Skip Navigation

Brockport / History / Faculty / Dr. Bruce Leslie

History Faculty

Dr. Bruce LeslieDr. Leslie

Office: 320 Liberal Arts Building
Phone: 585.395.5691


  •  American Social History 


  • Ph.D., Johns Hopkins University, 1971
  • B.A., Princeton University (cum laude), 1966

Awards and Honors 

  • Program Chair, SUNY 60th Anniversary Conference, 2008-2009
  • Editorial Board, History of Education Quarterly, 2007 - 2010
  • Chair, AERA New Scholar Book Award Committee, 2003 and 2005.
  • Brockport Alumni Association, Certificate of Appreciation, 2004.
  • Visiting Scholar, University of Cambridge, 2003,  2005, & 2007-8.
  • Fulbright Senior Specialist Selection Committee, 2003   - 2008
  • Fulbright Scandinavian Selection Committee, 1999-2001.
  • Fulbright Professor, Institut for Engelsk, Aarhus Universitet, Denmark, 1996-97.
  • Reader, U.S. History Advanced Placement Exam, 1994 -->
  • Book Gentleman and Scholars: College and Community in the "Age of the University," 1865-1917, (University Park, PA: Pennsylvania State University Press, 1993) included in Fincher, et. al., 100 Classic Books on Higher Education (Phi Delta Kappan).
  • Editorial Board, History of Higher Education Annual, 1991 -->
  • Editorial Board, ASHE History of Higher Education Readers, 1989 & 1997.

Courses Taught

  • Modern America
  • The United States and the World
  • Education in American History
  • America from its Centennial to Pearl Harbor: "From Custer to Casablanca"



  • State University of New York at Brockport, Arcadia Publishing, 2007.
    [with Mary Jo Gigliotti and Kenneth P. O’Brien]
  • Gentlemen and Scholars: College and Community in the "Age of the University," 1865-1917. University Park: Pennsylvania State University Press, 1993; Second Edition, New Brunswick and London: Transaction Publishers, 2005  


  • “The Liberal Pan-Protestant Moment and the Emergence of the University,” Perspectives in the History of Higher Education (forthcoming)
  • “Four Colleges and their Communities”, in Roy Lowe (ed.), The History of Higher Education  (Routledge, 2008)
  • “From Donnish Dominion to Economic Engine: Explaining the Later 20th Century Revolution in English Higher Education”, History of Higher Education Annual  23 (2003)[with John Halsey]
  • "Two Scottish Dominies Logs," History of Education Researcher [England] 72 (Nov., 2003), 74-83 (with Stuart Hood).
  • "Britain's White Paper Turns Higher Education Away From the EU," International Higher Education 32 (Summer, 2003), 10-12 (with Professor Halsey).
  • "A College Upon a Hill: Exceptionalism & American Higher Education," in Dale Carter (Ed.), Marks of Distinction: American Exceptionalism Revisited, Vol. 32 of The Dolphin (Aarhus, Denmark: Aarhus University Press, 2001), 197-228 (with John Halsey).
  • "Where Have All the Academies Gone?" History of Education Quarterly, 41 (sum., 2001), 264-271.
  • “German-Americans: A Case Study of Cultural Assimilation,” in Magdalena Zaborowska (Ed.) Other Americans, Others Americas: The Politics and Poetics of Multiculturalism, Vol. 28 of The Dolphin (Aarhus, Denmark: Aarhus University Press, 1998), 62-79.
  • “1960ernes USA,” [in Danish] Passage 26 (1997), 9 - 23.
  • “Richie, not Fonzie: The Real ‘Happy Days,’” Anglofiles 102 (June, 1997), 7-13.
  • "When Professors had Servants: Prestige, Pay, and Professionalization, 1860-1917," History of Higher Education Annual 10 (1990), 19-30.
  • “The Family, History, & the Classroom,” Journal of Family History 11 1986)
  • "Creating a Socialist Scout Movement: The Woodcraft Folk, 1942-42," History of Education [England], 13 (1984), 299-311.
  • "`Time, the Subtle Thief of Youth': Historians and Youth," Youth and Policy, 11 (Winter, 1984-5), 49-51.
  • "Coming of Age in Urban America: The Socialist Alternative, 1901-1920," Teachers College Record,85 (Spring, 1984), 459-476. 
  • "From Tumult to Benign Neglect: The Strange Career of the History of American Higher  Education in the 1970's," Review of Higher Education, III (Spring, 1980), 3-7. 
  • "The Historiography of a Stage of Life: Youth in Western Society," Foundational Studies, XIII (1979), 47-58.
  • "Between Piety and Expertise: Professionalization of College Faculty in  the 'Age of the  University', Pennsylvania History, XLVI (July, 1979),  245-265.
  • “American University as Gatekeeper,” History of Education Quarterly 18 (Fall, 1978).
  • "Localism, Denominationalism & Institutional Strategies in Urbanizing America: Three  Pennsylvania Colleges, 1870-1915," History of Education Quarterly, 17 (Fall 1977), 235-56.
  • "The Re-emergence of the American College: A Multiple-Case Study, 1870 - 1920," Liberal Education, LXII (December 1976), 507-526.
  • "The Response of Four Colleges to the Rise of Intercollegiate Athletics,  1865-1915," Journal of Sport History, 3 (Winter, 1976), 213-222.
  • "The Lost World of McGuffey's Readers: School and Society in the United States, 1860-1920,"  Contemporary Education, XLVII (Spring 1976), 135-140.
  • "James McCosh in Scotland," Princeton University Library Chronicle, XXXVI (Autumn, 1974), 47-60.

