Mission, Vision, Learning Commitments, History and Traditions

Mission Statement

We prepare our students for life, work and citizenship in the twenty-first century.

Vision Statement

Through active discovery, applied knowledge and creative interaction, we positively transform our students and the communities where they live and work.

Our Vision Defined

St. Cloud State University makes a positive, long-term impact on the lives of our students. We provide rigorous and relevant academic experiences with engaged, active learning opportunities in an intellectually vibrant, inclusive and diverse campus community. Our graduates are well-prepared to act as responsible global citizens and professionals who remain actively connected with our University.

Learning Commitments

  • Active and applied learning
  • Community engagement
  • Sustainability
  • Global and cultural understanding


St. Cloud State University (SCSU) opened its doors to students in 1869, under the name Third State Normal School. The school consisted of one building, the Stearns House, a renovated hotel purchased by the state Legislature for $3,000. Classrooms were on the first floor, the "model school" was on second floor and a women's dormitory was housed on the third floor.

The five-member faculty was headed by Principal Ira Moore. Of the 53 original students, 43 were women. From this modest beginning, St. Cloud State has evolved into a university with a national reputation for excellence, a faculty of more than 700 and a student body of more than 16,000 full- and part-time students. SCSU is the largest of the 32 institutions of the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities System.

In 1898, the school began offering a junior college curriculum. In 1914, the school dropped its secondary education program entirely. The legislature authorized a name change in 1921, allowing the school to adopt the name St. Cloud State Teachers College (the word "teachers" was deleted in 1957). In 1975, St. Cloud State became a university, comprised of five colleges and a graduate school.

The first bachelor's degrees were awarded in 1925, with master's degree programs offered beginning in 1953. SCSU now confers degrees from its colleges of Business, Education, Fine Arts and Humanities, Science and Engineering, Social Sciences, and the School of Graduate and Continuing Studies.

Building on its rich history as a teacher preparatory college, SCSU has built strong academic programs in other areas. The G.R. Herberger College of Business, for example, is recognized as one of the top business colleges in the country and is one of only four in the state that is nationally accredited. Within the past decade, the College of Science and Engineering established and gained full accreditation for its electrical engineering program.

The University also has international studies centers in Australia, Chili, China, Costa Rica, Czech Republic, England, France and Germany. Students and faculty from St. Cloud State study at these centers and international exchanges are fostered. Currently, more than 1,000 students from over 80 countries study at SCSU.

The University serves regional businesses and industries through its applied research centers. Priority areas of research at St. Cloud State University are computer control of manufacturing technologies, material analysis, biotechnology, microelectronics, and software development and design.

University life includes thriving and enriching recreation programs, arts and performance areas, athletic teams, lectures and student organizations.

Today, SCSU is a multipurpose University with more than 85,000 alumni. Recognized as a national leader in education, St. Cloud State University is educating citizens for the entire world.


The Husky Nickname: St. Cloud State's nickname has gone through several changes over the years. Early nicknames included "Normals," "Teachers," "Bear Cats," "Peds," and "Flying Clouds."

There are several theories about how the nickname "Huskies" began to be used. One says that it is a result of a student contest. Another suggests that the name originated with the football team. There was a story in the February 4, 1938, edition of the College Chronicle which referred to the "football huskies." Since huskies was not capitalized in the story, the author could have been referring to the team's size and this possibly led to the nickname.

Another theory is that the nickname originated within the football team. "I think it occurred during Coach Kasch's days as football coach (1935-42)," said John Weisman, former SCSU Dean of Men and former coach. "The team just started calling themselves the "Huskies."

Why the name was chosen or who exactly selected it remains unclear. The name could have been intended to mean "burly, robust or large," "one that is husky," or "a heavily coated working dog of the arctic region."

Perhaps the nickname was meant to encompass all three meanings. Regardless of its origin, the Husky nickname continues to represent SCSU as a symbol and image of strength.

The University Seal: The University Seal was redesigned in 2001 and portrays the cupola that sits atop Riverview Building, surrounded by oak leaves. The visuals were chosen to illustrate SCSU’s long history of teacher preparation (Riverview was built to serve as the lab school for St. Cloud Normal School students to teach area children) and the University’s location on the oak-crowned banks of the Mississippi River.

Get Involved

With more than 250 clubs and organizations, there is always something to do. Students make friends, acquire life skills and develop leadership skills through involvement in campus life. Students can also start clubs or organizations with help from the Department of Campus Involvement.

Fitness, aquatics, intramurals and outdoor opportunities are available through Sport Facilities and Campus Recreation. Students can use an array of outstanding facilities, the field house, the turf at Husky Stadium and much more.

Have an idea for an event or a speaker? Contact the Department of Campus Involvement. Student-run committees plan a variety of activities and entertainment, including speakers, trips, films, events, exhibits and nationally known performers. Take in a Minnesota Twins baseball game in Minneapolis, explore campus arts exhibits, volunteer, experience fraternity or sorority life or join your friends in one of our student organizations.

To learn more check out http://www.stcloudstate.edu/studentlife/getinvolved/default.asp


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