State University of New York at Fredonia

State University of New York at Fredonia

Infobox University
name=State University of New York at Fredonia

motto= |"Where Success is a Tradition."
type=Public coeducational
endowment= $17.41 million (FY 2007) [SUNY Fredonia Facts, Media Relations Office,]
president= Dennis L. Hefner
city=flagicon|USAflagicon|New York Fredonia
state=New York
coor= coord|42|26|27|N|79|20|02|W|type:edu
campus= Small Town, 216 acre campus
nickname= Blue Devils
athletics= NCAA Division III, SUNYAC 17 varsity teams
website= []
colors= Blue and White
The State University of New York at Fredonia (also known as SUNY Fredonia or Fredonia State) is a four-year liberal arts college located in Fredonia, New York; it is a constituent college of the State University of New York. The college's motto is "Where Success is a Tradition."

SUNY Fredonia was one of the state teachers' colleges traditionally specializing in music education, but now offers a large number of programs in many areas. The most popular areas include Communication, Music, Education, and programs of the Social Sciences. There are 82 majors and 41 minors.

The SUNY Fredonia campus, located in Chautauqua County (southwest of Buffalo) was designed by prominent architects I.M. Pei and Henry N. Cobb in 1968. [Six buildings on campus have stamp of I.M. Pei, SUNY Fredonia Office of Media Relations Campus Report, Accessed 6/14/2007,] [Pei, Cobb, Freed & Partners Projects, Accessed 6/14/2007,]


Fredonia Academy (1826-1867)

Originally opened in 1826 as Fredonia Academy under its first principal Austin Smith, the Academy enrolled eight students. The first classes began on October 4, 1826. Within one year the Academy had 136 students, 81 boys and 55 girls. [Academy to State University: Fredonia's StoryWritten by William Chazanof, Accessed 6/16/2007,]

The Academy reached peak enrollment in 1856 with 217 students. Nevertheless, the school was plagued by financial shortages, and was forced to close its doors in 1867.

Normal School (1867-1948)

In 1867, the college emerged in its second phase of existence as a New York State Normal School. On December 2, 1867, the Normal (as it became commonly known) began classes with 147 students, 62 boys and 85 girls. For students preparing to be teachers, no tuition was charged, books were supplied, and travel costs were reimbursed; in return, students had to promise to teach after graduation. Those students not studying for the teaching profession paid tuition and provided their own textbooks.During its 82 years of existence, Fredonia Normal had a tumultuous existence. With a fluctuating student enrollment and threats of state funding reductions, the school seemed to be in constant jeopardy of closing.

Nonetheless, gradually the school was upgraded. In 1930, 58 acres of land west of Central Avenue in the Village of Fredonia were bought with the dream that one day it would become a campus. In 1938 a music building was constructed on the Central Avenue site. New York State Governor Herbert Lehman signed the Feinberg Law in 1942 that changed the Normal Schools into Teacher Colleges.

tate University System (1948-Present)

With the formation of the State University of New York on March 13, 1948, Fredonia took a giant step forward. The college created a Division of the Humanities in 1958 and in 1960 Fredonia was selected by State University to grant the A.B. degree. Previously, Fredonia’s curriculum was restricted for teacher training only.

In 1968, the master plan for the central avenue campus was drafted by the highly respected architectural firm of I.M. Pei & Partners of New York at the request of then-president Oscar E. Lanford. A complex came into being that consisted of Jewett Hall (science), Dods Hall (health and physical education), and Rockefeller Arts Center(building for fine arts), administration, library, and an infirmary. In 1972, Pei and Cobb returned to the SUNY Fredonia campus to complete the design of Erie Dining Hall and the suite-style residence halls. [Six buildings on campus have stamp of I.M. Pei, SUNY Fredonia Office of Media Relations, Accessed 6/16/07,]


Perhaps the most unusual signature on the Fredonia campus is that of architects I.M. Pei and Henry Cobb, who designed the master plan for the modernized campus in 1968.

