MTSU’s Head Architect Discusses the Campus Planning History

An early graduation scene at MTSU. Photo provided by Patti Miller, MTSU Assistant President of Campus Planning.

The history of MTSU’s steady architectural growth and transformation over its 100 years of existence was the topic of this week’s installment of the university honor’s college’s “Power of Place” lecture series Monday afternoon.

In her lecture, architect Patti Miller, the university’s Assistant Vice President for Campus Planning, introduced her audience to the MTSU’s campus in the early 20th century through various aerial photographs, when it was a teaching college attended predominantly by women. She also laid out a blueprint of the first campus plan, which was created by Joseph Jacques Ramee for Union College in Schenectady, New York.

Comparisons of various MTSU campus plans over the years were displayed alongside detailed timelines of the university’s architectural growth.

Bits of local history poured from Miller’s lecture as she closed in on decades near the 21st century. A photograph of students walking on campus sometime in the 1970’s proved that the architectural responsibilities she laid out have been well received.

For Miller, the role of an architect is to ensure purposeful planning for future projects and to understand the value of buildings on campus. She said that establishing the form and function of each building is just as important as the miles of sidewalk on campus.

Miller said that the flow of pedestrians on campus becomes increasingly imperative as more students enroll.

Scott Peeples will be presenting “Poe Places” on November 3rd for the next installment in the lecture series.

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To contact news editors Max Smith and Meagan White, email

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