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Facts & History

History Timeline

A timeline of the formation of ETSU


  • First faculty meeting held in the office of President Sidney G. Gilbreath.
  • East Tennessee State Normal School opens, 29 students register first day; two courses of study offered, a four-year high school curriculum and a two-year normal school curriculum. Normal School consisted of the departments of education, English, history, science, languages, industrial training, agriculture, and the training school.
  • Normal School dedication ceremony
  • Navy blue and gold chosen as school colors
  • Literary societies for men and women organized Pestalozzian for men and Sapphonian for women
  • Departments of music and art added Committee on Social Life establishes rules of social behavior for Normal School students


  • Departments of Latin and domestic science added

  • Committee on Social Life establishes rules of social behavior for Normal School students

  • No young woman student in the normal school will be permitted to dine at a public hotel with an escort and without a chaperon; and no young woman student will be permitted to attend any public dance. Sidney G. Gilbreath

  • State Normal School Faculty Association formed


  • The three state normal schools establish the Inter-Normal Debating Team


  • President Gilbreath raises money for student loan fund


  • Alumni Association organized

  • Model School building constructed


  • First constitution of the United Student Body; first president of United Student Body Theodore R. Eutsler elected

  • First May Day festival held

  • New course added in piano, violin and voice

  • New departments added in methods expression, physical education, bookkeeping and penmanship

  • Mrs. Sidney G. Gilbreath organizes the Womens Faculty Club


  • Practice Teachers Club organized


  • Student Army Training Corps on campus during fall quarter

  • New departments added in biology, chemistry, geography, and physics

  • Womens basketball team completes 1917-18 basketball season undefeated, 6-0 record


  • First yearbook, Old Hickory, published

  • Third year of courses added to curriculum


  • The committee on commencement costumes reports in favor of caps and gowns for graduation

  • First football team fielded, the Normalites have 3-3 season


  • The first party for the entire student body held


  • The first gymnasium completed

  • Taylor Hall (men's residence) constructed


  • First school newspaper, Chalkline, published

  • The structure now housing the B. Carroll Reece Museum constructed to house the library


  • Normal School baseball team has undefeated season


  • Name changed to East Tennessee State Teachers College

  • Dr. Charles C. Sherrod inaugurated as second president of East Tennessee State

  • Fourth year of courses added to curriculum

  • First homecoming held

  • First student handbook published


  • East Tennessee State becomes an accredited member of the American Association of Teachers Colleges

  • First graduating class to receive four-year degrees from East Tennessee State

  • T-Club organized

  • Mathematics and Physical Science Departments added


  • East Tennessee State becomes an accredited member of the Southern Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools


  • Training School, now University School (Alexander Hall), constructed


  • First women awarded athletic letters: Florence Boum, Dorothy Whitlock

  • First radio for dormitories

  • State Board of Education turns over to East Tennessee State the new training school building

  • Biological sciences and directed teaching departments added

  • Educational tests given to all students for the first time


  • Name change to State Teachers College, Johnson City

  • Enrollment at 1,420


  • TC sweaters given to all football players

  • Sherrod Library constructed; at the time it was called the fireproof library; dedicated Aug. 27


  • First full-time athletic coach, Gene McMurray, hired


  • Social studies department added

  • Athletic relations with Milligan College reestablished after 1922 dispute


  • WPA builds a football field on the site of the present-day science building


  • First volume of the Alumni Quarterly published

  • East Tennessee State athletic teams first referred to as the Buccaneers


  • The 25th anniversary of the founding of the college celebrated

  • The Amphitheatre completed

  • The Tennessee state legislature debates closing the college as an unnecessary luxury


  • First Buccaneer yearbook published

  • Flagpole in triangle between administration building (Gilbreath Hall) and library building dedicated


  • Freshman Rules (later called "Rat Week") begin during fall quarter

  • Bucs are football champs of Smoky Mountain Conference


  • Library receives $6,000 for acquisition of books from the Carnegie Foundation

  • Civilian Pilot Training Program begins on campus


  • Nearly 70 graduate in largest-ever graduating class


  • College grill opens in cafeteria building

  • Second generation of students welcomed to Teachers College on schools 30th anniversary

  • Winter quarter registration numbers drop over 10 percent resulting from high numbers of enlistments in the armed services


