Thursday, July 28, 2011

Mary Jo Gigliotti, college archivist retiring

Mary Jo Gigliotti, a librarian here in Drake Memorial Library, has been taking care of the college archives for a number of years, but this summer she is retiring. She has been busy in the archives, for example working on some quite substantial digitization projects for photos and documents, indexing the Stylus (over 100 years worth done!) , and taking part in many special projects like last week's Campus School Reunion. Mary Jo will still have her campus email, and would welcome your messages of congratulations on her retirement.

Although Mary Jo will be moving into a new chapter of her life, the archives will still be taken care of and made accessible by Charlie Cowling. He was the college archivist many years ago and welcomes the opportunity to once again work with the rich heritage of the college. Charlie's email is, or you can phone him at 585-395-5667.

Monday, July 25, 2011

What a turnout for the Campus School Reunion!!

It was wonderful to see the great turnout for the Campus School reunion this past Friday. There were close to 400 people attending, former campus school students, teachers, administrators and others. Surely the Campus School must have been a wonderful part of this college to have drawn so many back for the reunion! Thank you all for being there and sharing your memories of the school. Do contact the college archives if you have any questions about the campus school, or perhaps have campus school related materials (photos, papers..) to donate. You may leave a comment here or email Charlie Cowling at

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Rod & Gun Club?

Yes, there was a Rod & Gun Club here at Brockport once upon a time. Pictured here are the club members as shown in the 1949 yearbook, the Saga. Under their photo it says, "The call of the wide out of doors - an adventurous spirit - a gun, and a fishing rod... all symbols of pure enjoyment, and dear to the heart of a sportsman." Apparently the club was new that year, and it did continue here at Brockport for some years after.

Friday, July 8, 2011

"Here... '50"

Featured here is the cover from a 1950 brochure on Brockport State. The students pictured were given quite a write up inside the brochure. According to the write up we have:

"From left to right, seated, is Joan De Witt, a product of Rochester's No. 33 grammar school and East High. A member of the Newman Club and the Student faculty Association, she plans to teach in the intermediate grades... Her master purpose in life is to marry and have her own home.

Seated on the steps, William Oakes. Hometown, Lockport, where he was active in Boy Scout work, basketball and football. 'Bill' was in WWII from 1943-1947. As a sailor he participated in the atomic bomb test at Bikini Island. He is married, and his ambition is to become the first Brockport graduate to become a Boy Scout executive.

Standing, Sam Platania, came to Brockport from Niagara Falls. A member of the Dramatics Club, and Track program... During WWII he was in the Amphibious Infantry, over seas in the Aleutians, Guadacanal, New Britain... Has six battle stars and one arrowhead for four assault landings on enemy shores. Student think he looks like Robert Mitchum.

In striped dress, Adrienne Codella, from Mamaroneck NY where she starred in band and glee club. She will graduate in 1950 from Brockport where she has been active in Music and Dramatics. She wishes to teach in Rochester NY.

Seated at far right, Barbara Flammer, from Wellsville NY.  Barbara has been active in intramural sports and the Dramatics Club. She sees teaching as a pathway to social work and hopes to enter that field."

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

You are here; or were, in 1934...

This is the campus map published in the Saga Yearbook in 1934. To orient yourself, Utica Street runs along the bottom of the map, and Monroe Avenue is on the right. So as you look at the map you are looking west, at the old Normal School building which stood where Hartwell Hall was erected in the late 1930s. At the lower left is "Dr. T's" house, or what we call Alumni House today. This area was the entire campus, as it had been since 1835; there had been several main buildings, one after another, but it was always just the one building. It was only after WWII when the advent of the GI Bill greatly increased demand for college educations that the campus began to add more buildings and expand to the west.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Campus School & student teaching ca1930

The 1930 Saga has a nice spread on the campus school, or the "training school" as it was called then. Pictured here is Charles Cooper, who was Director of the Training School from 1911-1936; Cooper Hall is named after him. Here is a little of what they experienced as student teachers back then:

"Who does not recall those first days of anxious waiting... after the Director of Training's announcement that teaching assignments would soon be posted? ... Many a weary hour we spent with Preparations, General Aims and Thought Questions, only to have a kindly but merciless critic (note - the "teacher critics" were professional teachers who both taught the children in the campus school and supervised the student teachers) calmly destroy our work of art...

Do you remember how easily the critic elicited responses from the pupils during those first days, and how nicely and quietly those pupils behaved? And then the storm burst! We attempted to teach from that first Lesson Plan... We all had our First days, our trials, our pupil problems...

Then came the Day of days, when we were admitted to that Sanctum Sanctorum, Mr. Cooper's office, for general criticism. How we secretly trembled as he slowly swung around in his chair and emitted a gruff, 'Well, what do you want?' But then, we found out that behind that gruffness he concealed as kindly, sympathetic and inspiring a personality as could be desired by anyone..."