Many of the buildings are listed in architectural guides as examples of exceptional modern architecture. Some are described in architectural history books. The National Building Museum listed the SUNY Fredonia campus as one of I.M. Pei's ideal places to visit in its 1991 journal, "Blueprints." [Campus bears unique stamp of I.M. Pei's vision, SUNY Fredonia News Services, Accessed 6/16/07,]

Pei is credited with designing Maytum Hall, Williams Center, Reed Library, Rockefeller Arts Center, McEwen Hall, and Houghton Hall as well as its characteristic circular perimeter, aptly named Ring Road. The design of Daniel Reed Library earned Henry Cobb and I.M. Pei the 1969 Prestressed Concrete Institute Award.

Buildings on Campus

*Reed Library was constructed in 1969. It is approximately the size of a regulation football field, provides seating for over 850 readers, and houses over 250,000 books. It is named for the late Daniel A. Reed (1875-1959), U.S. Representative from the Fredonia area for over 40 years.
*Michael C. Rockefeller Arts Center, constructed in 1968, is named after the youngest son of former Governor Nelson A. Rockefeller, who disappeared in 1961 during an anthropological expedition in New Guinea. The Rockefeller Arts Center includes a 1,200-seat concert hall, 400 seat proscenium theatre, 250-seat arena theatre, an art gallery, and 24 classrooms.
*Fenton Hall was named for the late Reuben Fenton, U.S. Senator, and Governor, who was born in Carroll, Chautauqua County. Fenton Hall houses the office of the University President as well as classrooms, academic offices and the Gazebo Cafe (part of Signature Cafe). Computer Science, Modern Languages, English, and Philosophy are some of the departments housed in Fenton.
*Mason Hall is home to the prestigious School of Music and was named after American music education pioneer Lowell Mason. This hall is actually two buildings, "Old Mason" and "New Mason," which are connected together. Mason Hall includes over 100 personal practice rooms, several small ensemble practice rooms, as well as large ensemble rooms. Both Juliet J. Rosch Recital Hall and Diers Recital Hall are located here, as well as two state-of-the-art MIDI technology labs, and an extensive Studio Recording Department.
*Maytum Hall is an 8 floor semi-circular office building and computer center, and was named after Arthur Maytum (1866-1953). He served as Chairman of the Board of Visitors of the Fredonia Normal School and Teachers college from 1928 to 1953. He also served as supervisor of the Town of Pomfret from 1931-1938.
*Steele Hallis mainly used as a sports center with a basketball court and an ice rink. Both are often used for community hockey games and other community events.
*University Commons which opened for the Fall Semester 2006 is an expansion and renovation on the former Cranston Dining Hall. Originally opened in 1969, Cranston served as one of the two cafeteria style dining halls at SUNY Fredonia (the other being Marketplace at Erie Dining Center). Currently, University Commons is a multi-use facility with a 124 bed Residence Hall, the Cranston Marche (all you can eat, made to order dining facility), the University Bookstore and Convenience Store, offices for FSA management, and a Starbucks.
*Gregory Hall is a multi-purpose building consisting of a 200-bed dormitory, the offices for the Faculty-Student Association (Bookstore, Foodservice), Residence Life, University Police, the Campus Print Shop, and the Career Development Office. Before its current uses, Gregory Hall previously housed the campus radio station WCVF AM/FM and the Student Association offices.
*The Williams Center, previously the Campus Center, houses the Office of Campus Life, the Student Association, Signature Cafe (which operates 5 cafes throughout campus), the Spot, the newly renovated Centre Pointe dining facility (operated by FSA) and is the meeting location for most of the SA clubs and groups.
*Thompson Hall is the largest academic building at SUNY Fredonia. It houses the departments of Multicultural Affairs, Psychology, Political Science, Speech Pathology, Sociology, and History, among others, plus the College of Education. The building is designed as "riot proof". It has narrow stairwells, dimly lighted hallways and no operable windows.
*Houghton Hall and Jewett Hall are the two science buildings at SUNY Fredonia. They house the departments of Geology, Physics, Chemistry, and Biochemistry, and the 3-2 Cooperative Engineering Program.
*Nixon Hall is a 200-bed dormitory named for Samuel Frederick Nixon of Westfield. He was a member of the Fredonia College Council (1932-1952). He was also one of the nation's leading independent telephone executives and was the President of the Chautauqua and Erie and the Dunkirk and Fredonia Telephone Companies.
*Alumni Hall is a 200-bed dorm for freshman women.
*Igoe Hall is a 200-bed dorm for upperclassmen. It is named after Jimmy Igoe who died on Lake Erie. It is a co-ed building.
*Hendrix Hall is a 200-bed dormitory for upperclassmen, situated next to Igoe Hall and across from Hemmingway Hall. Hendrix is home to one of the last independently student-run television stations in America, WNYF Television.
*Disney Hall
*Schulz Hall
*Hemingway Hall
*Eisenhower Hall
*Grissom Hall
*Kasling Hall
*Erie Hall
*LoGrasso Hall
*McGinnies Hall
*Chautauqua Hall
*McEwen Hall
*Dods Hall
*King Concert Hall

