Skip to main content




January 21, 2014
CONTACT: K.E. Schwab

SRU marks 125th anniversary

Today’s “Good News” is the fact you are part of Slippery Rock University as it begins a yearlong celebration marking it founding 125 years ago by the townspeople of what was then known as “Centerville, Pa.”

Their foresight, dedication and personal investment of time and money – which some now see as the ultimate community-service project – resulted in the creation of the Slippery Rock State Normal School. The school’s intended mission was to educate young people to serve as teachers in western Pennsylvania’s one-room schools. For years it met, and exceeded, its mission in teacher education. Few people who attended a western Pennsylvania school in recent years have not benefited from a teacher educated at Slippery Rock.

Since its 1889 opening, the institution has undergone tremendous change; first becoming Slippery Rock State Teachers College, then Slippery Rock State College and ultimately Slippery Rock University, an important leader in the 14-member Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education.

Slippery Rock University, under 16 presidents, including its current leader Cheryl Norton and literally thousands of faculty, has continually moved forward providing expanded opportunities for its students to not only become quality teachers, but to learn the necessary skills to be leaders in business, industry, the performing arts, government, research, healthcare, science and every other profession imaginable.

Along the way, the University has expanded it course offerings and programs of study, garnered accolades for innovation and leadership, earn accreditations and hosted some of the nation’s most important and influential education leaders, government officials, entertainers and others who have worked to help its students expand their understanding of the world. For 125 years, the University has provided a quality education that meets and exceeds the needs of its students. SRU graduates now live in countries around the world making use of their Slippery Rock University education to help others live more productive and fulfilling lives.

The year’s celebration theme, “Celebrating Our Honored Traditions. Embracing Our Unlimited Potential," speaks directly to SRU’s mission. Everyone – students, faculty, staff, alumni, community residents and others across the commonwealth – is urged to join in the celebration events throughout the year as SRU remembers its past and looks toward an even more robust future.

The official opening of the yearlong celebration is at 11:30 a.m., Jan. 30, beginning outside Old Main. Community and University members are encouraged to join a “Grand March” as it weaves it’s way through campus from the oldest building on campus to the Smith Student Center, the newest building on campus, to kick-off the next 125 years of quality education.

Slippery Rock University is Pennsylvania's premier public residential university. Slippery Rock University provides students with a comprehensive learning experience that intentionally combines academic instruction with enhanced educational and learning opportunities that make a positive difference in their lives.