II.

Dr. Walter W. Dalquest and his wife Rose donate two sections of land in the Texas Big Bend region for the establishment of a desert research site. Today, the site is known as the Dalquest Desert Research Station.

View of the landscape at the Dalquest Desert Research Station

On March 7, the university breaks ground for J.S. Bridwell Hall. The facility was first home to the Gunn College of Health Sciences & Human Services. In fall 2020, Bridwell Hall became home to the West College of Education.

Construction of J.S. Bridwell Hall

The Sunwatcher statue is donated by the Ex-Students Association in commemoration of the 75th anniversary in 1997. The statue is located near the Clark Student Center in Sunwatcher Plaza.

The Dallas Cowboys hold the first of four summer training camps through 2001 on the MSU campus.

The Dallas Cowboys held their training camp on a sunny afternoon in June at the MSU practice fields.

The renovation project to join Bea Wood and O’Donohoe halls is completed creating a central hub for liberal arts programs on campus. Bea Wood and O’Donohoe were originally used as dormitories until the facilities were converted to classrooms in the early 1970s. Today, the joint facility houses the Prothro-Yeager College of Humanities & Social Sciences.

Hotter’N Hell Hundred presents the cycling statue by local artist Jack Stevens as a tribute to the MSU Cycling Team.

Team Arrow Statue

Work begins on the 88,000-square-foot facility to house the Dillard College of Business Administration. The new facility opened in Fall 2006.

The university mascot transitions from Indians to Mustangs.

Midwestern State University becomes the only university in Texas to join the Council of Public Liberal Arts Colleges (COPLAC).

MSU representatives join Texas Gov. Rick Perry and State Rep. David Farabee for a ceremonial signing marking MSU’s membership with COPLAC and establishing the university as the public liberal arts university in Texas.

The new Bruce & Graciela Redwine Student Wellness Center, including a new Vinson Health Center, opens on south campus near Sikes Lake. Remodel of the Fowler Building into the McCoy Engineering Hall is completed, as is the completion of the Sundance Court, a new, 276-bed, apartment-style residence hall.

Bruce & Graciela Redwine Student Wellness Center

Effective January 1, MSU becomes the first Texas public university to establish a tobacco-free campus.

The Small Business Development Center celebrates its 25th anniversary at MSU. The $17 million renovation of D.L. Ligon Coliseum is completed.

Caribfest, the annual Caribbean cultural festival, celebrates its 20th anniversary.

Dr. Suzanne Shipley is named the 11th president of Midwestern State University, marking the first female president in the university’s history.

Dr. Suzanne Shipley

In August, Legacy Hall opens, serving as the anchor for residential learning on campus. The facility is designed to attract and retain today’s college student and maximize opportunities for meaningful interactions and student learning.

Legacy Courtyard serves as connector to Legacy, Killingworth, Pierce and McCullough-Trigg residence halls.

MSU Texas launches its first comprehensive campaign with the goal to raise $50 million leading to its centennial celebration in 2022. At the close of the 2021 calendar year, the Boundless Opportunities campaign has secured more than $88 million in new gifts and commitments with a year left.

The Texas Historical Commission recognized the desegregation of Midwestern University by awarding an official Texas Historical Marker that was dedicated in February. The marker is located near the Ferguson Building.

The MSU Texas brand is established to introduce the university to a larger audience in a new and dynamic way while still recognizable to alumni and friends.

Texas Historical Marker outside of the Ferguson Building

MSU Texas opens the Flower Mound Student Learning Center to establish a pathway to attract adult learners and community college students eager to complete a bachelor’s degree.

Conveniently located in Flower Mound, Texas, our student learning center is designed as a resource to aid working adults as they complete their degrees and to help students transition seamlessly from an associate to a bachelor's degree.

Centennial Hall, a state-of-the-art health sciences facility, opens its doors to students on August 26. The open architecture of the facility displays labs to promote collaborative learning between students and disciplines.

Construction of Centennial Hall

West College of Education launches the university’s first doctoral program in educational leadership.

MSU Texas becomes the fifth member institution to join the Texas Tech University System.