The Leader

"The Normal Leader" was created in September 1899 by the Zetesian society, an all male literary organization. "The Normal Leader" was a monthly newspaper, costing ten cents a copy or fifty cents for a yearly subscription.

On September 28, 1936 "The Normal Leader" became what we know today as [ "The Leader"] on its Vol. XXXVI article No. 3 even though the school would not change its name to [ SUNY Fredonia] until 1948. The Leader is produced by a team of dedicated Fredonia students, some of whom receive stipends from the Student Association. "The Leader" is printed by the [ "Corry Journal"] in Corry, Pennsylvania and is distributed free on campus and in the surrounding community thanks to advertising revenue and the mandatory student activities fee.

Notable Alumni


*Dr. Benjamin Franklin Goodrich 1857- Founder of [ B.F.Goodrich tire company]
*James H. McGraw 1884 - Founder of [ McGraw-Hill Companies] Set a higher standard for industrial journalists. [Biographical Dictionary of American Business Leaders, Accessed 11/4/2007,,M1]
*Louis Boyer '65 - Owner of Polyloom Corporation of America, was the first to develop artificial turf [In Addition, College and University Profiles, Accessed 6/17/2007,]


*Peter Michael Goetz '65 - Actor [ Biography for Peter Michael Goetz at IMDB, accessed 6/14/2007,] [ Famous Alumni State University of New York College at Fredonia at, accessed 6/14/2007,]
*Mary McDonnell '74 - Academy Award-nominated actress [Mary McDonnell Biography at Yahoo Entertainment, accessed 6/14/2007,]
*Brian Frons '77 - President, Daytime, Disney-ABC Television Group [ Frons Biography at Disney-ABC Television, accessed 6/14/2007,]
*Andrea Romano '77 - Peabody Award winner. Seven time Emmy award winner. Casting and voice director [ Outstanding Achievement Award SUNY Fredonia News Services, Accessed 6/14/2007,]
*Marc Calixte '93- Screenwriter (The Perfect Holiday)
*Evan Harrington- Actor [ Evan Harrington Website, accessed 1/24/2008,]
*Jennifer Cody '91- actress
*Rich Ceisler '78 - Stand-up Comedian, Actor, Writer []


*James Houlik '64 - American Tenor Saxophonist [James Houlik Biography at Duquesne University, Accessed 6/16/2007,]
*Roberta Guaspari '69 - Internationally renowned Music Educator [Biography for Roberta Guaspari at IMDB, accessed 6/14/2007,]
*Dr. Allan Dennis '70 - Music educator and conductor [Allan Dennis Faculty Biography at Midwest Young Artists, accessed 6/14/2007,]
*Onaje Allan Gumbs '71 - Pianist, Composer, and Bandleader [ SUNY Fredonia Alumni Outstanding Achievement Award, Accessed 11/4/2007, ]
*Barbara Kilduff '81 - Soprano [NY Times Archives, Barbara Kilduff, Accessed 6/14/2007, ]
*Clint Holmes - Signer [, Accessed 9/7/2008]

Politics, Government, and Law

*Reuben Fenton - U.S. Senator and Governor of New York State from 1865-1868 (Attended part of a term at Fredonia Academy) [Academy to State University: Fredonia's Story Written by William Chazanof, Accessed 6/16/2007,] [Reuben Fenton, Fenton History Center, Accessed 6/16/2007,]
*Ozra Amander Hadley - Governor of the State of Arkansas from 1871-1873 [Ozra Amander Hadley Biography at Anything Arkansas Directory, Accessed 6/14/2007,]
*Paul Cambria '69 - Leading first-amendment lawyer [Paul J. Cambria, West Legal Directory, accessed 6/14/2007,]
*Robert Spitzer '75 - Political Scientist [ Robert Spitzer Biography at SUNY Cortland, accessed 6/14/2007,]
*James B. Foley '79 - Diplomat and former U.S. Ambassador to Haiti [James B. Foley Biography at U.S. State Department, accessed 6/14/2007, ]
*Catharine M. "Cathy" Young - Current New York State Senator

