Browse Exhibits (11 total)

Homecoming at Central Methodist University


Selections from the Central Methodist University Archives depicting how Homecoming has been celebrated by the CMU community over its many years.

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Morrison Observatory


An exploration into the history of Central Methodist University's Morrison Observatory.  Constructed in 1875, the Observatory occupies a unique and interesting place in the history of both Howard County, Missouri as well as Central Methodist University.

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Service Day

ARC14 Democrat-Leader v141 no22 20150411 p1 crop.pdf

Founded in 2008 as Leadership and Service Day, CMU Service Day is an affirmation of Central Methodist University's commitment to social responsiblity and ethical leadership.


Stedman Hall of Science


Photos, documents, and other information on the largest classroom building on Central Methodist University's Fayette campus.  This retrospective was created in honor of Stedman's 2017 renovation, 54 years after its dedication in 1963.

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The Lillian Kappelmann Collection


Lillian Kappelmann was a graduate of Howard-Payne College's Conservatory of Music.  A piano virtuoso, she studied with N. Louise Wright, Dean of the Conservatory.  At the time,Howard-Payne College was all-female. Seven years later, it would merge with the nearby all-male Central College, to recreate Central College as a coed institution.

The following materials were generously donated to Central Methodist University's Archives and Special Collections by her surviving family.  They provide a fascinating and detailed look into what life as a music student entailed, over a hundred years ago.

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A Brief History of Racial Integration at Central Methodist University


When Central Methodist University was established as Central College in 1854, no rule in its charter prohibited the admission of African Americans.  However, at that time, the enslavement of African Americans in the United States was in full force. The American Civil War had not yet begun, and those African Americans who were free lived as second-class citizens. 

Furthermore, Central College was established by the Missouri conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South—a branch of Methodism that embraced the practice of slavery, contrary to founder John Wesley’s teachings.  So while no written rule prohibited the entry of African Americans as students or faculty, an unspoken cultural rule did.

This unspoken rule remained in effect until the 1950s, when the tide of white Americans' public opinion was beginning to turn in favor of integration—of African Americans entering spaces considered “white” by either law or culture.  The petition that circulated among Central’s students and faculty, while undated, probably dates to around 1950-1951.  In 1953, the first African-American students began to attend classes, and the first African American graduate walked with the class of 1957.

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The Navy V-12 Program at Central Methodist University


Faced with a shrinking student body as college-aged American men joined the war effort, Central Methodist University (then Central College) opened its doors and classrooms to training sailors, navigators, and engineers in a Navy V-12 unit.

In doing so, Central bolstered its enrollment numbers as well as contributed sailors to the war front.


Band Day: A Central Methodist University Tradition


Founded in 1964, Band Day was originally a part of Central Methodist University (then Central Methodist College)'s Homecoming festivities. High school and middle school bands from the central Missouri area were invited to compete during Homecoming half-time.

Over the next half-century, Band Day has evolved into an event and celebration in its own right, attracting hundreds of students all over the state-- students who, in many cases, become Central Methodist alumni.


Clingenpeel Hall


Clingenpeel Gymnasium was built in 1906, to house a burgoening champion basketball team? Central had had previous gymnasiums, but those had been relatively temporary wooden structures. The "new gymnasium" was brick and stone, with a hardwood floor and a track along the inside. The entire process took a year and cost $14,000 to build (over $393,000 today)-- and went $3000 over budget.

In 1961, the Gymnasium was remodeled following a fire, to include classroom spaces, a rifle and archery range, and a dance studio. It went through further renovations in 1988 and 1999.


QR code text for HI390

This will include links to text generated for a QR code project for HI390 (Special Topics in History: Museum Curation and Management). All text will be linked to via QR codes placed around the CMU campus.

All text in the following pages was written by Shelby Prentzler and Maclaren Senor, for their final HI390 project.