Southern Connecticut State University (also known as Southern and frequently abbreviated as Southern Connecticut, Southern Connecticut State, and SCSU) is a state university in Connecticut. Part of the Connecticut State University System, it was founded in 1893 and is governed by the Connecticut Board of Regents for Higher Education. SCSU is located in the West Rock neighborhood of New Haven, Connecticut.
|Southern Connecticut State University|
New Haven, Connecticut, US|
|Campus||Urban, 168 acres|
Reflex Blue and White|
NCAA Division II – NE-10|
|Mascot||The Southern Owl|
On September 11, 1893, New Haven State Normal School, a two-year teacher training school, was established. The Skinner School, a two story building, was used as the first campus. It was situated on State Street at the corner of what was then known as Summer Street. Arthur Boothby Morrill served as the first principal of the Normal School from 1893–1924. Two female teachers and Morrill made up the faculty. Prospective students had to be at least 16 years of age, and typically had either a three year high school degree or two years teaching experience. There were 85 women in the first class. Tuition was free for students, in-state or out-of-state, as long as a declaration to complete their studies and teach in Connecticut was signed. All textbook materials were provided by the school. Boarding was available for between $3.50 and $4.00 a week, although the majority of the students were from New Haven and commuted.
The Skinner School was soon outgrown by the rapidly growing Normal School. In 1896, it was moved to a new building on Howe and Oak St. This was a better location because of its larger size and its proximity to several elementary schools where students could train. At this point, the Normal School could only award certificates in teaching to graduates.
By 1937 the school was able to grant bachelor's degrees, and thus renamed New Haven State Teacher’s College. Graduate degrees were offered starting in 1954, a year after the school moved to its current campus on Crescent St.
New Haven State Teacher's College became Southern Connecticut State College in 1959. In March 1983 the school was renamed Southern Connecticut State University and made part of the Connecticut State University System.
Southern has one campus located at 501 Crescent Street, in New Haven, bordering parts of Hamden, Connecticut. Fitch Street separates the academic and residential sections of the campus. The School of Business was moved to the renovated former student center in mid-2012. The building houses meeting rooms, offices for faculty, and trading rooms. As part of an effort to expand on the university’s science programs, the laboratory science building was opened in 2015. The four-story building specializes with cancer research, physics and optics, along with other fields of sciences.
Southern Connecticut State University remains a center for teacher education. Southern is the only school in Connecticut to offer a master's degree concentration in autism spectrum disorders. The university received approval for its first doctoral program, an Ed.D. in Educational Leadership.
The LEP program consists of electives, and is a requirement for all majors. This program is meant to expose students to different types of classes outside side of their major. It is broken up into three tiers of classes and accounts for 42 credits of a student's degree. Tier one includes Inquiry 101, Writing 102 and a couple other basic classes that are tiered towards Freshmen. It requires a 200 level language course in any of 10 language courses, including American Sign Language. Tier two is broken into 9 categories. Students are required to take one class for each category. The categories include American Experience, Cultural Expression, Creative Drive, Global Awareness, Mind and Body, Natural World I and II, Social Structure, and Time and Place. Tier Three is considered a "Capstone" and only one class is taken. Generally a student's major requires a 300 or 400 level course in the major to complete this capstone. Every major is required to take 3 W or written intensive courses before graduating.
Southern Connecticut State University’s Hilton C. Buley Library was named after Hilton C. Buley, the president of the New Haven State Teachers College which was a former name of the institution, from July 1, 1954 to February 18, 1971. He was an educator and administrator in New York, New Jersey, and Wisconsin prior to earning a doctorate degree from Columbia University. He served as an administrator in the New Hampshire public schools before joining Southern.:168
The first library was housed at 2 Howe Street, New Haven, the original home of the university which was then called New Haven Normal School and consisted of a reading room with two walls of wooden bookshelves and a stack area in the balcony on the third wall.:56 When the school opened in 1893, the library contained 500 books. Principal Morrill and his two colleagues were also responsible for cataloging the collection.:20 By 1950 a collection of over 28,000 books and 200 periodical subscriptions was crammed into the space which was originally intended for 10,000 volumes.:145 The library's move to the main building on Crescent Street, Engleman Hall, was accomplished in 1954 shortly before Buley came to Southern. By the year 1969 it contained over 200,000 volumes and was outgrowing its space yet again.:163
New Library Building
There was remarkable growth and expansion during Buley's administration in all areas. The College acquired funding and land which led to the construction of new buildings.:179–181 The dedication ceremony of a new Hilton C. Buley Library was held on October 31, 1970, a few months prior to the president’s retirement.:185 The library could hold up to 500,000 volumes with flexible space that could accommodate an equal number of additional volumes. The reputation of the new library as the showcase of the campus was, however, short-lived partly because of the asbestos problem. The health hazards of asbestos were of increasing concern in the eighties and so asbestos abatement took place over many summers causing disruption in services, loss of books and equipment, and leading to poor staff morale. Inadequate budget and lack of library personnel escalated the problem. During President Adanti's tenure in the eighties, many improvements were made on campus. A new walkway was installed between Buley Library and Engleman Hall and lined with plants. The first art gallery, the Center for the Visual Arts, was established in Buley Library by Anthony Bonadies, a former Chairperson in the Art Department.:246
Renovation and Addition
As the library's collections kept growing, space was a major concern. When funding for a new addition and renovation to the existing library was approved by the legislature, a building planning committee was formed in 1999. The construction would be executed in two phases. Phase I was the new addition which began in 2005 and took three years to complete. Phase 2, the renovation of the old building, was delayed for financial and other reasons until 2013. The outer framework of the library building was covered in plastic and was quite an eyesore during construction. The old building was completely renovated and linked to the new addition in a short span of two years. The state-of-the-art library building opened its doors in March 2014.
