Plymouth State University (PSU), formerly Plymouth State College, is a coeducational, residential university located in Plymouth, New Hampshire, United States, with an enrollment of approximately 4,200 undergraduate students and 2,100 graduate students. The school was founded as Plymouth Normal School in 1871. Since that time it has evolved to a teachers college, a state college, and finally to a state university in 2003. PSU is part of the University System of New Hampshire.
It was founded as a teachers' college, and it still retains a teaching program/major to this day. Since that time, however, it has diversified its academic profile, adding many new majors and fields of study. The school has become known in recent years for its meteorology program (Judd Gregg Meteorology Institute), and is also strong in business, visual and performing arts, interdisciplinary studies, and psychology. Also, new majors such as criminal justice and nursing have been added and other programs have increased their stature, especially the natural sciences with the creation of The Center for the Environment.
Plymouth State is one of 311 institutions of higher learning nationwide included on the Carnegie Foundation Community Engagement Classification. According to Carnegie, PSU was honored for "excellent alignment of mission, culture, leadership, resources, and practices that support dynamic and noteworthy community engagement." Community service has long been a mainstay of the Plymouth State experience. The university�??s motto, Ut prosim (That I may serve), underscores the values upon which the Plymouth State University mission is built. During the 2009�??10 academic year, PSU students contributed approximately 220,000 hours to service.
The campus has grown substantially in recent years with the addition of the PSU Ice Arena and Welcome Center, the Museum of the White Mountains, Enterprise Center at Plymouth, and ALLWell North, a 107,600 square foot academic and athletics facility that includes a 200-meter indoor track. Langdon Woods was one of the first collegiate residence halls in the U.S. to gain �??Gold�?� certification by the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Green Building Rating System, the nationally accepted benchmark for the design, construction, and operation of high performance green buildings. Robert Frost, America's Poet Laureate, lived and taught at Plymouth from 1911 to 1912. The university's campus newspaper, The Clock, was the first college newspaper in the nation to have a Sudoku puzzle.
Plymouth State gained national attention in 1985 when Sports Illustrated featured PSU student and football player Joe Dudek as their favorite to win the Heisman Trophy. Dudek, a running back for the Panthers, earned the attention for breaking Walter Payton's mark for career touchdowns.