  • Business administration department added

  • Brown Hall (science building) constructed


  • 2205 Army Air Forces Air-Base Unit arrives on campus and stays until June 30, 1944

  • Name changed to East Tennessee State College

  • Program for the preparation of nurses and assistant health workers added with the cooperation of officials of the Appalachian Hospital in Johnson City


  • Sam Wilson Hall (business) constructed 


  • 85 World War II veterans enter ETSC as postwar enrollment climbs to 461 


  • Servicemen returning from World War II enter college on GI BILL® of Rights for first time; 225 enter ETSC during spring quarter 

  • Bucs basketball team wins Smoky Mountain Tournament 


  • Enrollment reaches record as servicemen attend college on the GI BILL®

  • Rat Week revived 


  • Dean of Women Ella V. Ross named Johnson City's first Woman of the Year

  • 10,000 fans watch Bucs and Milligan College battle to a scoreless tie in football 

  • Power Plant begins operation 


  • Dr. Burgin E. Dossett Sr. inaugurated as the third president of East Tennessee State 

  • Graduate school organized

  • Browning Hall (men's residence) constructed


  • Teaching Aids Laboratory (now IMC) organized

  • ETSC offers first athletic scholarships 


  • East Tennessee State awards its first masters degree 


  • ETSC withdraws from the Smoky Mountain Conference and joins the Volunteer State Athletic Conference (VSAC) 

  • Brooks Gymnasium and Carson Hall constructed 

  • ETSC victorious in Burley Bowl 


  • Military science, religion, speech correction and audiology courses added to the curriculum 

  • Stone Hall (women's residence) constructed 

  • Football team wins Burley Bowl second consecutive year 


  • East Tennessee State adopts rules of compliance to the 1954 U.S. Supreme Court ruling against racial segregation 

  • Kappa Delta and Alpha Delta Pi become national sororities 

  • First college museum opens at ETSC 


  • College organized into schools and departments; four schools: Arts and Sciences, Business Administration and Economics, Education and Graduate Studies 

  • Old gymnasium (built in 1928) moved to become part of Mathes Hall (music and military science) 


  • First bookstore opens on campus 

  • Dean of students post created 

  • WETS begins broadcast as closed-circuit radio station 

  • Fall quarter enrollment tops 4,000 


  • ETSC joins the Ohio Valley Conference (OVC) 

  • Yoakley Hall (women's residence) constructed 


  • Lambda Chi Alpha opens first fraternity house in Tennessee at 431 West Maple Street 

  • ROTC forms Honor Guard at ETSC 


  • Kingsport Center opens 

  • ETSC cagers win George Mikan Award; named most improved NCAA club for 1958-59 season 


  • Lamb Hall (health) and the student union building constructed 


  • East Tennessee State College celebrates its 50th anniversary; a telegram of congratulations received by President Dossett from President John F. Kennedy 

  • Ellington Hall (men's residence), Powell Hall (women's residence) and Burleson Hall (English) constructed, and Carson Hall receives an addition 

  • Student book exchange opens 

  • Sidney G. Gilbreath dies on January 6, age 91 

  • Enrollment tops 5,000 


  • Social Work program established 

  • Upper and lower division requirements defined and placed in effect 

  • Record 2,000 freshmen enrolled 


  • ETSC achieves university status, becoming East Tennessee State University 

  • West Hall (women's residence) constructed 


  • Enrollment reaches 7,000 

  • Undergraduate program in psychology established 

  • Construction begins on B. Carroll Reece Museum addition 


  • Traffic regulations require registration of vehicles for the first time 

  • University organized into four colleges and one school: Colleges of Arts and Sciences, Business Administration and Economics, Health, and Education and the Graduate School 

  • Ross Panhellenic (women's residence) and Frank Clement Hall (men's residence) constructed 


  • Nell Dossett Hall (women's residence), Wilson-Wallis Hall (industrial education) and Ball Hall (art) constructed 

  • University centers open in Bristol and Greeneville 

  • First annual Folk Festival held 


  • Student body president Jerry S. Jones announces that freshmen will be welcomed on campus during School Spirit Week rather than being harassed as in previous years during Rat Week 

