The lawn of Hartwell Hall, late 1940s
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Student life at Brockport is a culture with a history dating back to when our school first opened for classes in December of 1841. Many elements of that culture have changed, for example student's rooms are no longer heated with wood stoves, and the school's role in regulating student behavior has been much reduced. Many things have not changed though - many students do still live on campus, just as they did 150 years ago, and while some expectations of student conduct change with the fashions of the times, others, like the desire to learn and grow, are still expected and fostered. Some things have come, left, and then come again, like the Greek Letter Societies. They were a major element in student life from the 1870s to the 1930s, were absent from the campus from the 1940s to the 1970s, and came back in the 1980s. Other things like the "daisy chain" and hazing of earlier student generations have not made a reappearance - yet! The life and culture of college students makes for a fascinating, fast-paced kaleidoscope of American social history, and Brockport's past is no exception. Click on the items below to sample Brockport student life over the years.
The first known alumni reunion took place in the summer of 1873. For some years they were picnic dinners, held in a tent on the lawn near the principal's house (now Alumni House) perhaps not far from the current location! A formal association was organized sometime in the late 1800s - the earliest constitution dates from 1902. In addition to an association for all alumni, there were regional groups at various times. The "New York Brockporters Association" held annual dinners in New York City for a number of years prior to WWI. The "Brockport State Normal School Club," a local organization for women graduates, was very active from the 1920s to the 1960s.
The college publishes a periodical, The Kaleidoscope, to inform alumni of both the current activities at the college, and the activities of their fellow graduates and their association. Every summer there is a reunion, and in the fall is Homecoming. The association provides a "locator service," i.e., if you'd like to know where your old roommate is these days... The Alumni House is operated and owned by the association and is the site of many alumni activities. The house is also available for rental. For more information on alumni affairs, or suggestions or ideas for the Kaleidoscope contact Alumni Affairs.