UW-Oshkosh was founded as a Wisconsin University in 1871. At its creation it was the third state normal school in Wisconsin, dedicated primarily to the training of Teachers. George S. Albee was the first president of the college and began the school with a faculty of 5 normal school teachers, a model school director and three teachers. The first class had 43 students.
Tuition was originally free to anyone who agreed to teach in Wisconsin public schools. Room and board were the high costs of school, with the book rental fee coming up next.
Oshkosh was the first state normal school in the nation to have a kindergarten (this is NOT the first kindergarten, though). Eventually 'domestic science' and 'industrial education' were added to the available programs at the school.
In March 1916 the school's main building burnt beyond repair. It was replaced by Dempsey Hall, which still stands today as the main office building of the campus.
Oshkosh renamed from a normal school to the Oshkosh State Teachers College in 1927, allowing it to become a degree-granting institution. Under the presidency of Forrest R. Polk the college scraped through the Depression, World War II and the Korean War. From the large number of veterans returning to college, the increase in students directly from high school to college and the out-dated style came the second name and status change of Oshkosh. In 1951 Oshkosh became the Wisconsin State College, Oshkosh. This gave the college the ability to offer liberal arts programs.
Finally in 1964 Oshkosh became a member of the state university. Still not quite the type of university it is today, this did warrant yet another name change: Wisconsin State University Oshkosh. Colleges of Business and Nursing were added and the teacher education program became officially the College of Education and Human Services. This also allowed the creation of graduate programs.
The University of Wisconsin Oshkosh actually came into being in 1971. State wide the university system was merging and changing, shifting into the structure that we know today. From this point forward changes to UW-Oshkosh have been primarily cosmetic or to keep pace with technology. Of course degree programs are constantly shifting to meet the changing needs of graduates, but the core colleges remain the same and the overall structure has become stable.
Currently classes take place in two 14-week semesters, fall and spring. The month of January is considered the "interim," and intense, 3 hour a day, 5 days a week classes are available. These are considered part of the fall semester. The few weeks between the end of spring semester and the beginning of summer classes are also considered an interim, and a class taken then is part of the spring semester. Our calendar does not usually coincide with the beginnings, endings and breaks of the other UW calendars.
Albee Hall: The location of the pool, a gym & weight-lifting area. Receives name from the first president of the university. Completed in 1956.
Arts & Communications: The location for… wait, bet you can't guess! Take a hard look at the name, it's creativity might throw you off!… the campus radio station (WRST 90.3 FM - basically only comes in for Oshkosh), nearly all Radio/TV/Film classes, the Fredric March theatre, music classes, the music hall and a small room for art showings. Completed in 1971.
Blackhawk Commons: Almost exclusively the dining hall for students with meal plans. Besides food-related offices, Parking Services is also located in the basement of this building.
Clow Social Science Center: This building is connected to Nursing Ed. Technically it's home to Business, Journalism, History, Psychology, Political Science, Public Affairs and Social Work departments. In reality main offices are located in here, but professors have offices scattered widely throughout campus, wherever space allows. It has a student computer lab, all PCs, only open during normal class hours.
Dempsey Hall: Administrative offices are housed here, as well as Admissions, the Counseling Center, Career Services, Student Accounts & the campus Postal Service. It's the oldest building on campus and I personally think the most beautiful. Ivy vines cover huge portions of it, it's entirely red brick and has all the funny old paintings and black & white photos of professors from through the years. Completed in 1918.
Forrest R. Polk Library: Decent as college libraries go. Has a fabulous resource center for teachers with a librarian there who knows everything about teaching resources. Bonus for us Edu. majors. There's also a small computer lab, a few computers in reference with access to a wide variety of information database type sites and plenty of quiet study nooks.
Gruenhangen Confrence Center: Basically a dorm like any other, but it's been opened up for other uses. Lounges have become "meeting rooms" and they don't shove 2 people into those tiny dorm rooms, unlike with us poor students. The university's pretty proud of it, but personally I think it's just another way for them to gouge money since there's a limit on how much they can raise tuition each year (yes I'm bitter about tuition being raised).
Halsey Science Center: Home to all the sciences except Geology, but including Computer Science. Now has a student computer lab and the Unix lab, which is available only to computer science majors or minors. Recent renovations have significantly improved the pit classrooms, labs and computer labs. Remodeling also added a coffee shop on the second floor (the only reason I remained awake during intro to C++)!
Harrington Hall: Home of Geology. I don't know why Geology gets its very own building, but it houses some neat toys. Chemistry even gets an occasional use of them. This is one of the obviously older buildings on campus, containing the quaint vine-covered quality of Dempsey, but without the majestic size and elaborate stone carving.
Kolf Sports Center: The glorified gyms. All athletic related things are focused here, with the exception of the pool. Includes an indoor track and the back entrance ways tend to flood when it rains too much or during spring thaw. Piles of sand bags don't help to curb this problem much. There are even drains, which simply fill to overflowing basically instantly.
Multicultural Education Center: One of the houses on campus which has been obtained by the university and is now used for educational purposes. Originally began university life as a dormitory, but was christened the MEC in 1971. This home is also on the National Registry of Historic Homes.
Nursing Education Center: Contains some of the most comfortable and up-to-date classrooms on campus, despite the recent streak of remodeling in other buildings. The top floors are exclusively offices for professors.
Oviatt House: Another member of the National Registry of Historic Homes, also obtained by the school to be a dormitory. Now the building is essentially offices for fundraising and scholarships given by UWO.
Pollack Alumni House: The final house on campus in the National Registry of Historic Homes, this home was a women's dorm for a time along with the Oviatt House. Now the house is the center for Alumni Affairs and is often used for gatherings, such as the English Department Convocation and creative writing workshops.
Radford Hall: Student Health Center and location of the primary campus computer lab, open 24 hours with card access and containing both PCs and MACs. The Writing Lab is also located off the computer lab, but is not a 24 hour help center. The top floors contain Department offices for English, Foreign Languages and Literature.
Reeve Memorial Union: This is the student union. Renovations have just been completed and the building now houses a whole pile miscellaneous campus needs. These include a cafeteria for students who aren't on meal plans, a coffee shop, a copy shop, the university bookstore, a convenience store, the Underground (pool tables, a "bar" although we're a Dry campus and various amateur this-or-that nights), a "movie theater" (a big room with a really nice projector) and rooms where most student groups hold their meetings.
Swart Hall: Formerly the Rose C. Swart Training School, where student teachers from the university completed their teaching education. Now it is generally known as the math building, but also houses Economics and Sociology. Contains a PC & MAC lab as well as some day-care facilities for the children of students and staff.
Titan Stadium: Home field for the Titan Football team. Not really academic at all, but definitely not a resident hall, so here it is! Oshkosh West High School also holds their football games on this field.
All residence halls are non-smoking. Men and women are designated floors (i.e. 1st floor is a girls floor, 2nd floor is boys, etc).
Evans Hall: Open during breaks and is housing for summer students.
Fletcher Hall: Has a fitness center in the basement.
North Scott Hall: 5th floor is designated "quiet."
South Scott Hall: 3rd & 4th floors are designated "quiet."
Stewart Community: single room occupancy!! Open only to upper-level undergrads and grad students, but is year-round. Also designated "quiet" at all times.
Taylor Hall: 4th floor is designated "quiet." Also open during breaks, but not for summer semester.
Any info I don't know from going to UW-O was obtained at their website: http://www.uwosh.edu/