Geneseo History 1981-1990

1981

Alma Mater Penned

Geneseo’s current alma mater was written by alumni affairs program coordinator Ray Agnew.

1981

Alma Mater Penned

1982

School of Business Founded

The School of Business was founded and SUNY designated it as a Development Center for Business. The school incorporated programs in management science, accounting, and economics. In 2001, it was accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business.

1982

School of Business Founded

1982

First President’s Recognition Dinner

The College held its first annual President’s Recognition Dinner (which ultimately became the annual President’s Gala) to thank those who made gifts to support SUNY Geneseo, student scholarships, and research. The 2020 gala was held virtually due to COVID-19 safety precautions.

1982

First President’s Recognition Dinner

1982

First Honorary Degree Awarded

James Jeremiah Wadsworth

Geneseo awarded its first SUNY Doctor of Laws honorary degree to James Jeremiah Wadsworth, a member of the Wadsworth family that settled in Geneseo. He served as a U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations. A few years later, members of his family provided a $50,000 endowment to establish the Jeremiah James Wadsworth Lecture in his honor.

(Winter 1996 Geneseo Scene)

1982

First Honorary Degree Awarded

1983

New Carillon Chimed

Sounds of the Alumni Carillon returned to campus in fall, following dedicated efforts to bring it back to life by alumnus and former deaf education instructor Bruce Godsave ’65. Located in Sturges Hall, the carillon chimes on the hour and plays recorded music several times a day. That first year, a Lamron editor wrote that holiday carols and the lighthearted theme from The Muppet Movie lifted spirits in winter.

Read memories of the Sturges Quad, the carillon, and other special places on campus

1983

New Carillon Chimed

1984

Phonathon Tradition Began

Current students reached out to alumni to connect, engage, and raise money for the College during the first Phonathon, a fundraising tradition that continues today.

1984

Phonathon Tradition Began

1985

National Ranking Achieved

U.S. News & World Report rated Geneseo number seven out of 129 outstanding comprehensive colleges in the eastern U.S. The College has since consistently earned ranking, including in 2020.

1985

National Ranking Achieved

1986

Ivy League Reputation

Money Magazine cited Geneseo as one of 10 public colleges that have earned Ivy League reputations.

1986

Ivy League Reputation

1987

Academic Profiles Rose

The mean high school average for the first-year class exceeded 90 for the first time, and mean SAT scores reached 1121.

1987

Academic Profiles Rose

1988

Honors Program Established

Named for its founder and longtime director, William J. Edgar, the Edgar Fellows Program offers specially designed seminar courses, research opportunities, close collaboration with program advisers, and rich co-curricular activities.

1988

Honors Program Established

1989

Carol Harter Inaugurated as President

Carol Harter

President Edward Jakubauskas left Geneseo in 1988 to become president of the much-larger Central Michigan University, and Carol Harter was named to succeed him, serving until 1995. Harter, who held a doctorate from SUNY Binghamton, came to SUNY Geneseo from Ohio University, where she had served as vice president. Under Harter’s leadership, Geneseo enjoyed a positive brand reputation, increased applications from academically talented students, a more research-oriented faculty, larger annual fund donations, and ongoing growth plans. Harter found ways to recognize and reward outstanding faculty. She balanced budget shortfalls by finding savings in the form of energy conservation measures and retirements to fund faculty and staff proposals reflecting Geneseo’s academic mission, initiate program reviews, and transform the College into a more diverse, highly selective public liberal arts institution.

1989

Carol Harter Inaugurated as President

1989

First Wadsworth Lecture

Gerald Ford

In November, Gerald Ford delivered the first James Jeremiah Wadsworth Lecture.

Roemer House Collection)

1989

First Wadsworth Lecture