Article Category Archives: Around the Quad

New Minors Offer Valuable Skills

With the start of the current school year, students had the option to declare two new minors. Child studies and design were both added to the Truman catalog, bringing the total number of available minors to 60.

The child studies minor draws together courses from many different departments across campus that focus on issues related to children. It provides students with the opportunity to focus on the physical, psychological, cognitive and social development of children; the creation and critique of art and media focused on and directed towards children; and the political debates and social policies that influence children in an interdisciplinary way.

Various courses within the Art Department comprise the new design minor. It was conceived to compliment majors in other disciplines, particularly business, communication and computer science. It gives the non-major student a well-rounded introduction to graphic design processes, visual aesthetics and a higher-than-average understanding of visual digital literacy.

More information about these new minors, as well as all of the academic programs at the University, can be found at

Historic Landmark Gets an Update

Truman’s iconic Red Barn was repainted in the fall, bringing new life to a community landmark.

The project first required removing the barn’s old layers of paint, and care had to be taken not to damage the frame. Once the barn was stripped down to its wood, workers were able to apply a gray coat of primer, followed by two coats of red paint.

Red Barn was first built in the early 1900s and was originally painted white. It was an important part of the agricultural curriculum. Students utilized the location as a dairy barn, processing milk to be sold to Kirksville residents.

In the 1920s, the dairy program was discontinued and for half a century the barn sat idle, used only for storage. During the 1970s, it was painted red for the first time, and the area around the barn was developed into a park.

The Red Barn Arts and Crafts Festival was first celebrated on campus in 1974, and the barn has remained a Truman landmark ever since. In total, the repainting project took about five weeks and was completed with time left to spare before last fall’s festival.

Presidential Search

The Truman State University Presidential Search Committee continues to move forward with the search for the next University president. Updates on the process can be found online at, along with information on the Presidential Search Committee and the Stakeholder Advisory Committee, two groups that have been identified to represent the various constituents of the University. It is anticipated that the Board of Governors will announce the next president of Truman State University by early March 2017.

Partnership Seeks to Produce More STEM Graduates

Truman is one of only eight Missouri universities to be included in a joint $5 million grant from the National Science Foundation’s Louis Stokes Alliances for Minority Participation (LSAMP) program.

Other universities joining Truman to receive funding from the grant include Harris-Stowe State University, Lincoln University, the University of Missouri-Columbia, the University of Missouri-St. Louis, Washington University in St. Louis, the University of Central Missouri and St. Louis Community College. Truman students will get the chance to participate in unique activities and events taking place at the partner campuses.

As part of the grant, Truman will receive $350,000, which will be used in developing educational solutions to address a gap in the enrollment, retention and graduation rates of underrepresented students.

Missouri’s LSAMP grant aims to double the number of underrepresented minority science, technology, engineering and math graduates by 2021. Underrepresented minorities are identified by LSAMP as African-Americans, Hispanic Americans, American Indians, Alaska Natives, Native Hawaiians and Native Pacific Islanders.

Department of Nursing Earns $150,000 Grant

The Department of Nursing has been awarded a grant of $150,000 from the Missouri Board of Nursing and the Department of Higher Education.

Eight Missouri universities were selected to receive grants of up to $150,000 through the Nursing Education Incentive Grant to expand their nursing education programs. The grants, totaling nearly $1 million, aim to increase the number of nurses in Missouri, especially in areas where a shortage of health care professionals exists.

The funds will be used to add faculty and create new programs that will allow more students to study nursing.

Food Court Renovations Highlight Student Favorites

After closing Mainstreet Market for renovations in the summer, Truman brought four new major additions to the Student Union Building for its reopening in the fall.

Entirely remodeled to be more energy efficient and environmentally sustainable, Mainstreet Market welcomed eateries Chick-Fil-A, Mein Bowl, Slice of Life and Wholly Habaneros. The selections were made based on Sodexo’s most popular student meal choices and feature a wide variety of options.

In addition to the remodeled food court, this year has seen an increase in the number of premium nights in the semester and more extensive variety in dining hall menus.

