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Herkimer in the 1960's

April 1962

Ed Vosburgh raises the subject of a county community college at a Dolgeville Civic Club meeting at the Emmonsburg Grill. Harold Luther, Supervisor of Town of Manheim, states he was seriously considering the prospect and has begun to work toward that end.

July 16, 1962

A special committee to study the community college concept is appointed by George Casler, Chairman of the Herkimer County Board of Supervisors. Harold Luther, Madalyn Juna, Howard Leneker, John Watkins, Edwin Komendarek, Leroy Winsman, Thomas Pratt, Anthony Cosentino, Joseph Horton and William Robinson are on the committee. A proposal for the college is later drafted by the committee, accepted by the Board of Supervisors and forwarded to SUNY in January 1963.

January 7, 1963

The City of Little Falls, by resolution, favors establishment of a community college to be located in the City of Little Falls.

January 28, 1963

Herkimer County Board of Supervisors approves Resolution #21 requesting that the State University authorize a community college for Herkimer County.


The State University lists Herkimer County as a potential community college location in the 1964 SUNY Master Plan.

January 15, 1965

A public opinion survey of county residents shows 30 to 1 favoring a community college in Herkimer County.

June 21, 1965

The State University asks Herkimer County Board of Supervisors for an updated survey of prospective enrollment, curriculum and budget. To prepare a response, the Supervisors appoint an eight-person committee comprised of Messrs: Richard Jorrey, Harold Luther, Douglas Bell, George Anderson, Jim Huxtable, Ed Komendarek, Gabe Reuben and Art Whaley.

August 16, 1965

The Herkimer County Board of Supervisors approve the Education Committee’s proposal and pass Resolution #112 recommending establishment of a community college under article #126 of the Educational Law of the State of New York, subject to a referendum vote at the next general election.

November 3, 1965

The referendum on a proposed Herkimer College is passed during the November general election (7,158 - Yes; 6,780 - No; and 11,131 Blank).

December 1965

Governor Rockefeller indicates his belief that SUNY Trustees would approve the proposed Herkimer College.

January 13, 1966

SUNY Trustees resolve to sponsor and establish a community college for the County of Herkimer. Approval is given for classes to begin in 1967 with a predicted full-time enrollment of 200-225 students. Herkimer College becomes the 29th community college in the State of New York.

March 14, 1966

The Board of Supervisors appoints five members to the College’s Board of Trustees: Frederick Juer, James Anderson, Anthony Cosentino, Donald Gavagan, and William Snyder. Governor Rockefeller subsequently appoints four additional trustees: Bess Cristman, Harold Whittemore, Frances Vickers and Vincent Iocovozzi.

May 1966

Margaret Quackenbush receives appointment to the SUNY Board of Trustees.

June 29, 1966

Herkimer College Board of Trustees holds their first meeting. Fred Juer is elected Chairman. James Anderson, Anthony Cosentino and William Snyder are named to the Budget Committee.

September 7, 1966

The Herkimer College Budget for the 1966-67 Fiscal Year is approved in the amount of $241, 938 with the County to contribute a share of $140, 659.

October 10, 1966

Robert McLaughlin’s appointment as Founding President of Herkimer College, effective December 1, 1966, is approved by the SUNY Board of Trustees.

November 29, 1966

Spokespersons for Herkimer, Ilion, and Mohawk argue the use of Univac Plant #3 in Ilion as the temporary site for the college.

December 27, 1966

The Herkimer College Committee, comprising thirty prominent citizens from government, business, and the professions, announce that a 100-acre Homyk site adjacent to the Village of Herkimer, along with access roads, water and sewer connections will be made available as the permanent site for the College at no cost to the College. This offer comes about largely as the result of a $136,000 gift of Mohawk Data Sciences stock (4,000 shares) made available by Edward Johnson, George Cogar, Richard Rifenburgh, and Theodore Robinson.

January 1967

President McLaughlin announces the appointments of Warren Quets as Business Officer, John Thayer as Admissions Counselor, and David Trautlein as Dean of the College.

