Wayne State University’s story begins in 1868 with the founding of the Detroit Medical College, now the School of Medicine. In 1881, the Detroit Normal Training School was established, which is now the College of Education. The now-iconic Old Main Hall was built in 1896 as Central High School, which began adding college classes in 1913. Those classes evolved into the Detroit Junior College (offering a two-year general education program) in 1917, which became the College of the City of Detroit (with four-year degree programs) in 1923, and now is the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.
In 1924, the College of Pharmacy was organized, and six years later the first regular graduate courses were offered in liberal arts and education. Frank Cody became the first president in 1933, with the existing colleges united into a university organization, eventually named Wayne University, taken from Wayne County in honor of General Anthony Wayne.
Wayne University continued to grow, adding the School of Social Work, the Law School, and the School of Business Administration. In 1956, it was renamed Wayne State University. In 1963, Wayne State was designated one of Michigan’s three constitutionally established universities.