  • First master of science degree awarded 

  • McCord and Cooper halls (men's residences), Lucille Clement Hall (women's residence) and Hutcheson Hall (geography and geology) constructed 

  • Sherrod Library addition constructed 


  • First faculty meeting held in the office of President Sidney G. Gilbreath


  • First faculty meeting held in the office of President Sidney G. Gilbreath


  • President Richard M. Nixon visits campus and makes address 

  • Addition constructed on Lamb Hall (health) 


  • Kingsport University Center constructed 


  • Neil Cusack sets world record in marathon for 19-year-olds 

  • ETSU placed under control of central Board of Regents 


  • The university placed under censure by the American Association of University Professors 

  • Memorial Center (Mini-Dome) groundbreaking 

  • Mack P. Davis Apartments constructed 

  • Brown Hall (science) expanded 


  • WETS-FM begins broadcasting 

  • The Tennessee legislature creates a free standing College of Medicine to be developed utilizing the Teague-Cranston Act 

  • Cross-country All-American Neil Cusack of ETSUs Irish Brigade wins the Boston Marathon with third-fastest time ever 

  • Women athletes join intercollegiate athletic program 

  • Luntsford Hall (apartments) constructed 

  • First Mockingbird student arts magazine published 


  • First meeting of Faculty Senate held 

  • Cooperative Education Program added 

  • Bond Building (physical plant offices) constructed 

  • Shelbridge acquired as the presidential residence 

  • Gilbreath Hall renovated 

  • Family practice residency programs in Johnson City and Kingsport accredited 


  • Construction completed on the Clack Building (chilling plant) and the D.P. Culp University Center 

  • Kingsport Family Practice Center opens under auspices of the department of family practice in the Quillen-Dishner College of Medicine 

  • Family practice residency programs in Bristol, Veterans Administration Medical Center and Watauga Area Mental Health Center receive accreditation 

  • Bristol Family Practice Center opens 


  • Dr. Arthur H. DeRosier, Jr., inaugurated as fifth president of East Tennessee State University 

  • ETSU organized into seven colleges and schools; Colleges: Arts and Sciences, Business, Education, Health and Medicine.  Schools: Graduate Studies, Continuing Education.

  • Residency program in internal medicine receives accreditation 

  • Mini-Dome opens


  • ETSU joins the Southern Conference after 21 years in the OVC 

  • Student union building renovated to become part of the College of Medicine 

  • Medical school enrolls its first class of 24 students 

  • Schools of Public and Allied Health, Nursing, and Applied Science and Technology established 


  • First student representative serves on alumni board 

  • Sherrod Library designated state document depository 


  • Dr. Ronald E. Beller becomes the sixth president of East Tennessee State University.

  • Residency program in surgery receives accreditation 

  • Quillen-Dishner College of Medicine officially named by the State Board of Regents 

  • ETSU parrot Pepper comes in a big egg and hatches during the homecoming festivities 

  • ETSU goes on the semester system 

  • First NCAA riflery championships held at ETSU


  • State Board of Regents approves master of education degree at ETSU

  • Teresa Bowers selected as first distinguished alumna of the arts

  • Construction of WETS-FM transmitter tower and building on Holston Mountain begins

  • Entertainers Chet Atkins, Floyd Cramer, Boots Randolph, and Helen Reddy join Gov. Lamar Alexander at Johnson City's Freedom Hall to raise money for the Floyd Cramer Scholarship Fund in ETSUs Department of Music


  • Perrier Fitness Trail, 1.3 miles, with 18 fitness stations, completed

  • Quillen-Dishner College of Medicine receives full accreditation from Liaison Committee on Medical Education

  • First M.D. degrees awarded by Quillen-Dishner College of Medicine


  • Medical school facility opens on Veterans Administration grounds

  • Student Services Center established in the Culp University Center to meet special needs of commuting and nontraditional students

  • Residency program in pathology receives accreditation

  • Congressman James H. Quillen dedicates medical school facility at Veterans Administration


  • Center for Appalachian Studies and Services (CASS) opens

  • Dr. Jack Higgs, Department of English, named one of the eight top university professors in the United States by the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education (CASE)

  • Cooper Annex demolished

  • First dry (non-alcoholic) rush held by fraternities

  • Senators Albert Gore, Jr. (D.-TN), and Claude Pepper (D-FL) convene a senate subcommittee hearing on Alzheimer disease at the D. P. Culp University Center

