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*On this date in 1911, East Tennessee State University (ETSU) began classes. ETSU is a public (HBCU) research university in Johnson City, Tennessee.
East Tennessee State University was founded as East Tennessee State Normal School in 1911 to educate teachers; the K-12 training school was called University School. East Tennessee State officially became a college in 1925 when it changed its name to East Tennessee State Teachers College, gaining accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools in 1927. By 1930, the school's name had changed again to East Tennessee State Teacher's College, Johnson City. In 1943, East Tennessee State Teacher's College was expanded into a college with a range of liberal arts offerings, becoming East Tennessee State College.
The college became East Tennessee State University in 1963, adopting the name it holds today. In 1973, Shelbridge became the president's official residence. In April 2002, the Basler Center for Physical Activity was opened. The building contains an indoor 40-foot (12 m) climbing wall, a walking/jogging track, racquetball/basketball courts, an indoor swimming pool, meeting rooms, and a 15,000-square-foot (1,400 m2) weight room. The Basler Center offers various fitness classes, from yoga to martial arts. ETSU announced plans to open a College of Pharmacy in 2005, rapidly receiving local support to secure the approval.
Full accreditation was granted in June 2010, shortly after the first class of the Bill Gatton College of Pharmacy graduated. In December 2007, the College of Public and Allied Health split into two new colleges, the College of Public Health and the College of Clinical and Rehabilitative Health Sciences. Both are part of ETSU's Health Sciences Division, including the James H. Quillen College of Medicine, the Bill Gatton College of Pharmacy, and the College of Nursing. In late 2009, the Tennessee Higher Education Commission and the Tennessee Board of Regents authorized the formation of a Ph.D. program in Sport Physiology and Performance. This program, the first of its kind in the United States, focuses on sports science and physiology in athletics. It features concentrations in sports physiology and sports performance and started in 2010.
The research mission of ETSU advances scholarly and creative activity that enhances the teaching and learning environment and benefits the regional, national, and global communities served. ETSU strongly supports and encourages faculty and student research. In FY12, ETSU was awarded over $50 million in research, public service, and training/instruction grants. The ETSU Office of Research and Sponsored Programs Administration (ORSPA) organizes an annual event, the Appalachian Student Research Forum, to showcase their research via poster and oral presentations. At the April 2012 event, over 150 student posters, oral presentations, and over $5,000 in prize money went to undergraduate, graduate, medical students, medical residents, and postdoctoral fellows.
ETSU Campus Recreation completed an expansion of the BCPA in 2013 and opened the Campus Recreation Field Complex. The BCPA expansion included a volleyball / indoor soccer/basketball court, a martial arts studio, a yoga studio, a change room, an extra 4,000 square foot area for the weight room, and a cycling studio. Although it is part of Tennessee's State University and Community College System, they are governed by an institutional Board of Trustees. As of May 2017, it is the fourth-largest university in the state and has off-campus centers in nearby Kingsport, Elizabethton, and Sevierville. ETSU is among "R2: Doctoral Universities – High research activity."
It hosts the James H. Quillen College of Medicine, one of the top schools in the United States for rural medicine and primary care education; the Bill Gatton College of Pharmacy; the College of Nursing, the College of Public Health, and the recently formed College of Clinical and Rehabilitative Health Sciences. Unique programs include an accredited program in Bluegrass, Old-Time, and Country Music, America's lone master's degree in Storytelling, and the Appalachian Studies programs focused on the surrounding Appalachian region. The ETSU Campus Recreation Field Complex includes a covered pavilion, providing a great location for teams to gather before or after an intramural game.
Students can hike on the Appalachian Trail thirty minutes from campus, view wildflowers in a national wilderness area, or explore the world-famous rhododendron gardens atop Roan Mountain (6,285 feet). Nearby mountain streams attract students who love trout fishing and waterfalls. These streams also create recreation opportunities on nearby T.V.A. lakes for skiing, boating, and bass fishing. Over the mountain ridges in North Carolina, students in winter can find snow ski resorts and lodges. An hour away to the west awaits the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and to the east, the Mount Rogers National Recreation Area.