College becomes a university. June 1, 1959 Central Michigan College – strengthened by an enrollment of 4,456 students – is named Central Michigan University. CMU’s new name is confirmed by the state Legislature on Feb. 25, 1959, to be effective on June 1. Rep. Russell H. Strange Jr., class of 1956 – sponsor of the bill – and student body president Fred Mester are among those present on March 10, when Gov. G. Mennen Williams signs the bill.