“Walter C. Hinkle was to have concluded his 27-year career as a teacher and administrator at Alfred State College on August 1, 1964, when he had scheduled his retirement. He was the seventh president of the college, having been appointed to the post in 1961. The entire college community was grief stricken upon President Hinkle’s sudden death on May 2, 1964, only three months prior to retirement.
“Mr. Hinkle came to Alfred in 1937 to establish and lead the Agriculture Engineering Technology Department. He later headed the college’s World War II training program and served as acting director of the college in 1944-46, 1949-50, and 1955-56.
“In April 1960, Mr. Hinkle was appointed Dean of the college and served in that capacity until November 1, 1960, when he was named Acting President. He became President of the college July 1, 1961, succeeding Paul Orvis.” [Statonian yearbook, 1984]
Walter C. Hinkle’s “administration as president, though short, was significant and valuable,” writes Elaine B. Hritz in The First Sixty Years, her 1971 history of the college. “He strengthened the existing curriculum through re-organization of divisions and the addition of courses. He inaugurated planning for several new curricula and projects which came to fruition in the later administrations. He improved the school services by increasing the size of faculty and staff and by creating new administrative departments. Overcrowding and shortages…were constant drawbacks.
“More than most presidents, he had to concern himself with the future, for a vast new campus had to be planned and the plans had to be pushed forward rapidly so that the college could continue to thrive. At the time of his death, roads and service connections were being laid out, two dormitories and the heating plant were nearly completed, an Animal Husbandry Center had been started, construction was about to start on four other buildings [including the library, opened November, 1965], seven more buildings were in various stages of planning. Wise, conscientious, and genuinely devoted to the students, he successfully brought the school to the brink of its greatest expansion. In recognition of his long, unstinting service, in April, 1970, at the President’s Convocation, the library was dedicated to his memory.”