Worcester State University was established as Worcester Normal School on St. Ann’s Hill in Worcester in 1874. It was Massachusetts’ fifth normal school funded by the state. The school moved to its present location and was renamed as Worcester State Teachers College in 1932. The Helen J. Shaughnessy Administration Building, the only building on the site, housed all the labs, classrooms, administration and faculty offices, library, and gymnasium and assembly hall. By 1963, the college had established itself into a sciences and liberal arts college. This growth was acknowledged by the Massachusetts Board of Education and voted to change its name to Worcester State College. In 2010, the Massachusetts Legislature granted the university status to all state colleges in Massachusetts and the institution received its existing name.
The university campus is spread across 58 acres. It is equipped with world-class infrastructure and hosts of modern amenities. The campus houses numerous residence halls including Sheehan Hall and Dowden Hall to offer comfortable accommodation to the students. The Learning Resource Centre is the main library featuring wireless internet cafe, 540 solar panels on the roof and a study lounge. Ghosh Science and Technology Centre consists of labs, offices, classrooms, the Speech-Language-Hearing Centre, the Aisiku STEM Centre, and the Mary Cosgrove Dolphin Gallery. The campus is also home to May Street Building that includes auditorium spaces, classrooms, offices of the Centre for Business and Industry, and the Department of Sociology. Many other academic, recreational and administrative buildings are a part of the campus.
The university’s 21 academic departments offer 60 undergraduate minors and majors, 29 master’s degrees, graduate programs and post-baccalaureate certificates in various fields of education such as arts, sciences, business, communication, computer science, languages, mathematics, nursing, philosophy, psychology, sports, education, and management. The student population includes a large number of foreign students and the faculty members are highly qualified and distinguished. The institution has collaborations with various international universities across countries like Australia, Argentina, Belize, Guatemala, Germany, India, Madagascar, Italy, South Korea, and Peru. These collaborations facilitate excellent study abroad and student exchange programs.
The university has several notable and successful alumni. Tyler Boudreau is a former military veteran and famous author known for writing about his experiences in the Iraq War and Marine Corps. Kevin T. Campbell formerly served as the commander of the U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command. John Dufresne is an accomplished author whose work bagged a John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship. Mary Fell is an academician and poet. Daniel Garvey used to be Prescott College’s president. Todd J. Leach is the University System of New Hampshire’s chancellor. Brian Skerry works as a photojournalist for National Geographic Magazine. Many other distinguished people have graduated from the university.