Larry Dale Gragg

Missouri University of Science and Technology
About the Speaker

Larry Gragg is Curators’ Distinguished Teaching Professor Emeritus at Missouri University of Science and Technology, where he has taught since 1977. The recipient of numerous teaching awards, including the University of Missouri President’s Award for Teaching Excellence and the Missouri Governor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching, he also has published nine books on early American history and the history of Las Vegas. Gragg is now writing a history of the Missouri School of Mines and Metallurgy (University of Missouri–Rolla, and Missouri University of Science and Technology) in anticipation of the campus’s sesquicentennial in 2020.

Students Behaving Badly: Scandals, Pranks, and Discipline Problems at the Missouri School of Mines and Metallurgy, 1873-1959

The Missouri School of Mines and Metallurgy, now known as Missouri University of Science and Technology, has long been known as a rigorous institution, but its students still knew how to have fun and get into trouble. Larry Gragg will discuss some of the notable scandals involving MSM students, including a duel in 1873; an armed robbery by the president and vice president of the junior class in Butte, Montana, in 1925; and two riots. The first riot involved a political campaign in 1950, and the second, at Halloween in 1959, was not brought under control until both the Rolla police and the Highway Patrol intervened. All of these incidents attracted newspaper attention far beyond Rolla. Gragg will also discuss some of the most humorous pranks during those years. Drawing upon nearly ninety years of faculty meeting minutes, he will talk about the types of bad behavior faculty members had to address over the years and the types of punishment that resulted. This will be an opportunity to hear about a side of campus life beyond the academic challenges of a mining and engineering school.