The total funding for the addition and renovation amounted to $91.5 million. The 135,000 square foot addition cost $51.2 million and the renovation cost $40.3 million. The renovated building consisted of 98,000 square feet; the glazed walkway connecting the two buildings is 12,000 square feet and the total library square footage is 245,000 square feet making it one of the largest library buildings in Connecticut. The building boasts a brick exterior, aluminum curtain wall, metal and precast concrete to match the facade of the addition. Oak Park architects in conjunction with Holzman Moss Bottina Architechture of New York were the designers of the building project. The first floor has a cyber cafe, computer lab, Learning Commons, technology stations, the information technology and reference desks and beautiful Tiffany windows which are the pride of the building and the institution. The flexible design of the Learning Commons promotes individual and group learning. Six study rooms are conveniently situated around the periphery of the Commons. The space is inviting, lively, and well illuminated. Plans for a 24 hour study space are part of the building program.
The library showcases the latest media technology with additional space being allocated for media on the ground floor. The Special Collections and Archives section, a new Art Gallery, and a spacious reading room are other attractions on the ground floor. The building also houses classrooms, conference rooms, computer labs, faculty and administrative offices, a Faculty Development Center on the second floor, a Tutorial Center on the third floor and the IT Department on the fourth floor.
Four spectacular Tiffany Windows are the library's pride and joy. Louis C. Tiffany (1848-1933), one of America's most talented and renowned artists best known for his work in stained glass, created these beautiful pieces. Three of these, "Angel of Praise", "Water Brooks", and "Hector" are located on the south side of the Learning Commons area just behind the Reference Desk in large boxes to be viewed against natural light. These were gifted to the university in the sixties from the First Center Church of Christ in New Haven. A fourth window, the "Congregational window", was gifted by the Congregational Church in the 1990s and is currently displayed in the second floor reading room. The windows were installed in the old library in 1972 but just before the building was renovated they were removed, restored by Serpentino Stained Glass Studio, and kept in storage till they were ready to be displayed.
The Water Brooks window (1898-1904) was created in memory of Ezekiel Hayes Trowbridge, a descendant of one of the founders of the Church, and is 54" wide and 98" high. The Hector, which was designed in 1898, is the ship which transported the early colonist to New Haven in 1638. The four corners of the window contain the four meeting houses of the congregation dated 1640, 1670, 1757, and 1814.
Among the library's most treasured holdings are the Carolyn Sherwin Bailey's Collection of Children's Literature, Helen Liveten Juvenile Collection, William Cahn Labor Collection, Connecticut Collection, Eula H. Davies Napoleonica Collection, A.H. Gosselin Sound Collection, David Libbey Collection of Library Postcards, Edward G. Levy collection of Nineteenth Century Textbooks and Ephemera, Sherman Reilly Collection of Tracts, and the Artists' Book Collection. The Artists' Book Collection is a unique and interesting collection of over 100 books that range in size from a post-it note to one that can cover a table. They explore a wide gamut of topics from alcohol addiction to civil war to the "housewifery" movement of the 1950s. The university's digital collections include American Publishers' Binding, 1829-1975; Connecticut Libraries, the newsletter of the Connecticut Library Association; Connecticut Women's Hall of Fame containing samples of ephemera owned by women who belonged to the Hall of Fame; and the Libbey Library Postcard Collection consisting of over 1,400 library postcards donated by Dr. David Libbey, professor emeritus.