On Feb. 26, 1887, an act of the
Alabama Legislature establishes State
Normal School Troy as an institu-
tion to train teachers for Alabama’s
schools. Joseph Macon Dill is ap-
pointed as the frst president.
Foreign languages have always been an important part of the college
curriculum, dating back to the school’s frst course catalog published in 1887. Accord-
ing to the catalog, Latin was a required course in every term and every year.
The frst teaching certifcates are
granted to three graduates in 1888.
The Baconian Literary
Society, organized in October of 1888,
was TROY’s frst student organization.
The society formed with 17 members, all
male. The following year, the organization
petitioned to allow female membership
and the move won the approval of the
The “Normal Ray” is established in 1890 as a combination literary
journal and student newspaper. Published monthly, subscriptions to the Ray are sold
for 50 cents a year.
TROY’s frst alumni as-
sociation was organized in 1890 with the
frst meeting taking place at the Lawson
Opera House. In 1891, the association
met and reorganized with 28 charter
members under the purpose of “mutual
improvement, keeping green the memory,
the friendships and pleasant incidents of
school life, and the promotion of alma
mater, all of which do we resolve to do
with all power at our command.”
In 1893, the school is renamed Troy State Normal College.
Also in 1893,
the university’s frst magazine, the “State
Normal Exponent,” begins publication.
President E.R. Eldridge is credited with organizing the frst recurring
alumni event in 1894, a party held at the Palmer house on the site of the present-day
Byrd’s Drugs in downtown Troy. The event became an annual affair until interrupted by
World War I.
The frst edition
of the “Palladium,” the
University’s yearbook, is
published in 1912.
A poem penned by
faculty member Fletcher Cowart, for
whom Cowart Hall was named, titled
“The Crimson and the Black,” appeared
in the frst Palladium. The poem might
well have served as the school’s frst
alma mater. “Other students chant the
praises of their Alma Maters true, Tell
their worth, extol their graces, Give them
all the honor due. So we come to tell our
story; Then let others clear the track,
While Troy’s Normal sings the glory of
the Crimson and the Black.”