Northwest Missouri State University is a public university in Maryville, Missouri. It has an enrollment of about 7,870 students. Founded in 1905 as a teachers college, its campus is based on the design for Forest Park at the 1904 St. Louis World's Fair and is the official Missouri State Arboretum. The school is governed by a state-appointed Board of Regents and headed by President John Jasinski. The Northwest Bearcats compete in the National Collegiate Athletic Association (Division II) and Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association for men's and women's sports. In 1905, the Missouri Legislature created five districts in the state to establish normal schools, comprising a state teacher college network. Maryville won the competition for the Northwest district with an offer to donate 86 acres (34.8 ha) (on coincidentally the northwest corner of town) and $58,000 on the site of a Methodist Seminary. The other districts in the network were to be at Kirksville (Northeast – now Truman State), Cape Girardeau (Southeast), Springfield (Southwest – now Missouri State), and Warrensburg (Central – now Central Missouri). The original mission of the school, initially known as the Fifth District Normal School, was to teach elementary school teachers. Classes began on June 13, 1906, with a lab school teaching Maryville's children (that was eventually named the Horace Mann school) in kindergarten through third grade. The school was later expanded to a full-fledged high school before dropping back to its current configuration of kindergarten through sixth grade.