Centennial Book Excerpts

  • The optimism of the newspaper The Wellsville Democrat in May 1908 was apparent when it wrote, "When they get their agriculture experimental station working, pumpkins will be measured with a surveyor's chain while four potatoes will fill a car...There is nothing the Alfred people cannot accomplish."  Such statements were an indication of the local enthusiasm for the new school of agriculture at Alfred University, which was seen as a means for building better farms and increasing property values. (Barwick)
  • Helen Cottrell described Commencement Week in the early days of the school: "For seniors, the ordeal of Commencement was often greater than the two years of hard work which led up to it.  [The graduate] would have survived...the senior play, a musicale, class day exercises, the Senior Ball, the Alumni Banquet, and the Baccalaureate Sermon, to say nothing of various informal picnics with classmates before final parting. (Barwick)
  • When enrollment fell to 59 students in 1926, Alfred University lobbied to have the Ag School closed and the facilities absorbed into the Ceramics School.  Finally, the 1926 state budget contained no appropriation for the school. The local farmers, who up to this point had not been particularly vocal in their support for the school, finally raised a fuss with their state senator, and funds were allocated to the school so it could continue operation. (Barwick)
  • In the fall of 1946 enrollment had surged to 1,600 students.  Elaine Hritz wrote: "Sleepy little Alfred was gone forever...Five temporary buildings were allocated by state and federal government for shops, classrooms, labs, and a cafeteria-student lounge.  These buildings which had been used on military bases...were neither elegant nor beautiful, but many a campus besides ours was glad to get them in these post-war years." (Barwick)
  • Beginning in 1948, all freshmen were required to complete a two-course sequence of English I and English II.  The aims of this sequence were stated simply: to "comprehend something to be read and organize something to be written."  Seniors were required to take six credit hours in courses devoted to "the study of the individual as he discharged his social obligation in the community." (Barwick)
  • At its zenith in the 1950s, the Drama Festival offered 52 productions during the five-day program!  In 1957 the Drama Club was chosen by the Department of Defense to make a tour of European military bases, and in 1958 and 1959 toured domestic military bases. (Barwick)
  • Richard Fote of Olean was the winner of a Student Council-sponsored contest to create a school song in 1953-54.  He wrote both the words and the music and received a prize of $10 and an engraved plaque.  This alma mater is the one currently in use. (Barwick)
  • The 1960s saw a period of great growth both in programs and in physical structures.  A majority of the current buildings were constructed during this period.  In October 1966 the new vocational campus opened in Wellsville with 117 students and five curriculums on the site of the former Sinclair Oil Refining Works. (Barwick)
  • In 1969-70 an effort was made to support the organization of an Extension Program in Franklinville, Cattaraugus County.  It was seen as a pioneer effort in western New York to provide educational opportunities to students in an area not served by a community college.  In 1975-76 this program was discontinued and arrangements evolved for Jamestown Community College to take over the program. (Ehrig)
  • In the spring of 1970 during a trip to Washington, DC, to protest the Vietnam War, five Alfred State students were walking near the Lincoln Memorial early on Saturday, May 9, when President Richard M. Nixon arrived.  The students, along with three other people, talked with the President for about an hour. (Ehrig)
  • In 1982-83 the college completed a link with communication satellites, becoming the first campus in the SUNY system to acquire this space-age link.  This system can receive TV, audio, and data electronic signals. (Staiger)
  • The college celebrated its 75thDiamond Jubilee in the spring of 1983.  The celebration included a fireworks display, a campus-wide open house with free cake and ice cream, and a band concert featuring ragtime music of the early 1900s.  The 500-pound anniversary cake was prepared by the College Bake Shop. (Staiger)
  • On June 17, 1985, NYS Gov. Mario M. Cuomo signed into law an increase in New York State's minimum purchase age for alcohol from 19 to 21 years of age, which became effective Dec. 1, 1985.  The sale of alcohol ceased at the campus Pub, but the operation continued, and entertainment was provided. (Staiger)
  • In the fall of 1985 SUNY Binghamton established an extension site at the college to teach electrical engineering technology courses, which were taught by Alfred professors, who were designated adjunct faculty at Binghamton.  Twenty-three students were accepted into the program. (Staiger)
  • A visit to Central America in 1987-88 by ASC President Dr. John O. Hunter, Congressman Amory Houghton, Jr., and others led to the establishment of a college of technology in El Salvador.  This was based upon the Alfred State model, and a number of faculty and staff went to El Salvador as consultants in this venture. (Hunter)
  • The college hosted the 1994 and 1995 NJCAA Cross Country National Championship meets.  Over 700 athletes and coaches from predominantly two-year campuses nationwide came to Alfred for a wintry and mountainous running experience. (Rezak)
  • Alfred State fielded its first football team since the early years of the college in the fall of 1995.
  • The MTV television network recorded a portion of its Spring Campus Invasion program at ASC in the spring of 2001.  Many students were filmed entertaining and dancing in the several MTV venues. (Rezak)
  • In 2005 groups from the college community made three relief mission trips to the Gulf Coast to aid in cleanup from Hurricane Katrina. (Gupta)
  • A Center for Organic and Sustainable Agriculture is planned for the College Farm.  It will strive to preserve a culture and way of life for families in rural New York.  It will also serve the food industry of the entire northeast quadrant of the United States with organic certified milk and produce. (Gupta)