The Texas Tech University System Board of Regents and the presidents of each component institution met on campus on Sept. 1 to welcome MSU Texas as the fifth member institution. Members of the retiring MSU Texas Board of Regents were recognized for their service and commitment to Midwestern State University.

Photo Citations

Image Sources
  • Midwestern State University
  • AJ Lopez III
  • Jimmy Cochran Collection at Moffett Library
  • Moffett Library
  • Robin Reid
  • The Portal to North Texas History
  • The Wichitan
  • Wai-Kun
Background Images
  • Background 1, Hardin, 1922-45: Wai-Kun, 1937, Moffett Library
  • Background 2, MSU campus, 1946-50: Aerial View of Hardin Building on Midwestern University | Jimmy Cochran Collection at Moffett Library
  • Cochran, Jimmy W. [Aerial View of Hardin Building on Midwestern University], photograph, Date Unknown; ( accessed December 22, 2021), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History,; crediting Midwestern State University.
  • Background 3, Moffett Library, 1951-66: Midwestern State University
  • Background 4, Science Building, 1967-95: Midwestern State University
  • Background 5, Bridwell, 1996-98: Midwestern State University
  • Background 6, Sunwatcher Statue, 2000-2019: AJ Lopez III
  • Background 7: Centennial Hall, 2021: AJ Lopez III
Timeline Images
  • Sept. 11, 1922: Wai-Kun, 1925 | Library/MSU History | Prezi with additional photos (image 4)
  • 1922 (Dr. Clark): Midwestern State University
  • 1927: Wai-Kun, 1926 | Library/MSU History | Prezi with additional photos (image 5)
  • 1937 (Hardin Rendering): Midwestern State University
  • 1946: Moffett Library | Library/MSU History | Prezi with additional photos (image 41)
  • 1950: Wai-Kun, 1952 | Library/MSU History | Prezi with additional photos (image 6)
  • 1951: Jimmy Cochran Collection at Moffett Library
  • Cochran, Jimmy W. [View of Clark Student Center From M.U. Science Building], photograph, Date Unknown; ( accessed December 22, 2021), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History,; crediting Midwestern State University.
  • 1952: Moffett Library | Library/MSU History | Prezi with additional photos (image 41)
  • 1954: The Wichitan, June 26, 1990 | Library/MSU History | Prezi with additional photos (image 30)
  • 1963: Jimmy Cochran Collection at Moffett Library
  • Cochran, Jimmy W. [Midwestern University Campus From Air], photograph, Date Unknown; ( accessed December 22, 2021), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History,; crediting Midwestern State University.
  • 1965: Jimmy Cochran Collection at Moffett Library
  • Cochran, Jimmy W. [Midwestern University Campus From Air], photograph, Date Unknown; ( accessed December 22, 2021), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History,; crediting Midwestern State University.
  • 1966: Jimmy Cochran Collection at Moffett Library
  • Cochran, Jimmy W. [M.U. Science Building Entrance], photograph, Date Unknown; ( accessed December 22, 2021), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History,; crediting Midwestern State University.
  • 1967: Midwestern State University
  • 1977: Wichita Falls Times, October 10, 1976
  • 1984: Midwestern State University
  • 1996: Midwestern State University
  • 1997: Midwestern State University
  • 1998: Midwestern State University
  • 2000: Robin Reid
  • 2006: Midwestern State University
  • 2009: AJ Lopez III
  • 2015: Midwestern State University
  • 2016: AJ Lopez III
  • 2017: Robin Reid
  • 2018: AJ Lopez III
  • 2019: AJ Lopez III
  • 2021: AJ Lopez III

MSU Texas Events

Jump to a Month


  • 22: TCEA/Region 9 Robotics Contest hosted by McCoy College of Science, Mathematics & Engineering
  • 27: MSU Texas 1922-2022 Community-Wide Kick-Off Celebration! Join us downtown at the MPEC at 5:30 p.m.!
  • Through February: Display Brief history of Wichita Falls and MSU. This will include all the variations of MSU from Hardin Junior College to MSU Texas. (Moffett Library)


