Geneseo History 1961-1970

1961

Monroe Residence Hall Opened

Opened to students in 1961, Monroe Hall was renovated in 2013. Constructed to LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Gold certification standards, it is the most eco-friendly building on campus.

1961

Monroe Residence Hall Opened

1962

Schrader Health and Physical Education Building Opened

The College opened the $1.8 million Schrader Health and Physical Education building, named in honor of Carl L. Schrader, a physical training instructor at Geneseo Normal School from 1900 to 1905 and founder of the basketball team. Designed to provide for the health, physical education, and recreational needs of the college community, the building currently has a gymnasium, racquetball courts, workout room, and other facilities for instructional and extracurricular programs. It also houses the University Police Department.

1962

Schrader Health and Physical Education Building Opened

1962

College Name Change

The College officially changed its named to the State University College at Geneseo. Geneseo was also granted authority to offer bachelor’s degrees in art and science to two-year transfer students and prepare teachers in mathematics and science.

1962

College Name Change

1962–63

New Academic Departments and Divisions

The psychology, philosophy, physics, and foreign language departments were each established, and the divisions of natural sciences and fine arts were created. In 1971, the Division of Fine Arts would be divided into the separate departments of music, art, and drama/dance.

1962–63

New Academic Departments and Divisions

1963

WGSU Went on the Air

Geneseo’s student-run radio station, WGSU-FM, hosted its first broadcast. Approximately 2,000 students have gained on-air, content, and management skills through WGSU. The station is still in Anne S. Blake Hall, where it’s been since day one.

1963

WGSU Went on the Air

1963

Tuition Charged

SUNY began charging tuition to New York State residents.

1963

Tuition Charged

1963

MacVittie Named President

Robert MacVittie

Francis Moench retired, and Robert W. MacVittie—for whom the MacVittie College Union was named—became president, serving from 1963 until 1979, with a bonus stint as acting president in 1988–89. MacVittie presided over unprecedented campus expansion, overseeing the opening of 24 buildings, from residence and dining halls to academic and administrative buildings. Total enrollment more than doubled and the number of faculty almost tripled, helping to ignite ambitious student recruitment and fundraising programs that set SUNY Geneseo on its way to national recognition. SUNY Provost Harry Porter believed "anybody could work with Dr. MacVittie," who was known as a consensus builder.

(Roemer House Collection)

1963

MacVittie Named President

1964

Bailey Science Building Opened

Bailey Hall groundbreaking

The Bailey building was named in honor of George A. "Guy" Bailey, who joined the faculty in 1905 to teach biology and physical geography. He later became head of the Department of Science and an international authority on birds, retiring in 1939. Originally housing the physical sciences, the building is now home to the social science departments.

Groundbreaking ceremony for Bailey Hall (Little Studio, Milne Archives). Read memories of Bailey Hall and other special places on campus.

1964

Bailey Science Building Opened

1964

First B.A.s

Geneseo awarded its first bachelor of arts degrees.

1964

First B.A.s

1964

New Divisions and Departments

The divisions of speech, humanities, social sciences, and health and physical education were created. Chemistry was established as a separate department.

1964

New Divisions and Departments

1964

Faculty Senate Created

The Faculty Association was replaced with a representative Faculty Senate.

1964

Faculty Senate Created

1964–66

Residence Hall Boom

Allegany, Erie, Genesee, Ontario, Steuben, and Wyoming residence halls all opened to students.

1964–66

Residence Hall Boom

1965

Letchworth Dining Hall Opened

The College opened the new Letchworth Dining Hall, named in honor of William Pryor Letchworth, a western New York businessman and philanthropist whose interests included Native American archaeology, the fine arts, and the care of epileptics, the mentally ill, and low-income residents.

1965

Letchworth Dining Hall Opened

1966

Lauderdale Health Center Opened

The Lauderdale Health Center opened, named in honor of Geneseo physicians Dr. Walter Lauderdale Sr., a member of Geneseo Normal School’s original Board of Visitors who served from 1871 to 1893, and his son Dr. Walter Lauderdale Jr., who served from 1894 to 1933.

1966

Lauderdale Health Center Opened

1966

Current Milne Library Opened

The new library, built just to the north of where Old Main once stood, is named after Geneseo’s first two principals, brothers William S. and John M. Milne.

1966

Current Milne Library Opened

1967

Seven New Buildings

Newton Hall under construction

The year saw a boom of new buildings on campus. Following recent tradition, college officials named Red Jacket Dining Hall after local history and Nassau and Suffolk residence halls after New York State counties. The academic and administrative buildings were named after prominent persons connected with the College: Brodie Fine Arts building (after Geneseo attorney William A. Brodie, influential in placing the normal school in Geneseo); Clark Service Building (L. Watson Clark, longtime college maintenance person); Erwin Administration building (Austin W. Erwin, Class of 1909, a local attorney and New York State Senator); and Newton Lecture Hall (George D. Newton, a local attorney, State Supreme Court Justice, and Board of Visitors and College Council member).