Conferences and Presentations

  • “Rescuing the State Teachers College from History’s Scrapheap,” (with Prof. O’Brien), Researching New York, November, 2009.
  • “Almost the Oldest Profession: Academic  from Socrates to Silicon Valley,” Brockport 26th Annual RA Conference, November, 2009.
  • “Birth, Boom, & Bust: SUNY from 1940 to 1980,” Assn of SUNY Councils & Trustees, October, 2009.
  • “American Universities, Professional Schools, and Liberal Education,” Beyond the Lecture Hall Conference, Univ. of Cambridge, Sept., 2009.
  • "'Two Systems Separated by a Common Language': The Dilemmas of Cultural Exchange in Anglo-American Higher Education, 1890-2005," History of Education Society Annual Meeting, Baltimore, October, 2005.
  • "An American looks at the White Paper," University of Cambridge, June 2003.
  • "When the Past is Not Another Country: Perils of Histotical Research in Your Own backyard (i.e., University)" American Studies Center, Aarhus Univ., Denmark, April 2003.
  • "Repressed Deutschum or Successful Assimilation?  The Fate of German America, 1871-1942," British Assn. of American Studies Annual Conference, Swansea, Wales, May, 2000.
  • "This Side of Paradise": Class, College, & a Case of American Exceptionalism," Danish American Studies Consortium Research Seminar: March 17, 2000.
  • College, Culture, & Class: Creating an American Upper Middle Class, 1865-1929," University of Newcastle History Department Seminar, February 14, 2000.
  • "The Death of the Academy" at the History of Education Society Annual Meeting, Atlanta, October, 1999.
  • Organized and participated in "Toward Writing the History of Post-WWII Colleges and Universities," at the History of Education Society Annual Meeting, Atlanta, October 1999.
  • Organized and chaired "Teaching American Studies Abroad," American Studies Center, University of Toronto, April, 1999.

 Current Projects

  • Editing  SUNY Press Book commemorating SUNY’s 60th anniversary.
  • Preparing paper on SUNY Brockport c.1945-65 as a case study of the State Teachers College.
  • Preparing paper on the influence of English models on Woodrow Wilson for  “The Educational Legacy of Woodrow Wilson” Princeton University, October, 2009.
  • Conducting oral history projects at SUNY Brockport & Princeton University.
  • Co-authoring with Prof. Halsey a socio-historical comparison of British and American higher education.


Last Updated 7/31/14


Congratulations to Dr. Jose R. Torre on winning the Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Teaching!

History major Michael Zagari has been accepted into the Duquesne University School of Law this coming fall on a full academic scholarship! During his time at Brockport, Mike has played on the NCAA men’s ice hockey team and has won the Jack Crandall and Robert Griswold History Department Awards.

History major Gabrielle Brannigan received a scholarship to enter the MA program in Social Studies and Special Education at the University of Rochester's Warner School of Education.

History professor Jose R. Torre to direct NEH Landmarks Workshop for K-12 teachers. The Rochester Reform Trail explores Rochester’s nationally important antebellum reform history. This July, 72 K-12 teachers from as far away as California, Florida and Oregon will visit Rochester and learn why national figures like Frederick Douglass and Susan B. Anthony chose to live and work for social justice in Rochester, New York.


Robert Marcus Memorial Lecture, Thursday, 4/14/16, 7:30 pm, McCue Auditorium (LibArt 104 A/B), Dr. Raymond Craib (Cornell University), Title: "The Cry of the Renegade:  The politics and poetry of subversion in Santiago, Chile"