  • ETSU Center for Geriatrics and Gerontology approved by State Board of Regents

  • CASE president James Fisher addresses the first university-wide convocation

  • Brown Hall (science) renovated


  • First issue of Now and Then published by Center for Appalachian Studies and Services

  • Vice President George Bush visits ETSU to honor Congressman and Mrs. James H. Quillen at a reception to recognize the creation of the Cecile Cox Quillen Chair of Medicine

  • East Tennessee State University named a Homecoming 86 community by the State of Tennessee

  • Medical library dedicated at Quillen-Dishner College of Medicine

  • A proclamation ceremony held to kick off ETSUs 75th birthday celebration (ETSU President Dr. Ronald E. Beller presented a letter of congratulations from President Reagan on Oct. 23 1985 Homecoming proclamation ceremony)

  • Burleson Hall (English) renovated

  • Residency program in psychiatry receives accreditation

  • Environmental health departments baccalaureate and graduate programs reaccredited and declared best in U.S. by National Environmental Health Association


  • ETSU celebrates its diamond anniversary 75 years of tradition and vision in East Tennessee

  • Presidential Distinguished Lecture Series begins; addresses delivered by Felix C. Lowe, Alex Haley, Wally Schirra and F. Lee Bailey

  • Ribbon cutting ceremony for the addition of bus shuttle system for campus transport with university and city officials, partners with the Johnson City Transit System 

  • Joan Mondale, wife of former Vice President Walter Mondale, delivers the fifth talk in the Presidential Distinguished Lecture Series in honor of former ETSU President Dr. Arthur H. DeRosier Jr.

  • Sixth lecture in the Presidential Distinguished Lecture Series featuring John Naisbitt, author of Megatrends, in honor of Dr. Ronald E. Beller, ETSU President since 1980.

  • Thirty-minute television documentary airs on WCYB: East Tennessee State University: 75 Years of Excellence

  • Quillen-Dishner College of Medicine receives three-year accreditation, the longest period in the medical schools history 


  • College of Business achieves accreditation of its bachelors and masters programs from the American Assembly of Collegiate Schools of Business 

  • Record year in research and sponsored programs support, with over $5 million received 

  • ETSU rings the Unity Bell as well as the historic hand bell at the Reece Museum for Bells Across America, a 200-minute bell-ringing ceremony celebrating the signing of the Constitution 

  • Record enrollment: 10,198 

  • ETSU's Center for Adult Programs and Services opens 


  • ETSU adopts a new logo featuring a mountain range over the initials ETSU in Andover typeface, the work of 1973 art alumnus Richard D. Maxey 

  • Dedication ceremony for Carl A. Jones Hall at the Quillen-Dishner College of Medicine, named in honor of the President and Publisher of the Johnson City Press 

  • Record enrollment: 11,156, breaking the 11,000 mark for the first time 

  • Masters program in Storytelling begins 

  • Former President Jimmy Carter visits ETSU to participate in the Presidential Distinguished Lecture Series 


  • The inaugural George L. Carter Award is bestowed to Mr. Allen Harris, Jr.

  • The ETSU medical school is renamed the James H. Quillen College of Medicine 

  • WETS-FM goes to 24-hour programming 

  • Professor Andrei Anikin, Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachevs chief advisor on economic restructuring, is featured speaker in the Presidential Distinguished Lecture Series 


  • President Gerald R. Ford speaks as part of the Presidential Distinguished Lecture Series 

  • College of Nursing opens Johnson City Downtown Clinic

  • Mountain City Extended Hours Health Center, which is managed by the ETSU College of Nursing, opens

  • ETSU Bluegrass Band participates in the Soviet Unions International Folk Festival in Moscow 

  • U. S. Senator Albert Gore, Jr., is the keynote speaker for Earth Day 


  • Rev. Jesse Jackson speaks as part of the Presidential Distinguished Lecture Series 

  • ETSU announces $6.1 million grant from the W. K. Kellogg Foundation to initiate the Community Partnerships for Health Professions Education Program 

  • Dr. Bert C. Bach named Interim President 

  • Enrollment tops 12,000 


  • Men's basketball defeats No. 3 seed Arizona in the first round of the NCAA Tournament 