January 19, 1967

On a motion by Messrs Gavagan and Anderson, the Herkimer College Board of Trustees votes 5 ” 3 to accept a gift of 4000 shares of MDS stock. A subsequent resolution approving the Homyk site is approved 8 - 0.

January 26, 1967

President McLaughlin suggests some alternatives for a temporary campus site. The alternatives include: renting Univac space in Ilion, renting the Burrell property in Little Falls, using Herkimer High School evenings, or Little Falls High School evenings.

February 2, 1967

The first student is accepted for admission to the College (Keith D. Edwards from Ilion).

February 10, 1967

SUNY Trustees announce approval of the initial curricula offerings submitted by President McLaughlin.

February 15, 1967

Mr. Edward Johnson offers the College an additional 5,000 shares of MDS stock to aid the College in their building program.

A petition with 800 signatures in support of the Little Falls Overlook site is presented to the Board of Supervisors.

February 27, 1967

The Board of Supervisors approves the Homyk site resolution 12 ” 9.

April 20, 1967

The Herkimer College Board of Trustees designates the firm of Parker and Soper of Watertown, designers of Jefferson Community College, as architects to develop plans for the new campus. The Trustees also designate Univac Plant # 3 in Ilion as the temporary site.

May 25, 1967

The HCC Foundation is organized and agrees to purchase 200 acres of land as requested by the Trustees.

June 1967

A contest for an official seal for the College is held among county high school students. The winning design concept, submitted by Marie Johnson of Frankfort, is completed and executed by Bronson Quackenbush.

September 25, 1967

Registration results show 221 full-time and 101 part-time including 74 evening students and 17 in the Old Forge location. The initial professional staff number 16 and the teaching faculty include Robert Dorrance, William Elenko, Raymond Lenarcic, Arthur Muller, Charles Sadowski, Shirley Samuels, Dorothy Sharo, Jean Stapleton, and Charles Webster. Classes begin.

November 15, 1967

President Robert McLaughlin is inaugurated.

December 1, 1967

Two full-tuition scholarships are announced. This first major contribution to the College’s scholarship fund is made by Mohawk Data Sciences Corporation.

December 21, 1967

HCC Foundation acquires the Homyk site for the new campus.

January 1968

The Herkimer County Legislature is organized, succeeding the Board of Supervisors as the legislative body of Herkimer County.

April 1968

The Pacesetter, the College’s first student publication, is underway. Phi Beta Lambda business organization is formed.

June 1968

As additional space needs become apparent, a former Enjems carpet property on First Street, and 800 more square feet of space from Univac in Ilion are rented.

September 1968

Fall enrollment is 476 including 167 seniors. Instructional faculty increases to 24 and is organized into four disciplinary divisions. The Trustees approve the By-Laws of the Faculty Student Association. A club basketball team is formed, complete with eight cheerleaders.

February 1969

The first of many Herkimer College students (John D’Urso, Miles Levine and Giovanna Marchese) are listed in Who’s Who Among Students in American Junior Colleges.

March 29, 1969

Herkimer College is awarded a federal grant of $ 1,073,613 for campus construction under Title 1 of the Higher Education Facilities Act of 1963.

Spring 1969

Herkimer College softball team wins the Northeastern Collegiate Conference Championship. Phi Theta Kappa holds its Charter Induction.

June 8, 1969

Eighty eight graduates of Herkimer College receive their diplomas at the College’s first commencement held in the Herkimer Senior High School Auditorium.

October 12, 1969

Formal ground breaking ceremonies are held for the new permanent campus. The plan calls for five buildings; 280,720 square feet of space; a capacity of 1100 day students to be ready for occupancy by September 1971. Speaking at the ceremony in addition to President McLaughlin are: Dr. Donald Gavagan, Chairman of the Herkimer College Board of Trustees; Raymond Korce, Chairman of the Herkimer County Legislature; and Arthur Muller representing Herkimer College faculty.