  • 5: Opening of Changing the Face of Power: Women in the U.S. Senate at WFMA
  • 19: TORUS mathematics conference with keynote speaker President Lawrence Schovanec of Texas Tech University
  • 20-26: Engineering Week — Reimagining the Possible with focus on lifesaving technologies and green engineering
  • Black History Month


  • 3: Builders of the Falls and MSU Texas: Businesses Founded 1900-1922, Noon, Dillard 189
  • 4: Health Fair at Gunn College of Health Sciences & Human Services
  • 5: Mustangs Rally
  • 24: Builder of the Falls and MSU Texas: Business Founded 1922-1934, Noon, Dillard 189
  • 28: Esports Lounge Grand Opening, 4-6 p.m., Legacy Hall Fourth Floor
  • 31: Centennial Festival of Student Documentaries highlighting Wichita Falls, Noon-4 p.m., Legacy Multipurpose Room
  • 31: Centennial Festival of Student Documentaries, 5-7 p.m., Legacy Multipurpose Room
  • Through April: Display of war years and ROTC at MSU Texas at Moffett Library
  • North Texas Student Area Conference sponsored by the McCoy College of Science, Mathematics & Engineering


  • 7-9: Hosting the 91st Texas Society of Radiologic Technologists Annual Meeting
  • 19: MSU Texas Alumni Association Centennial Reception, 6-8 p.m., WFMA; Dr. Mary Draper will present a brief overview of the history of MSU Texas
  • 22: Gunn College of Health Sciences & Human Services Spring Picnic
  • Celebration of Scholarship
  • Athletic Banquet
  • Honors Banquet
  • McCoy College of Science, Mathematics & Engineering Banquet


  • 6: Senior Walk
  • 7: Centennial Commencement/Hardin Professor
  • 8-14: Nurses Week
  • Through June: Display of student activities/protests/civil rights at Moffett Library
  • Ceramics Mother’s Day Sale
  • Summer Planetarium series: twice monthly in Bolin Science Hall Planetarium


  • Young Engineer Summer (YES) Camp
  • Summer Planetarium series: twice monthly in Bolin Science Hall Planetarium
  • Orientation & Registration


  • Through August: Display of Martin to Moffett Library and highlight of Special Collections at Moffett Library
  • Summer Planetarium series: twice monthly in Bolin Science Hall Planetarium


  • Welcome Back Dinner (Athletics)
  • Welcome Week/Roundup Week (Student Affairs)
  • Summer Planetarium series: twice monthly in Bolin Science Hall Planetarium


  • 2: West College of Education Centennial Celebration, Celebrating a Tradition of Excellence: Honoring Professional Development Schools
  • 8: Builders of the Falls and MSU Texas
  • 11: Founding Day
  • 11-17: Healthcare Simulation Week with the Gunn College of Health Sciences & Human Services
  • 22: Builders of the Falls and MSU Texas
  • 23-24: Family Weekend
  • Alumni Spirit Event
  • Caribfest
  • Hispanic Heritage Month (Sept. 15-Oct. 15)
  • Through October: Display about Sports at MSU Texas at Moffett Library


  • Hispanic Heritage Month (Sept. 15-Oct. 15)
  • Dental Hygiene Month
  • 13: West College of Education Centennial Celebration and College Dedication honoring the West family
  • 23-29: Respiratory Care Week (Gunn College)
  • 24-29: MSU Texas Homecoming Week
  • Employee Service Recognition/President’s Award Winners
  • Friday: CHSHS gathering (students and alumni)


  • 3: Presidential Investiture, 11 a.m., Akin Auditorium
  • Mustangs Rally
  • Military Appreciation (Athletics)
  • 6-12: Radiologic Technology Week
  • 12: MS&U Girls Conference — serving girls in grades 6-8 in STEM
  • Undergraduate Research & Activities Forum
  • 13-19: Nurse Practitioner Week (Gunn College)
  • 21: Fantasy of Lights Opening Ceremony
  • Through December: Display about current and future happenings/hopes for Moffett Library


  • 9: Senior Walk
  • 10: Centennial Commencement/Faculty Award