  • Dr. Roy S. Nicks named Interim President and obtains the post on a permanent basis one year later 

  • James H. Quillen College of Medicine dedicates the Palma L. Robinson Clinical Education Center 

  • Hostage negotiator Terry Waite speaks as part of the Presidential Distinguished Lecture Series 


  • ETSU admits first class of students in Honors Program 

  • Harry Smith from CBS News delivers talk in Presidential Distinguished Lecture Series 


  • News conference announcing Alias|Silicon Graphics partnership with ETSU

  • Ribbon-cutting held for computer lab in Culp Center 


  • University School announces it will go to year-round schedule 

  • Presidential Distinguished Lecture Series hosts Cherokee Chief Wilma Mankiller 


  • ETSU Homepage named 3-Star Internet site by the McKinley Group 

  • ETSU Computer Science program ranked as national leader by Computerworld 

  • Groundbreaking for new library 

  • Dr. Roy S. Nicks retires 


  • Dr. Paul E. Stanton, Jr. becomes the eighth president of ETSU  

  • Smoking ban enforced in ETSU buildings 

  • Record year for research and sponsored programs: $14 million 

  • Novelist William Styron speaks as part of the Presidential Distinguished Lecture Series 


  • ETSU Foundation records first $10 million year in private giving 

  • ETSU tops $20 million for research funding 


  • The new Charles C. Sherrod Library opens 

  • The Presidential Distinguished Lecture Series hosts Linda Wertheimer from National Public Radio 


  • Charles C. Sherrod Library recognized nationally as Outstanding Building in the 1999 Architectural Portfolio of American School & University magazine 

  • ETSU receives $26.7 million in research funding 

  • ETSU admits first class of students in the Roan Scholars Leadership Program 

  • ETSU publishes Home and Away: A University Brings Food to the Table, a book of stories and recipes  


  • ETSU dedicates the Scott M. Niswonger Digital Media Center

  • ETSU Division of Theatre presents Hear That Whistle Blow Erwin Train A Coming at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington D.C.

  • ETSU classes cancelled due to terrorist attack on the World Trade Center in New York City 

  • ETSU celebrates $90 million fundraising campaign total on 90th birthday 


  • James H. Quillen College of Medicine dedicates Stanton-Gerber Hall, basic sciences building, in honor of ETSU President Dr. Paul E. Stanton, Jr., and Dr. Carl J. Gerber, director of the Veterans Affairs Medical Center 

  • Annual giving pushes Campaign for ETSU Tomorrow total to $105 million 

  • Tennessee Governor Don Sundquist announces $8 million Tennessee Department of Transportation grant for development of visitor center at Gray Fossil Site 

  • ETSU becomes the first institution in the Tennessee Board of Regents and University of Tennessee systems to create its own research foundation 


  • College of Business and College of Applied Science and Technology merge to form College of Business and Technology 

  • ETSU football team plays final game, winning 16-13 over The Citadel 


  • Congressman James H. Quillen leaves ETSU over $14.6 million for two scholarship endowments   

  • Rare red panda found at ETSUs Gray Fossil Site 

  • ETSU unveils Center for Experiential Learning at the College of Medicine 

  • ETSU names College of Education for Claudius G. Clemmer, a former teacher in a one-room school

  • The ETSU Alumni Gallery, which includes the George L. Carter and the Outstanding Alumni Walls, is dedicated in the D.P. Culp University Center. 


  • Tennessee Governor Phil Bredesen issues a challenge that ETSU raise $5 million in 90 days for a proposed College of Pharmacy before going to the Tennessee Board of Regents and Tennessee Higher Education Commission for approval, and an additional $2.5 million before the arrival of the first class 

  • ETSU Honors College is established 

  • The Tennessee Higher Education Commission gives the final authorization for the ETSU College of Pharmacy

  • ETSU joins Atlantic Sun Conference

  • Dedication held for the ETSU Foundation Carillon and Alumni Plaza, which was the first gift to the university to celebrate ETSUs upcoming centennial


  • East Tennessee State University is among nations first to receive accreditation from the Association for the Accreditation of Human Research Protection Programs, Inc. (AAHRPP) 

  • Dr. Maya Angelou gives lecture at ETSU 

  • ETSU dedicates Roy S. Nicks Hall in the renovated building that formerly housed the Charles C. Sherrod Library 

  • ETSU begins holding two commencement ceremonies 


  • Inaugural white coat ceremony for the College of Pharmacy is held in D. P. Culp University Center 

  • U.S.News & World Report ranks Quillen College of Medicine third in nation for excellence in rural medicine 

  • ETSU and General Shale Brick Natural History Museum and Visitor Center at the Gray Fossil Site opens to the general public 

  • Governors Hall, new ETSU residence facility, dedicated 

  • The ETSU PRIDE Walk is dedicated.

