I’m not certain if the work was done in house, but I certainly would’ve liked to have been the print shop owner who may have gotten the contract for the stationery changes between 1942 and 1961 at what we know today as the State University College at Oneonta.
For the fifth time during that time span, the college changed its name, as reported in the Oneonta Star of Oct. 14, 1961. There were plenty of other changes going on that year as well.
Found at the top of Maple Street, where the Old Main Apartments are today, the institution was called the Oneonta Normal School from 1889 to 1942. It was re-named State Teachers College until 1948. Then came the State University Teachers College until 1959, as the campus began growing on the hill behind Old Main. The name changed to the State University College of Education until 1961, when the typesetters made the last letterhead change to the State University College at Oneonta.
The state Board of Regents made similar name changes to all SUNY colleges to establish an undergraduate curriculum in liberal arts and science, and put into motion a transition of the state operated schools into multi-purpose institutions.
State Education Commissioner James L. Allen said the expansion would strengthen teacher education by offering prospective teachers a greater variety of subjects from which to choose.
The expansion was part of a master plan drawn by the State University’s Board of Trustees to enlarge existing colleges because it was “more economical to expand than to build new institutions.” This was the beginning of the growth at SUCO that lasted into the early 1970s.
SUCO was already experiencing growth on the new upper campus. Only days before the announcement came about the curriculum expansion, Governor Nelson Rockefeller visited Oneonta and came to campus to dedicate four new buildings. Two dormitories and a cafeteria had recently opened, as had the original Milne Library, today’s Alumni Hall.
The curriculum expansion into liberal arts and science actually began slowly in Oneonta. In the fall of 1962, six junior and senior level students had been accepted. That fall the present Chase Physical Education Building opened.
The Old Main gym became a new drama theater, the first for the Mask & Hammer Theatre group. Campus radio station WONY began broadcasting Saturday, Sept. 15, 1962. Nearly 2,100 students were enrolled that fall.
The fall liberal arts and science expansions were in effect by the 1963-64 academic year, and there were 52 liberal arts majors enrolled at the college, a number poised for growth.
The first degrees were awarded in June 1964.
According to the 1963-64-65 College at Oneonta catalog, the liberal arts programs were plentiful. One could earn a Bachelor of Arts degree in economics, geography, history, literature, political science, psychology, speech and theater. Bachelor of Science degree offerings were biology, chemistry, earth science, mathematics and physics.
This weekend: An eventful October 1921.
CITY HISTORIAN MARK SIMONSON’s column appears twice weekly. His Saturday columns focus on the area during the Depression and before. His Monday columns address local history after the Depression. Write to him at The Daily Star, or e-mail him at email@example.com. His website is one-