Plymouth State University is a coeducational, residential university with an enrollment of approximately 4,192 undergraduate students and 1,072 graduate students. The school was founded as Plymouth Normal School in 1871. Since that time it has evolved to a Teachers College, a State College, and finally to a State University in 2003.
It was founded as a teacher's college, and it still retains a distinguished teaching program/major to this day. Since that time however, it has diversified its academic profile, adding many new majors and fields of study. The school has become known in recent years for its meteorology program (Judd Gregg Meteorology Institute), which is considered one of the best in the eastern United States, and is also strong in business, visual and performing arts, interdisciplinary studies, and psychology. Also, new majors such as Criminal Justice have been added and other programs have increased their stature, especially the natural sciences with the creation of The Center for the Environment.The university now has a total of nineteen academic departments, with nearly forty different options within the major programs. The campus has also grown substantially in recent years with the addition of the Hartman Union Building (HUB) and Boyd Science Center and renovations/expansions to the Silver Center for the Arts, Lamson Library, Prospect Dining Hall, and the Physical Education Center. To accommodate the increased enrollment figures, a new residence hall, Langdon Woods, was built, opening for residents in Fall 2006. Langdon Woods is one of the first collegiate residence halls in the U.S. to gain “Gold” certification by the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Green Building Rating System, which is the nationally accepted benchmark for the design, construction, and operation of high performance green buildings. There are also plans to expand certain key or "heavy use" buildings on campus, such as the P.E. Center, to accommodate new programs and athletic activities. Robert Frost, America's Poet Laureate, lived and taught at Plymouth from 1911–1912. The college has a campus newspaper distributed every Friday called The Clock, the first college newspaper in the nation to have a Sudoku puzzle.
Home to the famous PSU clocktower, it stands as one of oldest buildings on campus. This building serves the needs of the Education, English, and Social Science Departments. There are also several Computer Science, and Seminar type classes held here as well.
Houses the Department of Computer Science & Technology, featuring two full size computer labs, as well as the Geography Program.
Hyde Hall: One of the largest academic halls on campus, this facility is the home of many departments at the University. These include Foreign Languages, Mathematics, Business, Philosophy, and Psychology. It was named after longtime PSU professor and later President Harold Hyde.
Boyd Science Center:
Newly renovated and expanded in 2003, the Boyd Science Center is a state of the art facility that serves as the home of PSU's three Natural Sciences departments: the Department of Biological Science (Bio); the Department of Atmospheric Sciences and Chemistry (ASC), housing the university's highly-regarded Meteorology program; and the new Department of Environmental Science and Policy (ES&P).
Hartman Union Building:
The center of student life on campus, the HUB as it is universally known as is a multifunction building. It hosts a variety of functions and events, has many administrative offices related to student activities, as well as many other social amenities, such as mail center, courtroom, computer clusters, workout facilities, cafes, etc. It is also a place where many students go in between classes to take a break, or just go to pass the time and hang out with their friends.
Silver Center for the Arts:
Host of Plymouth's distinguished Performing Arts program (Music, Theatre, and Dance), the Silver Center is used for all productions of the performing arts. Spaces in Silver include the Hanaway Theatre, a large proscenium theatre and the Studio Theatre, a smaller, more intimate "black box" theatre. The Silver Center has been home to many notable student performances over the years, including Guys and Dolls, Cabaret, and Tommy.
Draper and Maynard Building (D&M):
A renovated sporting goods factory, D & M is home to the Art Department as well as Health & Human Performance Dept. D&M is also home to the Karl Drerup Art Gallery, which presents professional exhibitions, lectures, films and other regular events, as well as the Collins Gallery for the exhibition of student work.
The university currently has 19 academic departments. Within each department there are several different study options and degree programs. The most popular majors at Plymouth State continue to be Business (656 undergraduates enrolled) and Education (543 undergraduates enrolled) These two majors make up nearly 1,200 of the 4200 undergraduate degree seeking student population. Other popular majors include Physical Education, Health, and Wellness, Art, Social Science, and Psychology.
Plymouth State University's athletic teams are known as the Panthers. The athletic teams' colors are green and white. PSU competes in NCAA Division III Little East Conference (LEC) for most of its intercollegiate sports. It is most widely known for its successes in men's football, basketball, and soccer, and women's field hockey and volleyball. The school's main rival is Keene State College, which also competes in the LEC. Every year the President's Cup is awarded to the school which has more victories in total sports competitions against each other.
Plymouth State University athletics mostly take place in the Physical Education (PE) Center which was opened in the Spring of 1969. Since that time it has undergone several expansions and renovations, and plans are now being developed to build a new, larger facility. Plymouth State varsity athletic teams have generally been quite competitive and excel in certain sports..
In 2008 the Men's Rugby club won the Division III national championship, defeating Furman University in the final. Interestingly, they declined promotion to the more competitive Division II, an honor traditionally accepted by union champions.