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Lamson Library

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Michael J. Spinelli, Jr. Center for University Archives and Special Collections

Timeline of Institutional Names

1808 - 1870 ~ Plymouth Holmes Academy

1871 - 1939 Plymouth Normal School

1939 - 1963 Plymouth Teachers College

1963 - 2003 Plymouth State College

2003 - present Plymouth State University

List of Presidents of the Institution

Short biographies of the presidents can be found at the President's website.

  • Silas H. Pearl (1871-1873)
  • Horatio O. Ladd (1873-1876)
  • Ambrose P. Kelsey (1876-1879)
  • Henry Pitt Warren (1879-1883)
  • Charles Collins Rounds (1883-1896)
  • Alfred Hills Campbell (1896-1900)
  • James E. Klock (1900-1911)
  • Ernest Leroy Silver (1911-1946)
  • Howard R. Jones (1946-1951)
  • Harold Eldred Hyde (1951-1977)
  • Kasper C. Marking (1977-1983)
  • Madie Barrett, Interim (1983-1984)
  • William J. Farrell (1984-1992)
  • Theodora J. Kalikow, Interim (1992-1993)
  • Donald P. Wharton (1993-2006)
  • Sara Jayne Steen (2006-2015)
  • Donald L. Birx (2015 - )

Historical Information Sources

The Plymouth State Historical Collection includes images of Plymouth State buildings and campus scenes as far back as 1896.

The Campus Publications Collection includes a selection of periodicals published by the college from its days as Plymouth Normal School up through today. In most cases the full text of these periodicals is searchable. These publications contain a wealth of information on campus events, as well as student, faculty and alumni news.

The History of Plymouth State is a brief history of Plymouth State found on the About PSU page.

An Unfinished Story is a “story” tour of the Plymouth State campus designed by students in the spring 2012 Public History course.

The Plymouth State University Buildings project contains photographs and short histories of many of PSU’s buildings and their namesakes, as well as a timeline of building construction and acquisitions at the school. 

The books listed below are frequently used histories of the town of Plymouth and also Plymouth State. Please note that there are circulating copies of these items, as well as Special Collections copies.

School Mottos

1924 Out of school life into life’s school

1925 Non nobis sed alus (Not for ourselves but for others)

1926 Non finis sed initium (Not the end but the beginning)

1927 Non sibi sed omnibus (Not for self but for all)

1928-1929 Know thyself

1930 Ut Prosim (That I May Serve)

1931 Vincit qui patitur (He conquers who endures)

1932 Potest qui posse putat (He can who thinks he can)

1933-1939 Vincit qui se vincit (He conquers who conquers himself)

1940-today Ut Prosim (That I May Serve)


The call number for yearbooks is LD4561.P925 C6 Oversize. The library has several copies of each year, and one copy is located in the circulating collection, on the Oversize shelves on the Upper Level of the Library. There are also copies available in the Spinelli Room, if you are unable to find the year you are looking for in the circulating collection.

Please also visit The Plymouth Yearbooks Collection for a selection of volumes online, years including 1922, 1924-2017.  This collection contains yearbooks from the Plymouth Normal School era to the present.  The online collection is publicly available and materials may be downloaded.

The current yearbook title, The Conning Tower, first appeared with the publication of the 1928 yearbook. 

Alma Mater

Where the Pemi shines so fair, ‘neath Prospect calm to view

Through deep woods and gentle meadows flow its waters blue

Sound their message in our chorus, lift our voices free

Honor to thy memory glorious, Plymouth hail to thee.


Clear the vision of thy mountains strong, thy rock-ribbed vales,

Gentle are thy bending birches staunch against the gales

Sound their message in our chorus, lift our voices free

Honor to thy memory glorious, Plymouth hail to thee.