Dining and the Student Union

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Students eating at Harrison Hall, 1970
Dining at Harrison Hall circa 1970

When the dormitory rooms in the school in closed in 1900 the dining room closed also, leaving only a lounge for students to eat their lunches in.In 1928 the Phi Alpha Zeta fraternity, working with Principal Thompson, renovated a room in the building and a cafeteria was opened, offering hot lunches. When in 1941 the new building was finished there was a cafeteria in the basement.


Hartwell CafeThe cafeteria in the 1940s (basement, Hartwell Hall)

In 1952 the new Union opened, complete with snack bar and cafeteria. Later, in 1967, Brockway and Dailey opened, the first buildings built expressly as dining halls.

Student Union

Students socializing in the Union, 1950s Time for a smoke & a little conversation in the Student Union, sometime in the 1950s...

As mentioned in the caption to a photo on the first page of this section, the building we now call Lathrop Hall was, when built in 1952, the original Student Union. It was the first Union ever for Brockport and a source of great pride. Prior to 1952 students had the use of one or two rooms in the main building for a lounge or "reception area," but space had always been limited. Now the students had a building of their own! Frank Clifford was the manager and he and his family lived in an apartment in the building. There were dining areas, lounges, offices for student organizations like the Stylus, and a wide range of activities to choose from. Activities in the 50s included "sox dances", formal class dances, bridge or euchre tournaments, concerts and visits by guest lecturers.

As the college grew there became a need for a larger Union, and in 1969 Seymour Union opened. It was named after William Seymour, 19th century Brockport inventor and member of the school's board of trustees. The director was Terrin Hover and in addition to continuing services like dining facilities, bookstore space and the like, new features such as a radio station and automatic teller machines have come along.

Picture of Seymour Union, 1970
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Last Updated 8/28/17