Background and History

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The University of Wisconsin-Platteville has a long, rich history. It was founded in 1866 as the first state teacher-preparation institution in Wisconsin, then called the Platteville Normal School. Classes were held in the former Rountree Hall, located at the corner of Main and Elm Streets. Rountree Hall had been built in 1853 to accommodate the rapidly increasing enrollment of the Platteville Academy, founded in 1839 (even before Wisconsin's state-hood in 1848) by the City's Presbyterian Church.

The university also has roots as the Wisconsin Mining Trade School, established in 1907 to train specialized technicians to work in the mining operations surrounding Platteville. Classes in civil and mining engineering were added to the School's curriculum, and its name was changed to the Wisconsin Mining School. The Mining School became the Wisconsin Institute of Technology in 1939 and later merged with the Platteville State Teachers College in 1959 to become the Wisconsin State College and Institute of Technology. During the 1960s the University experienced a period of rapid growth resulting in the construction of several new buildings. In 1966, its name was changed again to the Wisconsin State University-Platteville.

The University and all other public institutions of higher education in Wisconsin merged in 1971 to form the University of Wisconsin System, governed by a single Board of Regents. As a result of the merger, the University experienced its most recent name change to the University of Wisconsin-Platteville. From its small beginning in 1839, the University has grown tremendously. Current enrollment is over 7,000 students.

The University seal displays two symbols rooted in the school's beginning. The bell is a reminder of the Platteville Normal School. The "M", originates from the Wisconsin Mining School and symbolizes the engineering programs and their roots in the historic mining industry of the Platteville area.

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