Literature and Education

*Neil Postman '53 - Educator and author [Neil Postman "Outstanding Achiever" at Homecoming, accessed 6/14/2007,]
*Lucille Clifton '55 - American Poet [Lucille Clifton Biography at The Poetry Center, accessed 6/14/2007,]
* [ Wendy Lindstrom] '71- Famous romance writer, 2003 RITA award
*Gaelen Foley '91 - Author [About the Author: Gaelen Foley, Powell Books, Accessed 6/14/2007,]
* [ Wendy Corsi Staub] '86- New York times best selling suspense author


*Diane Pennica '73 - Biologist and researcher, Genetech [Researcher Profiles: Diane Pennica at Genentech, Inc., accessed 6/14/2007,]
*Michael Marletta '73 - Chemist and MacArthur Fellow [Michael Marletta Biography at UC Berkeley, accessed 6/14/2007, ]


*Joseph A. Allen 1867-1869
*J.W. Armstrong 1869-1898
*Francis B. Palmer 1898-1907
*Myron T. Dana 1908-1922
*Howard Griffth Burdge 1922-1928
*Herman Cooper 1929-1931
*Leslie R. Gregory 1931-1948
*Harry W. Porter 1953-1961
*Oscar Lanford 1961-1971
*Dallas K. Beal 1971-1984
*Donald A. MacPhee 1985-1996
*Dennis L. Hefner 1997-Current

(Earlier Presidents were Principals and are not included list)
Joseph A. Allen
(April 25, 1819 - July 17, 1904)
Joseph A. Allen was the first "President" of The Fredonia Normal School. Prior to coming to Fredonia he was the Principal of both Syracuse Academy and The State Reform School and at Westboro where he was principal for 7 years. After his death he was said to have been known as one of the best educators in New England.
Dennis L. Hefner
Dennis L. Hefner received his Bachelor's degree in economics from California State University and both his Masters in economics and Ph. D from Washington State University. Prior to coming to Fredonia he worked for the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare in Washington, D.C. and also as Vice President of Academic Affairs at California State University in San Bernardino from 1990-1994. He also worked as Vice Chancellor of Academic Affairs for Minnesota Sate Colleges and Universities from 1994-1996.

History of the Athletic Team Name

Fredonia athletic teams compete as the Blue Devils.

When SUNY Fredonia was first known as the Fredonia Normal School; the athletics team were known as the "Normalites". On January 27th, 1936, "The Leader" issued an article which publicized a contest to come up with a new name for the teams. There were two names the committee had chosen, Blue Jackets and Blue Devils. The name Blue Devils seemed to be used more than Blue Jackets. In the issue of "The Leader" on September 30th, 1952; the name Blue Devils was used officially for the first time.

Alma Mater

[ SUNY Fredonia Alma Mater]

Near the shores of old Lake ErieStands our Alma Mater true.Fredonia State we proudly honor,With its colors white and blue.

Sing its glory and its praisesLet them ring forever true.Beloved is our Alma Mater.Fredonia State, all hail to you.

External links

* [ SUNY Fredonia]
* [ SUNY Fredonia Computer Science Department]
* [ SUNY Fredonia Student Association]
* [ WNYF Television]
* [ Fredonia Radio Systems]


*Archive and Special Collections, SUNY Fredonia, Daniel E. Reed Library
**Building Naming Committee - Correspondence, lists of names.
**College History Buildings - Nixon Hall.
**History of the College at Fredonia.
**General History of Buildings.
**"F.N.S Squad Needs Catchy Nickname" The Leader, 27 January 1936
*"The Historical Development of State University of New York College..." (PH.D diss. John Ford Ohles) State University of New York at Buffalo, 1964

*President's List: College History Reference Files, Archives and Special Collections, Daniel A. Reed Library, Suny Fredonia

*The Normal Leader. Vol. I, No. 1, September, 1899, p.1

*The Leader. Vol. CXIV, No. 2, September 13, 2006, p.5

*From Academy to State University: Fredonia's Story, by William Chazanof (1967). Accessed 6/16/2007,


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