Western State College in Gunnison, Colorado is now, “Western Colorado University”.
Western was established in 1901 and opened for classes in 1911 as the Colorado State Normal School, the first college on the Western Slope. The initial focus as a preparatory college for teachers resulted in a commitment to teacher preparation programs that continues to this day.
In 1923 the college’s name was changed to Western State College of Colorado in recognition of its expanding programs in the liberal arts at both undergraduate and graduate levels. The college continued to grow, particularly after World War II when returning veterans attended on the GI Bill, and academic and co-curricular programs capitalizing on the college’s unique mountain setting were continually added.
In 2012, the institution was renamed Western State Colorado University.
In September 2018, the institution changed its name to Western Colorado University.