As the University of Central Missouri’s sesquicentennial celebration continues, UCM will host for the second time this year the Historic Campus Tour and Ghost Buildings of the Great Fire.

No tickets are required for this free event that begins at 6:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, Sept. 24-25, on the main campus in Warrensburg.

Participants will begin each evening at McClure Archives and University Museum in James C. Kirkpatrick Library, Room 1470. From there they will embark on a campus tour - one per night, viewing and learning more about the history of the institution and its many buildings.

Each tour, both evenings, will conclude at the quadrangle, where there will be a presentation and “footprint” installation of UCM’s campus before the fire in 1915. This includes an outline on the ground of where buildings of the past once stood, and projections of archival photos on the exterior walls of quadrangle buildings to provide a glimpse of how the institution appeared more than a century ago.

Sesquicentennial Committee Chair Amber Clifford-Napoleone, professor of anthropology and director of the McClure Archives and University Museum, will lead the tour and discuss the installation from the steps of the Administration Building. Mick Luehrman, chair and professor emeritus of art, will conduct the installation with assistance from Jeff Yelton, associate professor and coordinator of anthropology at UCM, and his students.

Founded in 187 as the State Normal School for the Second Normal District, in the early morning hours of Saturday, March 6, 1915, a massive fire destroyed the institution’s four-story “Old Main” along with the Science Annex, auditorium and Training School. Dockery Gymnasium and Normal’s Powerhouse were the only two campus buildings spared from the flames. Despite this setback, classes were back in session by Monday morning, March 8 in borrowed rooms across town.

Refreshments will be provided at the event by the UCM Alumni Foundation, Warrensburg Convention and Visitors Bureau, Warrensburg Main Street, and the Warrensburg Chamber of Commerce. To register, go to the events Facebook page at or call 660-543-4649.

Anyone who has questions about the Historic Campus Tour and Ghost Buildings of the Great Fire can contact Clifford-Napoleone at or call 660-543-4649.

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