Newton Lecture Hall under construction (Norman Miller photo, Milne Archives)

1967

Seven New Buildings

1968

Speech Departments Created

The Department of General Speech and Department of Speech and Audiology became separate entities.

1968

Speech Departments Created

1968

Alumni Association Became SUNY Charter Member

SGAA logo

The Geneseo Alumni Association (predecessor to today's SGAA) became a charter member of the SUNY Alumni Association. The official alumni association of Geneseo serves past, present, and future alumni and fosters lifelong connections among alumni and the College through inclusive experiences, educational opportunities, and meaningful communication.

1968

Alumni Association Became SUNY Charter Member

1968

EOP Created

Geneseo established the Arthur O. Eve Educational Opportunity Program (EOP) to provide higher education to traditionally bypassed residents of New York State. The program was aimed at students who have the potential to complete a college degree but do not meet the general admission requirements because their academic credentials may have been adversely affected during their high school years by economic factors. In 1987, the College combined EOP and the Transitional Opportunity Program to create Access Opportunities Program on campus, which now includes the McNair Program, TRIO Student Support Services Program, and the Summer Scholars Program.

Read about AOP alumna Sofia Villalón ’18 and her innovative Geneseo student Ambassador project

1968

EOP Created

1969

Name Changed

SUNY four-year colleges were renamed the State University Colleges of Arts and Sciences.

1969

Name Changed

1969

Rathskellar Opened

Rathskellar

The Rathskellar bar opened in the basement of Letchworth Dining Hall. It remained a popular gathering spot until it closed in 1985 when New York State raised the legal drinking age from 19 to 21. Geneseo Foundation Emeritus Board Chair Kevin Gavagan ’75 worked as a bartender for four years and was the student manager his senior year. "Most everyone was 18 and could frequent the bar," he has said. "Not only could you get a beer for 25 cents—on Fridays, you could get one with a sub as part of your meal plan. But frankly, many of the subs never got unwrapped."

(1971 Oh Ha Daih)

1969

Rathskellar Opened

1969

Holcomb Learning Center Opened

The Holcomb Learning Center (previously known as the Holcomb Campus School) was named in honor of Winfield A. Holcomb, principal of Geneseo Normal School from 1922 to 1934.

1969

Holcomb Learning Center Opened

1969

Interfaith Center and Present College Union Opened

The College Union and the nondenominational InterFaith Center (located off campus on Franklin Street and not officially affiliated with the College) opened to students. Like the gazebo, Red Jacket Dining Hall, and Brodie Fine Arts Center, the two buildings were designed by Edgar Tafel, an apprentice of architect Frank Lloyd Wright. The union became a hub for students and programming as well as student life and in 1989 was named after former president Robert W. MacVittie. Fun fact: SUNY policy actually forbade naming buildings for living persons, but a policy change allowed the College Union to be named for MacVittie.

1969

Interfaith Center and Present College Union Opened

1970

First 3+2 Degree Program Offered

The 3+2 cooperative engineering program with SUNY Buffalo was added. Geneseo students major in physics or chemistry, then transfer to a partner university for the final two years, earning a B.S. from Geneseo and a bachelor’s in engineering from SUNY Buffalo.

1970

First 3+2 Degree Program Offered

1970

Social Sciences Split

The Faculty Senate voted to separate the anthropology and sociology departments.

1970

Social Sciences Split

1970

Gazebo Built

gazebo

Geneseo built the gazebo as a place for the college community to gather and appreciate breathtaking sunsets and views over the valley. It was designed by Edgar Tafel, apprentice of renowned architect Frank Lloyd Wright.

Gazebo in the early years (Roger Smith, Roemer House Collection). Read memories of the gazebo and other special places on campus

1970

Gazebo Built

1970

Greene Science Opened

Greene Science Building

The College continued its tradition of naming administrative and academic buildings after prominent college and local figures, naming the Greene Science Building after longtime science faculty member Robert Greene, who taught for 38 years and received the college’s first Distinguished Service Award.

(Roemer House Collection)

1970

Greene Science Opened

1970–71

Residence Halls Grew in Number

The College opened Niagara, Onondaga, and Wayne residence halls. Wayne was the first hall devoted to graduate students.

1970–71

Residence Halls Grew in Number

1970–71

Graduate Student Association Formed

The Graduate Student Association was established and a grad student lounge created in Blake A.

1970–71

Graduate Student Association Formed