  • George L. Carter Railroad Museum opens 

  • College of Public and Allied Health splits to become two colleges: College of Public Health and the College of Clinical and Rehabilitative Health Sciences 


  • ETSU celebrates Program of the Year award from the National Rural Health Association (NRHA), presented to the Community Partnerships for Health Professions Education Program 

  • Nearly complete skeleton of fossil red panda discovered at ETSU Gray Fossil Site is only one in the world and the find of a lifetime

  • Pharmacy school named in honor of benefactor Bill Gatton 

  • The William L. Jenkins Forensic Center is dedicated 

  • The Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE) awards Candidate Status to the Bill Gatton College of Pharmacy 

  • ETSU becomes a Tobacco-Free Campus 


  • Mary B. Martin School of the Arts established 

  • ETSU enrollment tops 14,000 

  • ETSUs College of Public Health receives accreditation from the Council on Education for Public Health, becoming the first school in Tennessee, and the only one in South-Central Appalachia, to earn that designation 

  • ETSU announces the nations first doctoral program in sport science and physiology 

  • ETSU announces the worlds first major in Bluegrass, Old-Time and Country Music, offered through the College of Arts and Sciences Department of Appalachian Studies 


  • The Department of English and the Department of Foreign Language merge to create the new Department of Literature and Language

  • Eastman Chemical Co. donates 144 acres of its Valleybrook property near Eastern Star Road off I-26 to the ETSU Foundation; the property, which includes 72,000-square-foot research and office complex and a 30,000-square-foot warehouse and storage facility, will be leased to ETSU for research and educational purposes

  • ETSU's enrollment surpasses 15,000 for the first time, with 15,234 students enrolled for the fall 2010 semester

  • ETSU officially begins its 100th anniversary observance - "Partnerships, Promise, and Hope for 100 Years" - with a Centennial Opening Celebration in the ETSU/Mountain States Health Alliance Athletic Center (Minidome)

  • The ETSU College of Nursing and College of Clinical and Rehabilitative Health Sciences announce a $6.8 million grant from the U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration to build a comprehensive health care facility that will house the Johnson City Downtown Clinic and other allied health services

  • ETSU is dedicated as an All-Steinway School in a ceremony with university and Steinway & Sons Pianos officials prior to a Steinway Celebration Concert featuring The 5 Browns, capping a "Week of Musical Celebrations" commemorating ETSU's centennial


  • The Department of Communication unveils its new, state-of-the-art radio, television and film studio, which has been converted to high definition and includes such amenities as a digital editing lab, studio cameras, graphics software, field equipment and other high-end technologies

  • A $75,000 renovation of the Hutcheson Hall planetarium is completed, featuring a state-of-the-art, full-dome digital projection system, as well as new seating, floor tiling, and more

  • The Bill Gatton College of Pharmacy receives the Outstanding Adaptive Reuse Award from The Heritage Alliance of Northeast Tennessee and Southwest Virginia in honor of the excellence ETSU demonstrated in preserving, restoring and adapting the 100-year-old building on the James H. Quillen Veterans Affairs Medical Center campus at Mountain Home that now houses the college

  • President Dr. Paul E. Stanton Jr. proclaims the first Besse Brown Cooper Day, honoring the world's oldest living person on her 115th birthday. Mrs. Cooper graduated in 1916 from East Tennessee State Normal School.

