Dr. Larry Gragg tells the story of Missouri University of Science and Technology from its founding in 1870 to today in a commemorative history book that will be available this fall for the university’s 150th anniversary.
Gragg is a Curators’ Distinguished Teaching Professor emeritus of history and political science at Missouri S&T. His new book, Forged in Gold: Missouri S&T’s First 150 Years, is the account of the campus’s commitment to its land grant mission. The book details many stories of the campus, including scandals and pranks, influential faculty and staff, the roles Miners played in America’s wars, athletics, and the Miners who have had an impact on the world.
In the 1870s, Rolla seemed an unlikely location for a new college, writes Gragg. There were only about 1,400 residents in a community with more saloons than houses of worship. There were no paved streets, sewers or water mains. To visitors, there seemed to be as many dogs, hogs, horses, ducks and geese as humans walking the dusty streets.
Yet, Rolla became the home of Missouri S&T. Over the years, the university evolved from a “country academy” in 1871 to a technological research university. Despite two name changes and the growth of academic programming beyond mining and metallurgical engineering, graduates continue to identify with their school’s heritage and proudly call themselves Miners.
A book signing event will be held 9-11 a.m. Thursday, Oct. 8, in The S&T Store, located inside of the Havener Center on the Missouri S&T campus. Gragg will be at the event to sign copies of the book, which can be picked up from pre-order or purchased at the store. Face coverings that cover an individual’s mouth and nose are required while in indoor public places at the university, including the Havener Center and The S&T Store. Attendees are encouraged continue to take other protective measures to help stop the spread of germs including frequent hand washing and physical distancing.
Anyone who wants to hear more about the process and journey behind creating the book may sign up online at 150.mst.edu/forged-in-gold for updates about upcoming book signing opportunities where Gragg will talk about the work, read selected passages and sign your copy.