Millersville University of Pennsylvania

Last updated
Millersville University of Pennsylvania
Millersville seal.png
MottoSeize the Opportunity
Type Public liberal arts
master's level
doctoral level
Endowment $43.9 million [1]
President Daniel A. Wubah
Academic staff
299 full-time
Administrative staff
540 staff and administration
Undergraduates 7,424
Postgraduates 1,081
Location, ,
Campus Suburban, 250 acres (1,011,714 m²)
Colors Black and Gold
Athletics NCAA Division IIPSAC
Nickname Marauders
MascotMillersville Marauder and Skully (Marauders)
Millersville logo.svg

Millersville University of Pennsylvania (commonly known as Millersville University,The Ville, or MU) is a public university in Millersville, Pennsylvania. It is one of the fourteen schools that comprise the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education (PASSHE). Founded in 1855 as the first Normal School in Pennsylvania, Millersville is accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools [2] and the Pennsylvania Department of Education. [3]


First established in 1854 as the Millersville Academy out of the since-demolished Old Main, [4] the Academy specialized in a series of workshop-style teacher institutes in response to the 1834 Free School Act of Pennsylvania. [5]


Millersville University was established in 1855 as the Lancaster County Normal School, the first state normal school in Pennsylvania. It subsequently changed its name to Millersville State Normal School in 1859 and Millersville later became a state teachers college in 1927. It was renamed Millersville State College in 1959 and officially became Millersville University of Pennsylvania in 1983.

The original Old Main of 1854 Millersville University Old Main.jpg
The original Old Main of 1854

In November 1852, the Lancaster County Educational Association met in Strasburg to form an institute for teacher training. The first institute, which led to the Lancaster County Normal School and received major support from Thomas H. Burrowes, was held in January 1853. While the Association was working to organize, Lewis M. Hobbs, a popular teacher of the Manor district, lobbied heavily in Manor township for a more permanent training facility for teachers. Jacob Shenk, a local farmer, donated a tract of five acres (the present-day site of Ganser Library, Biemesderfer Executive Center, and Dutcher Hall) with Hobbs collecting investments from local residents. On April 17, 1855, Lancaster County Normal School opened with James P. Wickersham as principal and a peak of 147 teachers in attendance. The president of the school was Thomas H. Burrowes and vice-president was Lewis M. Hobbs. November 5, 1855, marked the start of the first full session, with a new expansion off the original Academy building that made 96 rooms available for nearly 200 students and their teachers. [6]

Completed in 1894, the Biemesderfer Executive Center, also known as the Old Library, is the centerpiece of Millersville University's campus. The Executive Committee of the Board of Trustees designated $27,500 for the construction of the library in 1891, with the contract awarded to Lancastrian D.H. Rapp, who submitted the lowest bid in a blind auction. [7]

The Millersville University Library is housed in Ganser Hall. In September 2011, the University closed Ganser Hall for two years for renovations. [8] On August 26, 2013, the Ganser Library reopened as the McNairy Library and Learning Forum at Ganser Hall.

School principals

College/University presidents





Housing options include Shenks Hall, Reighard Hall (formerly the Inn at Millersville), Brookwood Court and Healthy Living apartments.

Lombardo Welcome Center

On August 29, 2015, local community members Samuel and Dena Lombardo announced a gift to Millersville University of $1.2M for the creation of the University's new Welcome Center and first state-of-the-art Net-Zero energy building on campus. Then university president, Dr. Anderson, appropriated over $6.3M in university funds, bringing the final cost to over $7.5M. [11] This building, named the Lombardo Welcome Center, opened in January 2018. Equipped with solar panels, state-of-the-art energy-efficient glass, and an interior design inspired by feng shui principles, the Lombardo Welcome Center will produce as much energy as it consumes. [12] On the grounds of former Hull Hall, the Lombardo Welcome Center houses the offices of Admissions, Housing & Residential Life, University Marketing and Communications, and the Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs & Enrollment Management.

Francine G. McNairy Library & Learning Forum

McNairy Library at Millersville University McNairy Library at Millersville University.jpeg
McNairy Library at Millersville University

Originally built from 1965-1967 on the grounds of Old Main, the Helen Ganser Library closed its doors in 2011 for an extensive 2-year renovation project and re-opened in 2013 as the Francine G. McNairy Library & Learning Forum. The entire complex is named after Millersville's 13th President, Dr. Francine McNairy, who began her career at Millersville first as Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs before becoming President in 2003. [13] Ganser Hall, named for Helen A. Ganser (1911-1952), librarian and head of the Library Science Department, [14] is the 9-story building that houses the University's academic collection. Serving as the academic heart of campus for over 40 years, Ganser Hall's beginning with the two famous "Bookwalks" of 1967.

