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Framingham State Celebrating 175th Anniversary With Events in Lexington Today

On July 3, 1839, three young women braved a fierce thunderstorm to enroll in a new school of higher education, which would eventually become Framingham State University.

Credit: Framingham State University
Credit: Framingham State University
What do Framingham State University and the town of Lexington have in common?

Most people may not know that the university actually got its start in the early 19th Century in Lexington, the location of the first Normal School in the country. 

Framingham State University is now 175 years old, and the public is invited to come help celebrate its founding at a very special event today, July 3.

On July 3, 1839, three young women braved a fierce thunderstorm to enroll in a new school of higher education in Lexington, Massachusetts. This school, the first state-supported school dedicated to training teachers in America, would one day become Framingham State University. (For more on Framingham State University's History, click here.)

“Normal School” is the old fashioned name for a school designed to train high school graduates to become teachers (establishing standards, or norms, for teaching). And the first in the nation was started right here in Lexington at the site of what is now the Simon Robinson Masonic Lodge at 3 Bedford Street (near Buckman Tavern).

Enjoying increasing popularity over the years, the school eventually outgrew its Lexington location, moved to a bigger campus in Framingham, and became what we know today as Framingham State University.

At 9:30 a.m. today, “Opening of the Doors,” a re-enactment ceremony of the university’s beginnings is scheduled at Masonic Lodge front lawn. This special ceremony will be followed by a reception and presentation at the Lexington Depot Building (13 Depot Square).

The Lexington Historical Society archives contain a rich history of the school’s founding, and many items will be on display at the Depot for the celebration.

All events are free and open to the public and are being jointly sponsored byFramingham State University, the Lexington Historical Society, and the Lexington Masons.

For more information call either Framingham State at 508-626-4926 or the Lexington Historical Society (781-862-1703).
Jo-Anne July 03, 2014 at 09:51 AM
My mother and I enjoyed this article very much. She was a Rainbow Girl at the Masonic Lodge in 1955. Thank you.

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