Coordinates: 43°45′32″N 71°41′21″W / 43.75889°N 71.68917°W / 43.75889; -71.68917 Plymouth State University, formerly Plymouth State College, is a regional comprehensive university located in Plymouth, New Hampshire and part of the University System of New Hampshire.
Plymouth State University is a coeducational, residential university with an enrollment of approximately 4,238 undergraduate students and 2,500 graduate students. The school was founded as Plymouth Normal School in 1871. Since that time it has evolved to a teachers college, a state college, and finally to a state university in 2003.
It was founded as a teacher's college, and it still retains a distinguished teaching program/major to this day. Since that time however, it has diversified its academic profile, adding many new majors and fields of study. The school has become known in recent years for its meteorology program (Judd Gregg Meteorology Institute), which is considered one of the best in the eastern United States, and is also strong in business, visual and performing arts, interdisciplinary studies, and psychology. Also, new majors such as Criminal Justice have been added and other programs have increased their stature, especially the natural sciences with the creation of The Center for the Environment. The university now offers a total of 19 academic departments, with 48 different options within the major programs.
Plymouth State is one of 311 institutions of higher learning nationwide included on the Carnegie Foundation Community Engagement Classification. According to Carnegie, PSU was honored for "excellent alignment of mission, culture, leadership, resources, and practices that support dynamic and noteworthy community engagement." Community service has long been a mainstay of the Plymouth State experience. The university’s motto, Ut prosim (“That I May Serve”), underscores the values upon which the Plymouth State University mission is built. During the 2009–2010 academic year, PSU students contributed approximately 220,000 hours to service.
The campus has grown substantially in recent years with the addition of the Hartman Union Building (HUB) and Boyd Science Center and renovations/expansions to the Silver Center for the Arts, Lamson Library, Prospect Dining Hall, and the Physical Education Center. To accommodate the increased enrollment figures, a new residence hall, Langdon Woods, was built, opening for residents in Fall 2006. Langdon Woods is one of the first collegiate residence halls in the U.S. to gain “Gold” certification by the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Green Building Rating System, which is the nationally accepted benchmark for the design, construction, and operation of high performance green buildings. There are also plans to expand certain key or "heavy use" buildings on campus, such as the P.E. Center, to accommodate new programs and athletic activities. Robert Frost, America's Poet Laureate, lived and taught at Plymouth from 1911 to 1912. The college has a campus newspaper distributed every Friday called The Clock, and is the first college newspaper in the nation, under editor-in-chief Emily Perry, to have a Sudoku puzzle.
Plymouth State gained national attention in 1985 when Sports Illustrated featured PSU student and football player Joe Dudek as their favorite to win the Heisman Trophy. Dudek, a running back for the Panthers, earned the attention for breaking Walter Payton's mark for career touchdowns.
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