Currently, the Library offers a laptop borrowing service for students, has rooms available for reservation, is home to a 24-hour study room [15] and is a part of the EZ-Borrow network, where students, faculty and staff can request a book from another library and arrives in as little as four days to the circulation desk. [16] The Library also hosts several student-worker positions each semester. [17]

Bus service

The Red Rose Transit Authority (RRTA) provides bus service to Millersville University via the Route 16, MU Xpress, and MU Park City Xpress routes. The Route 16 bus operates daily year-round and connects the university to Lancaster. The MU Xpress bus operates weekdays while the university is in session as a loop route around the campus. The MU Park City Xpress operates daily while the university is in session and connects the university to the Park City Center shopping mall. Students with their university ID can ride the Route 16, MU Xpress, and MU Park City Xpress for free when the university is in session. [18]

Performing Arts

Millersville's Office of Visual and Performing Arts manages two performing arts centers in Lancaster County: The Ware Center and Winter Visual & Performing Arts Center. [19]

Winter Visual & Performing Arts Center

Millersville University Music Students utilizing the tech in the piano lab. Millersville University Music Students.jpg
Millersville University Music Students utilizing the tech in the piano lab.

Built as an expansion of Lyte Auditorium in Alumni Hall, [20] the new Charles R. and Anita B Winter Visual and Performing Arts Center has a new entrance off Cottage Avenue in Millersville. The grand opening occurred on Friday, October 12, 2012 after two years of renovations to the original structure, Lyte Auditorium. Named for local philanthropist Charles Winter, whose daughters are both Millersville graduates, [21] The new Visual and Performing Arts Center, a $26 million construction and renovation project, [22] enhances the original 29,041-square-foot building of 700 seats with a 59,452-square-foot addition. [23] Part of the University's master plan to effectively use and reuse existing land, facilities, and infrastructure, the new Winter Visual & Performing Arts Center houses features a concert hall, recital hall, performance hall, classrooms, a recording studio, piano lab, a music library, faculty offices and more. [24] Known by students as the VPAC (for Visual and Performing Arts Building), other features of the state-of-the-art building are a scenery shop, soundproof classrooms, several sitting areas, a music library and approximately 20 Soundlok rooms, which are modular sound-isolation rooms for practicing. [20]

The Ware Center

A crowd watches a performance at The Ware Center The Ware Center at Millersville University.jpg
A crowd watches a performance at The Ware Center

The Ware Center is a performing arts center in Lancaster, PA and the Lancaster city campus of Millersville University. Located on North Prince Street at the end of Lancaster's Gallery Row, the Center is part of the Millersville University's Department of Visual & Performing Arts. [25] [26] Originally designed by architect Philip Johnson, the $32 million building opened in 2008 as the home of the now defunct Pennsylvania Academy of Music. [27] [26] [28] Since 2010, it has hosted classes for nearly 1,000 Millersville University students during Fall and Spring semesters. [29] Various art exhibits and live performances are held at this venue throughout the year, and the facility can be rented out as a private event venue and banquet hall. [27]


Millersville University has 8,725 students with a student-faculty ratio of 19:1 and an average class size of 26.

Degree programs and certifications

According to the 2020-2021 undergraduate course catalog Millersville University offers: [30]

According to the Graduate and Professional Studies program finder, Millersville University offers 74 graduate programs: [31]



Millersville University sponsors 19 intercollegiate varsity sports which compete in NCAA Division II.

Intramural and club teams

1991-1992 DVCHC Co-Champions 1992-1993 DVCHC Champions 1993-1994 DVCHC Runner-Up 1993-1994 ACHA National Tournament participant hosted by Siena College 1994-1995 DVCHC Champions 1996-1997 DVCHC Runner-Up 1998-1999 DVCHC Runner-Up 1999-2000 ranked #9 in ACHA North East region 2001-2002 ranked #14 in ACHA North East region 2011–2012 GNCHC Runner-up 2011-2012 GNCHC Western Division Champions 2011-2012 GNCHC Regular Season Champions 2012-2013 GNCHC Runner-Up 2013-2014 GNCHC Runner-Up 2014-2015 season: received ranking votes in final ranking period in South East Region 2014–2015 CSCHC Regular Season Champions 2015-2016 season: received ranking votes in final ranking period in South East Region 2018-2019 season: ranked #17 in southeast region (ranking period #2), #18 in southeast region (ranking period #1) [57]

Greek life

Honor Societies

Music Fraternities

Notable alumni

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Bemesderfer Executive Center or the Old Library, is an 1894 Romanesque Revival building on the campus of Millersville University. Built to replace the over-crowded library in Old Main, Bemesderfer Executive served many roles over the years and now serves as the Office of the President and Provost. With the opening of Ganser Hall in 1967, the "old" library was used as the temporary union building before being renovated and rededicated as Biemesderfer Executive Center. It was named for President D. Luke Biemesderfer (1943-1965) and his wife, Elva, both 1917 graduates of the normal school. It houses the offices of the top administration on campus as well as the H. Edgar Sherts Board Room, named for an 1896 graduate and prominent member of the Board of Trustees (1910-1936).

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Coordinates: 40°00′00″N76°21′22″W / 40°N 76.356°W / 40; -76.356