One of the earliest calls for a normal school occurred in 1855 when a Wilson County, Tennessee politician wanted to build a normal school in Lebanon, Tennessee. Education efforts collapsed shortly with the breakout of the American Civil War. Later on, state superintendents and teachers traveled around the state giving speeches about the dire need of teacher preparation. In 1909, the Tennessee General Assembly moved "to provide for the improvement of the system of Public Education of the State of Tennessee, that is to say, to establish a General Education Fund." The major thrust of this "improvement" embodied in the legislative act that was to become known as the General Education Bill of 1909 was the establishment of three normals or teacher-training institutions. Following the intent of the act that one was to be located in each of the grand divisions of the state, the State Board of Education assigned the middle Tennessee institution to Murfreesboro. Middle Tennessee State Normal School (MTSNS or MTNS) opened on September 11, 1911, with a two-year program for training teachers. It evolved into a four-year teachers' college by 1925 with the power of granting the Bachelor of Science degree, and the institution's name was changed for the first time to Middle Tennessee State Teachers College. The school was often abbreviated as "S.T.C." In 1943, the General Assembly designated the institution a state college, changing its name for the second time to Middle Tennessee State College. This new status marked a sharp departure from the founding purpose and opened the way for expanding curricular offerings and programs. In 1965, the institution was advanced to university status, changing its name to Middle Tennessee State University. In October 2010, the Student Government Association at MTSU proposed that the university be renamed to "The University of Middle Tennessee," though approval by the university administration and the Tennessee Board of Regents is required. uring the progressive movement from a two-year normal to a university, several significant milestones may be identified. In 1936, the Bachelor of Arts program was added. Responding to the expressed needs of the institution's service area, the Graduate School was established in 1951. To effect better communications and improve administrative supervision, the schools concept was introduced in 1962. As Middle Tennessee State University developed and grew, the Doctor of Arts program was added in 1970 and the Specialist in Education in 1974. These degree programs became attractive centerpieces for other efforts to improve and enhance institutional roles. Library resources were dramatically increased and sophisticated computer services were developed to aid instruction and administration. A highly trained faculty enabled the university to continue growth in program offerings. In 1991, the university's six schoolsï¿½five undergraduate and the graduate schoolï¿½became colleges. In 1998, MTSU's Honors program became the Honors College, the first in the state. In 2002, approval was granted to redesignate three D.A. programs to Doctor of Philosophy programs, expanding the progressive institution's offerings. Ph.D. degree offerings now include Computational Sciences, Mathematics and Science Education (including concentrations in Biology Education, Chemistry Education, Mathematics Education, and Interdisciplinary Science Education), Molecular Biosciences, Economics, English, Human Performance, Public History, and Literacy Studies. Since 1911, MTSU has graduated more than 100,000 students. Despite the university's growth from a campus of 100 acres (0.40 km2), 125 students, and a faculty of 19, to an academic city of over 500 acres (2.0 km2), more than 26,000 students, and a faculty of over 900, the institution is still essentially a "people's university" with a concern for the diverse needs of the area that it serves. In the 1980s and 1990s, the institution dedicated resources to become a leader in technology, both in the classroom and in many services to students. In 1986, James McGill Buchanan ('40) became the first MTSU alumnus to be awarded the Nobel Prize. Buchanan received the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences for his pioneering role in the development of the field of public choice, a way of studying the behavior of politicians and bureaucrats.