About Our College
The General Assembly of Maryland established what would eventually become Towson University in 1865, with the allocation of funds directed toward Maryland's first teacher-training school, or then called "normal school" (term used from a new French tradition). On January 15, 1866, this institution, known then as the "Maryland State Normal School" (M.S.N.S.), officially opened its doors as part of the substantial modern educational reforms prescribed by the Unionist/Radical Republican Party-dominated Maryland Constitution of 1864 of the Civil War-era state government, which provided for a new state superintendent of public instruction and a Board of Education to be appointed to advise and supervise the counties, in addition to the already progressive public educational system previously established in 1829 in Baltimore City. Located then at Red Man's Hall on North Paca Street in Baltimore, the new teachers' school originally enrolled eleven students and fostered three faculty members. McFadden Alexander Newell served as the school's first principal as well as the State Superintendent of Public Instruction and oversaw the first graduating class of sixteen students in June 1866.