Geneseo History 1941-1950

1942

Full Collegiate Status

The state’s Normal Schools attained full collegiate status and the authority to confer baccalaureate degrees in every curriculum. In April, the college’s name was changed to Geneseo State Teachers College, and the first bachelor’s degrees in elementary education were awarded in June. Accreditation by the American Association of Teachers Colleges required the College to meet rigorous criteria: “admissions and graduation standards, faculty preparation and teaching loads, capacity of the training school, courses taught, financial support, and faculty-student relationship.”

1942

Full Collegiate Status

1942–45

World War II

World War II war stamps booth

The College faced a 50 percent drop in enrollment during World War II. Enrollment for the 1943–44 academic year was only 324, the modern-day low. The Class of 1944 had only one male student, and men’s sports were cancelled for the duration. The campus population was bolstered by naval and air cadets beginning September 16, 1942. Other wartime measures included finding room in Old Main for the county rationing board, which had expanded operations beyond its quarters at the courthouse. The College also rearranged students’ schedules so they could help harvest or pack produce for civilian and military consumption—including the crops on Professor Guy Bailey’s farm on Center Street.

Students selling war stamps (Roemer House Collection)

1942–45

World War II

1942

Geneseo Alumni Association Founded

The Geneseo Alumni Association was formed and incorporated in January 1943, helping to maintain graduates’ relationship with the College and strengthen its future support.

1942

Geneseo Alumni Association Founded

1944

Kappa Delta Pi Established

The scholastic Society Kappa Delta Pi was established.

1944

Kappa Delta Pi Established

1945

Prisoners of War Near Campus

Prisoners of War Near Campus

German and Italian prisoners of war were held in a camp (ten prefabricated buildings) near where the track and field complex is today.

(Bright Collection)

1945

Prisoners of War Near Campus

1946

First President, Herbert Espy

Herbert Espy

Principal Welles’ successor Herbert Espy was appointed president of the New York State Teachers College, serving until 1952. Espy earned a graduate degree in education from Harvard University and served as an assistant professor, chairman of education, and staff education officer at various institutions before coming to Geneseo. His tenure saw the college’s first accreditation by the Middle States Association, the awarding of the college’s first master’s degrees, and the opening of four new residence halls.

(Livingston County Historian)

1946

First President, Herbert Espy

1948

State University of New York Established

campus in 1948

Geneseo became part of the new State University of New York system, with 30,000 students enrolled across 33 institutions.

Campus in the early 1950s (1997 Oh Ha Daih)

1948

State University of New York Established

1948

First Graduate Education Program

The Master of Education degree for elementary school teachers was inaugurated.

1948

First Graduate Education Program

1950–51

Blake A–E Opened to Students

Blake buildings

Blake was originally subdivided into A, B, C, D, and E sections, which were named College Center, Bailey, Fraser, Blake, and Sturges respectively. Blake B–E comprised four residence halls that housed 200 students, each of whom paid $145 per ten-week quarter for room and board. The building’s name honored Anne S. Blake, whose 17-year tenure at the College included service as Dean of Women from 1921 until her retirement in 1934. Blake D and E were razed in 2004; the remaining Blake buildings now house faculty offices.

(Hal Campbell photo, Milne Archives)

1950–51

Blake A–E Opened to Students