Laser Shows Bring Crowds to Planetarium

Throughout October, the Del and Norma Robison Planetarium drew visitors to campus from across northeast Missouri with a series of musically inspired laser light shows.

In conjunction with the Kirksville Tourism Office, the planetarium hosted daily laser shows from Oct. 8-22. The presentations featured music by artists including the Beatles, Pink Floyd and U2, among others. Utilizing a catalogue of 19 different programs, the planetarium welcomed visitors to a total of 32 separate viewings during the 15-day period.

Due to the success of the first set of shows, the planetarium brought many of the popular October laser shows back for the holiday season. This time programming ran from Dec. 2-10 and included additional holiday shows for the entire family to enjoy.

Although the laser shows have concluded, the planetarium continues to entertain guests with regular showings that focus on planet Earth, the universe and mankind’s place in the cosmos. A new planetarium show, “The Dark Matter Mystery,” will debut in the spring semester. The planetarium can accommodate 60 guests at a time for screenings on its 1,800-square-foot panoramic screen. To learn more about the planetarium and its programming, or to purchase tickets to a show, visit

Truman Celebrates 20 Years as No. 1 Public School

For a full two decades, Truman has been the No. 1 public university in the Midwest region.

As the school year kicked off last fall, Truman earned the top spot in U.S. News & World Report’s annual rankings for the 20th year in a row. Truman has been No. 1 for so long that nearly 40 percent of the University’s living alumni attended at some point during the school’s reign.

In the most recent U.S. News & World Report rankings, Truman also tied for the No. 8 spot overall in the Midwest region among both private and public institutions that provide a full range of undergraduate and master’s programs. Truman far outpaced the other Missouri public schools on the list, the closest of which was more than 50 spots lower.

High praise for Truman came in several supplemental categories. It was the only public school in the Midwest to earn a spot in the “A Strong Commitment to Undergraduate Teaching” section, coming in tied for No. 2. Truman was the only Missouri school to make the section.

The University’s dedication to student research led to Truman’s inclusion in the “Programs to Look For” section in the category of “Undergraduate Research/Creative Projects.” Schools on the unranked list were cited as institutions where “students do intensive and self-directed research or creative work that results in an original or scholarly paper or project that can be formally presented on or off campus.”

Another appearance for Truman came on the “A-Plus Schools for B Students” list. Schools in this unranked category were acknowledged as institutions where such students “have a decent shot at being accepted and thriving” because “spirit and hard work could make all the difference to the admissions office.”

Truman also earned a spot on the “Best Colleges for Veterans” list, coming in as the No. 1 public school in the Midwest, No. 8 overall for the region. To qualify for this list, schools must participate in the Yellow Ribbon Program and have 20 or more students who used GI Bill benefits to finance their educations.

The U.S. News & World Report honor came just weeks after Washington Monthly named Truman the No. 1 master’s university in the nation.

The Washington Monthly rankings are unique in that they place an importance on social mobility, research and service. Along with traditional benchmarks such as graduation rates and costs, schools are rewarded for criteria including the number of first-generation students enrolled and the number of students contributing to community service projects, serving in ROTC and going on to serve in the Peace Corps. Additionally, Washington Monthly looks at the number of bachelor’s recipients who go on to earn a Ph.D. and the success rates and earning potential of students 10 years after enrollment. Truman was the only Missouri school to be included in Washington Monthly’s top 100.

Truman’s affordability led to another distinction in the Washington Monthly rankings. In the “Best Bang for the Buck” category, Truman was recognized as the No. 3 public school, and No. 9 overall, in the Midwest region.

Another notable accomplishment came when rated Truman at No. 10 on its list of the “Top 50 Best Value Colleges for 2017.” Schools were ranked based on return on investment, cost and reputation. Truman was the only Missouri school to be included and placed ahead of such nationally known institutions as Stanford, Vanderbilt, Michigan, Virginia and Princeton. Editors of the list said that Truman “is one of the best educational investments in the Midwest.”

For more Truman accolades, visit