Geneseo History 1901-1910

1903–04

New Library Wing

new library wing

A library wing (with a swimming pool in the basement) was added to the south end of Old Main to house the school’s 3–5,000 volumes.

(Bright Collection)

1903–04

New Library Wing

1903–05

First Interim Leader

Hubert Schmitz

John Milne took leave of his position as principal for health issues in the summer of 1903. Hubert J. Schmitz was appointed acting principal several months later. Schmitz, a Berlin University graduate, was hired in November 1881 to head the science department. When Schmitz assumed the position of principal, he was concurrently appointed to serve as the school’s vice principal.

(Livingston County Historian)

1903–05

First Interim Leader

1905

James Sturges, the First Post-Milne Principal

James Sturges

John Milne died on January 7, 1905, of tuberculosis. With his death, James V. Sturges took over the leadership of the Geneseo Normal School from 1905–1922. Due to changes in New York State’s education organizational structure, especially the Unification Act of 1904, the Geneseo Normal School went through major changes in its structure and curriculum under Sturges’ leadership, including the elimination of the Academic Department in coordination with the creation of a local high school, the introduction of a state-mandated (rather than locally controlled) curriculum, a reorganization of the Training School, and the requirement of a high school diploma for applicants. In addition, Sturges oversaw long-due repairs to existing buildings, adding electrical lighting to the gymnasium, and grading of the grounds to create proper athletic fields.

(Roemer House Collection)

1905

James Sturges, the First Post-Milne Principal

1905

Curriculum Reorganization

1905 faculty

The college’s original curriculum (two years of elementary English, three years of advanced English, four years of classical studies) was reorganized, now requiring two years of professional study. By the following year, admission to the Normal School was restricted to candidates with a four-year high school diploma or an equivalent approved by the Commissioner of Education.

The 1905 faculty (Houseknecht photo, Livingston County Historical Society)

1905

Curriculum Reorganization

1907

Kindergarten-Primary Program Added

kindergarten class in Old Main

The kindergarten-primary program proved very popular with the Normal School students, and increased enrollment led to the opening of an additional kindergarten in 1916. But the program was also popular with local families, many of whom sent younger siblings to school with older brothers and sisters attending the Normal School, allowing the youngsters to receive instruction from students in the training school.

Kindergarten students in Old Main (Livingston County Historical Society)

1907

Kindergarten-Primary Program Added

1909

More Curricular Changes

The Academic Department, with its Classics course, was dropped, and the High School’s program became independent of the Normal School’s program.

1909

More Curricular Changes

1909

Teacher-Librarians

Mary Richardson

The teacher-librarian program was added, and the library was expanded. The two-year course prepared students to teach in the upper grades while maintaining their schools’ libraries.

Early library education chair Mary C. Richardson (1933 Normalian)

1909

Teacher-Librarians