  • ETSU closes its Centennial Celebration with a ceremony in the ETSU/Mountain States Health Alliance Athletic Center with the musical number "Mountain Memories," the presentation of the Student Choice Awards, and a special tribute to George L. Carter, who donated the land on which the university now stands, and Besse Brown Cooper, a 1916 East Tennessee State Normal School graduate and the oldest living person in the world at the age of 115

  • A bronze portrait bust of George L. Carter, the entrepreneur and philanthropist who donated the land on which ETSU now stands, is unveiled in front of Carter Hall, the women's residence hall named in memory of Carter's wife, Mayetta. The sculpture was created by Virginia artist Richard Pumphrey, whose portrait sculptures of the World War II Allied Leaders are on display at the National D-Day Memorial in Bedford, Va.

  • WETS-FM, ETSU's public radio station, becomes the first station in the Tri-Cities region to offer high definition radio, with three HD signals in addition to its regular analog signal at 89.5 MHz


  • ETSU's eighth president, Dr. Paul E. Stanton Jr., retires, and is succeeded by Dr. Brian Noland, former chancellor of the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission

  • ETSU is officially designated as a U.S. Olympic Training Site for weightlifting by the United States Olympic Committee

  • The James H. Quillen College of Medicine dedicates its new Student Study Center, a $1.4 million, state-of-the-art facility funded entirely by medical students and private donors, with study rooms of various sizes, a kitchen and café area, an outdoor porch and a 1,000-square-foot terrace

  • The center part of campus is permanently closed to traffic to allow the creation of more green space and walkway areas

  • Ground is broken for a 20,000-square-foot expansion of the Wayne G. Basler Center for Physical Activity, just 10 years after the facility's opening

  • Ground is broken for a Student Parking Garage, which will provide 1,224 parking spaces on four levels, as well as food services and office space for the Department of Public Safety and Office of Parking Services

  • Johnson City Community Health Center opens, replacing and building on the legacy of the Johnson City Downtown Clinic. 

  • Bucky's Food Pantry, a food bank for ETSU students and employees in need, opens its newly refurbished quarters in the ETSU/Mountain States Health Alliance Athletic Center (Minidome). 


  • ETSU launches a major arts initiative to raise funds for a new Fine and Performing Arts Center. 

  • The Memorial Fountain and Tennessee Historical Marker at Borchuck Plaza were dedicated in honor and memory of the five students who desegregated East Tennessee State College: Eugene Caruthers, Elizabeth Watkins Crawford, Clarence McKinney, George L. Nichols and Mary Luellen Owens Wagner. 

  • Surgical Chloe, the worlds first full-body, high-fidelity surgical simulator designed for training medical students and physicians in OB/GYN procedures, is introduced by faculty from the Quillen College of Medicine and College of Business and Technology. 

  • ETSU President Dr. Brian Noland announces plans to start a football program, with the new team slated to take the field by the fall of 2015. 

  • The 40th edition of The Mockingbird, ETSUs annual student literary and artistic magazine, is released. 

  • ETSU at Kingsport Downtown opens its doors. 


  • WETS-FM/HD, ETSUs public radio station, celebrates 40 years on the air. 

  • ETSU is designated as an official Olympic training site for the U.S. Canoe and Kayak slalom team by the U.S. Olympic Committee and USA Canoe/Kayak. 

  • The new ETSU parking garage opens, providing 1,224 spaces for student use. 

  • ETSU is designated as an official Olympic training site for the U.S. Bobsled and Skeleton Federation and the U.S. Olympic Committee. 

  • ETSU's James H. Quillen commemorates its 40th anniversary.


  • The new Buccaneer football team takes the field for the first time at Kermit Tipton Stadium against Kennesaw State University.  In addition, the new ETSU Marching Bucs take the field for both pregame and halftime programs with 165 band members, a full year ahead of schedule. 

  • ETSU President Dr. Brian Noland announces the inaugural class of Presidential Fellows: Dr. Daryl A. Carter, Dr. Wallace Dixon, Dr. Bethany Flora and Dr. David Linville.  This new fellowship is designed to develop and enhance leadership skills among university faculty and staff. 

  • ETSU's Bill Gatton College of Pharmacy commemorates its 10th anniversary.

  • Ground is broken for construction of the Buccaneers new football stadium, to be located on the west end of campus adjacent to the Basler Center for Physical Activity, intramural fields and Physical Plant.

  • As the 2015 digging season wraps up, ETSU paleontologists announce the discovery of a huge, mastodon-like elephant at the Gray Fossil Site. 


