Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Can you read this?

The question refers to the letter shown here. It is a scan of a letter Mary Jane Holmes, noted Brockport author of a century ago, wrote to a friend in 1884. The letter, as was the common practice then, was written in cursive penmanship. Nowadays many younger people do not learn cursive writing in school, and when confronted with a handwritten document like this are often at a loss to read it. The letter will be posted soon in the Mary Jane Holmes section of our Digital Commons; perhaps we should make a print transcription of it first!

Friday, August 21, 2015

First Winning Football Team

Football was played at the old Brockport Normal school as far back as the 1890s; Principal Charles McLean was the coach. The team played against some other schools, but there wasn't a formal program, no dedicated coaches, it was all rather casual by today's standards. After WWI football fell out of favor in many schools, due to controversy over injuries, and questions of "professionalism."

When WWII ended however it was decided to revive football, and Bob Boozer was hired as the coach. The first season was that of 1947. It takes time to grow a team, but in the fall of 1957 Brockport had its first winning football season, with a tally of 4-2-1. Shown here is halfback Bob Berg '58, who played on that winning team.

In 1987 Mike Andriatch, who was Sports Information Director then, organized a reunion of that team of '57.

Monday, August 3, 2015

Governor Harriman visits Brockport!

Well, he did, in October 1958! It was an election year, and Harriman, a Democrat, was running for his second term as governor against Nelson Rockefeller, Republican. Harriman was an interesting man. His father was a wealthy railroad baron, and when Harriman was a boy he went on his father's "Harriman Alaska Expedition," traveling on his father's yacht with a party that included such figures as John Muir and Edward Curtis. In the WWII years he was our ambassador to the Soviet Union.

However, unfortunately for Harriman, but perhaps fortunately for SUNY, Rockefeller won. Over the next decade or so he presided over a massive expansion of the state's public higher education system that saw schools like ours grow at a phenomenal rate. Brockport for example went from 1000 or so  students in 1958 to over 10,000 in the late '60s!

Monday, July 27, 2015

"A good fellow"

In preparing a slide show about African American history at the college for an upcoming Black Student Liberation Front & OSAD reunion, the archives yielded a number of images of African American students. The reunion planners were interested to hear the depth of the African American experience at Brockport, as evidenced by students like Robert Bray, Class of 1937.


Wednesday, July 8, 2015

An AV Survivor


Shown here is a ca1930 Balopticon "magic lantern," a projector for the glass slides then in use (35mm slides weren't developed till the latter 1930s, and not widely used till after WWII.) This machine was part of the school's audio-visual equipment, along with a large collection of glass slides, covering the different countries of the world, famous artworks etc. We still have not only several projectors, but a wooden cabinet with thousands of slides!

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Summer cookout!

For some years the college put on a cookout in the summer for staff and students. That tradition is being revived this summer, and as a preview, here is a shot from an earlier cookout, summer 2001.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Class of '65 dorm life

This class had a lively and enjoyable reunion this past week, as they were inducted into the Hartwell Society on the occasion of their 50th anniversary. Pictured here are some of the members as they were in the dorms some fifty years ago!