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Salem State University

Salem State University is a four-year public University located in Salem, Massachusetts. Salem State University, established in 1854 as Salem Normal School, is located approximately fifteen miles north of Boston, Massachusetts.


352 Lafayette St
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Additional Information

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Blue Orange

College History


Salem State University was founded in 1854 as the Salem Normal School under the guidance of Horace Mann. The Salem Normal School holds the distinction of being the fourth normal school to open in Massachusetts, and only the tenth to open in the United States. Initially, the school was a two-year, post-secondary educational institution reserved for women. In 1892 the school became co-educational by enrolling its first group of male students that September. In 1896 the school relocated to its current location in south Salem (to the building known today as the Sullivan Building). A few years later the Horace Mann Laboratory School was opened. With the construction of a more formal campus, the school was able to lengthen its curriculum to a four-year study program in 1921; allowing the institution to offer bachelor degrees. The first bachelor degree programs to be offered were in the fields of education, English, history and mathematics. In 1932, the school was renamed Salem Teachers College. In 1960 the school was renamed State College at Salem, and shortly thereafter in 1968 the school was renamed to Salem State College. Under the leadership of President Frederick Meier, the physical campus developed quite rapidly during the 1960s with the construction of new academic buildings, the institution�s first residence halls and a student union. Throughout the 1970s the school continued to expand its physical campus by constructing a new library, the O�Keefe Athletic Center, and by purchasing the land for what is today know as south campus. In the mid-1990s, under the leadership of President Nancy Harrington, the college moved forward with purchasing a 37.5 acre industrial site on Loring Avenue. That site, which is today known as central campus, houses the Bertolon School of Business and two residence complexes among many other prominent facilities at the university. By the late-1990s, the college began moving forward in gaining the accreditation necessary to become a university. On July 26, 2010 Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick signed into law a bill that changed the name of institution to Salem State University. The name change became official on October 26, 2010. Currently, the university is in the process of constructing a new library and learning commons to be named in honor of State Senator Frederick E. Berry as well as a new fitness center at the O�Keefe Center.

College Specialty


Salem State's mission is to provide a high quality, student-centered education that prepares a diverse community of learners to contribute responsibly and creatively to a global society, and serve as a resource to advance the region's cultural, social and economic development.



Business Henry Bertolon (1974) � CEO and founder of NECX Dennis Drinkwater (1967) � president and founder of Giant Glass Company, Inc. Creative & performing arts Keith Knight (1990) � cartoonist, creator of The K Chronicles Julie McNiven � actress, appearances on Law & Order, Mad Men, Supernatural and Stargate: Universe Mark Parisi (1984) � cartoonist, creator of Off The Mark Jacyn Tremblay (2002) � member of Universal Motown's Jada Education Charlotte Forten Grimk� (1856) � anti-slavery activist, educator, first African-American teacher to travel south during the American Civil War Nancy Harrington (1960) � 12th president of Salem State University (1990�2007) Government & politics Demetrius Atsalis � member of the Massachusetts House of Representatives (1999 � present) Arthur Broadhurst (1988) � member of the Massachusetts House of Representatives (1993�2007) Michael A Costello (1989) � member of the Massachusetts House of Representatives (2003 � present) Kim Driscoll (1989) � mayor of Salem, Massachusetts (2006 � present) Robert Fennell (1978) � member of the Massachusetts House of Representatives (1995 � present) Brian Lees (1975) � member of the Massachusetts State Senate (1989 � 2007, minority leader from 1993 � 2007) Joan Lovely (2006) � member of the Massachusetts State Senate (2013 � present) Wayne Marquis (1975) � town manager of Danvers, Massachusetts (1979 � present) Robert Preston (1966) � member of the New Hampshire State Senate (1973�1991) John F. Tierney, (1973) � member of the United States House of Representatives (1997 � present) Sports Dick Lamby (1975) � member of 1976 U.S. Olympic Hockey Team, NHL defenseman for the St. Louis Blues (1978�1981) Tom Thibodeau (1981) � associate head coach of the Boston Celtics (2007�2010), head coach of the Chicago Bulls (2010 � present)



Suburban, 115 Acres