  • A long-awaited Multicultural Center opens its doors in the D.P. Culp Center to provide students of all cultural backgrounds with educational support programs and services, a place to meet, opportunities to discuss issues that affect their lives, and more.

  • ETSU paleontologists announce discovery of a cluster of up to four mastodon specimens at Gray Fossil Site location where one of the giant creatures was found in 2015. 

  • ETSU becomes the first higher education institution in the nation to be designated an Indoor Tan-Free Skin Smart Campus by the National Council on Skin Cancer Prevention.

  • ETSU opens its new, state-of-the-art Basler Team Challenge and Aerial Adventure Course, with 21 unique challenges, and its 44-foot Veterans Tower.

  • ETSUs postal services becomes Postal and Passport Services with the addition of the capability to accept passport applications on behalf of the U.S. Department of State. 

  • The Buccaneer football team started its second season 2-0 with a win over Western Carolina University in front of a record-setting crowd inside Bristol Motor Speedway.  Attendance was 13,863, marking a new single-game record for ETSU football.

  • The ETSU School of Graduate Studies announces a record high enrollment of 2,354 students for the fall semester.

  • ETSU establishes the Center for Community College Leadership, which brings a multidisciplinary approach to addressing complex issues that face post-secondary education, particularly those facing community colleges.  The center is directed by Dr. Richard Rhoda, former executive director of the Tennessee Higher Education Commission and interim dean of ETSUs Claudius G. Clemmer College of Education.

  • Gov. Bill Haslam announces the eight appointees to the new Board of Trustees, which will govern ETSU starting in the spring of 2017 under the new higher education governance structure formed as part of the FOCUS Act approved by the Tennessee General Assembly.  The inaugural members of the ETSU board are Janet Ayres, Steven DeCarlo, David Golden, Dorothy Grisham, Dr. Linda Latimer, Scott Niswonger, James Powell and Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey.  Dr. David Linville of the Quillen College of Medicine, chair of the ETSU Governance Transition Committee, is appointed by ETSU President Dr. Brian Noland to serve as secretary to the board.

  • The ETSU Bluegrass Pride Band becomes what is believed to be the first university bluegrass band to make the national airplay charts when Did You Hear Me Say Goodbye, a song penned by band member Max Etling and his father, B. Etling, and recorded in the ETSU Recording Lab, debuts at number 12 on the Bluegrass Today chart.

  • Ground is broken on a multimillion-dollar renovation of Building 60 on the Mountain Home Veterans Affairs campus, which will be transformed from the VAs former Quartermasters Storehouse and fire station into a new Interprofessional Education and Research Center for ETSUs Academic Health Sciences Center. 


  • The ETSU Board of Trustees holds its inaugural quarterly meeting on March 24, 2017.

  • The ETSU football team returns to campus for the inaugural game at William B. Greene Jr. Stadium, opening its third season with a historic 31-10 win over Limestone College in front of a sold-out crowd.

  • ETSU breaks ground on the long-awaited James C. and Mary B. Martin Center for the Arts, projected to be a $53 million facility with performance, instructional and teaching space, including a 1,200-seat performance hall.

  • ETSU opens the Center for Teaching Excellence, a “one-stop shop” providing faculty with tools to successfully instruct classes and conduct research in their fields of study.

  • The College of Public Health is recognized nationally with the Delta Omega Award for Innovative Public Health Curriculum for Project EARTH (Employing Available Resources to Transform Health), which helps prepare public health students with the knowledge and skills necessary to work in low-resource environments through hands-on training at the Niswonger VILLAGE at Valleybrook.

  • ETSU is designated a Military Friendly® School by Victory Media for the eighth consecutive year, increasing from the bronze to gold ranking.


  • ETSU receives the Military Spouse Friendly ® School designation for the first time from Victory Media, a ratings organization and publisher of Military Spouse Magazine.

  • ETSU paleontologists publish the discovery of the world’s oldest wolverine (Gulo sudorus) at the Gray Fossil Site. Based on this discovery, the group provides a new estimate of the age of the Gray Fossil Site – between 4.9 and 4.5 million years old – placing it in the early Pliocene Epoch. Previously, the site was thought to be from the late Miocene (between 7 and 4.5 million years old).

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