Pittsburg State University began in 1903 as the Auxiliary Manual Training Normal School under the State Normal School of Emporia. The institution became a four-year college in 1913 and became known as Kansas State Teachers College. During the KSTC era, the graduate studies program and the Master of Science and Specialist in Education degrees were established.
By 1959, the year that KSTC became known as Kansas State College of Pittsburg, the school had an enrollment of 2,800 and more than 20 major buildings had been added to the campus, including, Hartman, Porter, and McCray Halls, the Student Center, four residence halls and Brandenburg Field.
As KSCP, the university continued to expand its undergraduate and graduate offerings, and in 1966, the current structure of four schools and the graduate division was organized. Additional facilities erected by 1975 included Hughes Hall and Grubbs Hall, the Weede Physical Education Building and the Cecil and Eva C. Wilkinson Alumni Center. By the fall of 1976, the college enrollment had swelled to 5,200.
On April 21, 1977, Kansas State College was granted university status and was renamed Pittsburg State University. Enrollments have continued to increase and in 2008 surpassed 7,000 full-time students for the first time in the University’s history.
Many additional buildings have been constructed to support the University’s educational programs since 1977. These include the McPherson Nurse Education Building (1977); the Leonard H. Axe Library (1979); Heckert-Wells Hall (1984); the Kansas Technology Center (1997); the Family and Consumer Sciences Building (2004); the Tyler Polymer Research Center (2007); the Student Recreation Center/National Guard Armory (2008); and the Bryant Student Health Center (2009).
Significant additions to Brandenburg Field and Carnie Smith Stadium occurred in 1989, 2001, and 2006. Major renovations were completed in Willard Hall (2000); the Horace Mann Welcoming Center (2000); Russ Hall (2001); and McCray Hall (2008). Other new facilities completed since 1986 include KRPS Radio, a National Public Radio affiliate; the Gene Bicknell Sports Complex; the Prentice Gudgen track; the Francis A. Monahan Outdoor Education Center; the Robb Prairie; the Veterans Memorial Amphitheater and the new student housing complex, Crimson Commons (2010).