University of Rochester History: Chapter 35, Reunion of the Colleges

REUNION OF THE COLLEGES

By all odds, the merger of the Colleges for Men and Women represented the most dramatic, the most far-reaching innovation of the de Kiewiet stewardship. At least once a year since the opening of the River Campus, University groups or individuals had investigated the practicality of combining collegiate instruction on a single campus. But seemingly insuperable obstacles barred the way; for one thing, consolidation would entail very large expenditures for buildings to accommodate the combined undergraduate bodies, and for another, no persuasive plan to dispose of the women's college properties seems to have been suggested.

Generations of alumnae and of older alumni cherished a sentimental attachment to Prince Street, and the philosophy that separation of the sexes was sound educational policy had numerous and convinced partisans. It was argued, too, that integration would curtail the chances for women to emerge as student leaders and that removal from Prince Street would reduce opportunities to take courses at the Eastman School and for Eastman students to enroll for collegiate work. Trustees, indeed, had tentatively approved plans to expand the overcrowded facilities of the College for Women; estimates put the cost of the construction that would be needed at $4 million, and $10 million more in endowment would be required to generate sufficient income to support the college.

On the other side of the ledger, it was rightly reasoned that unification would provide an enlarged curriculum for both sexes, eliminate the passage of students from one campus to the other for certain advanced courses, and remove the necessity for many teachers to travel from one location to the other. Then too, the point was made that the invasion of factories and rooming houses in the district round about the Prince Street campus had diminished the attractiveness of the area.

Above and beyond all, it was contended that the expense of operating a separate women's college yielded no comparable educational advantages, and that logic was reinforced by the reasoning that it was desirable to educate young men and women together. Across the country the dominant trend in higher education was toward coeducation, and from the beginning that pattern had prevailed at the Eastman and the Medical Schools--why not, then, in the college?

Aware that a merger would be expensive, aware of the controversial nature of the idea, aware that consolidation, if effected, would shape collegiate learning in Rochester indefinitely, de Kiewiet had scarcely seated himself in the executive chair than he initiated investigations on the practicality of unification; and he consulted "literally with more than a thousand people" on the subject. Not only did the President put forward the reunion scheme, he was its principal architect and driving force. "Imagination and speculation," he remarked, were excited by the very boldness of his initiative, yet he moved cautiously. But move he did and so in time did the Women's College.

A cost analysis revealed that expenditures for the separate women's institution amounted to something like $250,000 a year. With that persuasive economic argument in his pocket, the President appointed eight committees to explore every conceivable angle of a consolidation, from instruction through student activities to space requirements and the capital construction that would be needed. Voluminous reports that were turned over in April, 1952, though preliminary in character, pointed uniformly to the conclusion that integration would be feasible. 1

Simultaneously, under guidance of the Office of University Development, a central advisory committee for University planning, named in October, 1951, undertook a fresh survey of the educational needs of the colleges. Headed by Professor Kathrine Koller and divided into four subcommittees, this group conferred many times and submitted rather detailed, but tentative, reports in February, 1952. Among other things, the committee favored a unified undergraduate population of 2,500 (subsequently reduced to 2,000), a River Campus graduate enrollment of 300 to 500, and the organization of an Institute of Social Relations.

Further deliberations yielded a final report, June, 1952, which recommended a remedial reading clinic, better faculty club quarters, larger appropriations for grants-in-aid to promote faculty research, more secretarial help, and bigger subsidies for faculty publication. It was felt, too, that more teachers should be appointed and that arrangements for visiting professors should be regularized. Honors Division offerings should be expanded, six competitive national scholarships for the humanities and social studies comparable to the Bausch and Lomb awards in science ought to be set up, and student counseling services should be made more effective.

In the area of graduate education, the committee proposed that college departments not offering training for the doctorate should be readied to do so, and more post-baccalaureate fellowships should be created. Taken together, the committee recommendations clearly mirrored faculty thinking on constructive improvement for the University of the future: Continuing in a sense the labors of the Koller committee, a merger committee on curriculum, meeting between December, 1952, and June, 1953, proposed additional courses in the three grand divisions, the humanities, the social studies, and the sciences, and a course in "home-making" to prepare women better for future responsibilities. Yet another committee, composed exclusively of women, meticulously weighed the merits and disadvantages of a coordinate and a coeducational institution and concluded that the latter was preferable for Rochester if sufficient funds were obtained; otherwise, the group felt that it would be wise to remain at Prince Street. 2

In the meantime, prematurely, a banner headline in a Rochester newspaper proclaimed, "U. of R. Considers Transfer of Women to River Campus." It was promptly and officially pointed out that the word "considers" deserved to be heavily underlined, since no decision had yet been taken. Naturally, the very suggestion of consolidation provoked widespread discussion and debate in all segments of the University family, and to a degree in the Rochester community at large. It was the subject of lengthy examination, in the trustee body and at a student convocation on February 27, 1952. The reaction to the idea of integration among the male students, so far as it could be gauged, was either non-committal or downright hostile, while women undergraduates applauded vigorously. A Campus diagram indicated the sites where new buildings might be erected on the River Campus if the merger came to pass. A comic issue of the Tower Times printed a treatise, "Results of Campus Unification Portrayed, or what would George Eastman Say Now?" while the Campus, saying "Coeducation is Imminent," had the consolidation taking place at Prince Street, the Genesee River rerouted to satisfy the verse of the Alma Mater, and the River Campus converted into a state penitentiary; a glamorous female was presented as "the coordinator of athletics."

After the merger decision became official, the Campus soliloquized, "The general attitude of the men toward integration... has evolved into a calm indifference, not a smoldering hostility...The men have come to realize and to admit the vast advantages for all concerned in the integrated university." 3

Most graduates who wrote to the President on the merger question were sympathetic, though there was some with vociferous dissent. Executives at many universities and in the great philanthropic foundations warmly endorsed consolidation. On April 17, 1952, the college faculty unanimously set its stamp of approval on reunion. The next day the executive committee of the board of trustees voted "enthusiastically" for unification "at the earliest possible moment," and at a general board meeting on April 26 all trustees in attendance voted that a merger should be effected "as soon as feasible" and that "associated improvements [should] be made in the program of other parts of the University." Trustee Ball recalled that he had once strenuously supported separation of the sexes, but now he was just as strongly on the side of coeducation. Joseph C. Wilson declared himself "a crusader for merger," and Trustee Castle acquiesced in the historic verdict, though somewhat reluctantly. Unconvinced of the wisdom of consolidation, two trustees turned in their resignations. 4

It was announced that the merger policy had been adopted in order to strengthen the collegiate educational program and to attain greater efficiency and economy in operation. "The Old Order Changeth," declared a Rochester newspaper. To provide urgently needed buildings at Prince Street would have cost $4 million, it was stressed, while costs of the additional structures that would be required on a consolidated campus would run around $6 million. Munro Hall and Cutler Union would be transferred to the Eastman School, but no decision had yet been reached on the future location of the University School.

To the graduates de Kiewiet wrote: "This has been a year of decision. The University of Rochester now knows what it wants to do in beginning its second century. It has taken a first important step. The single campus for the College of Arts and Science has received the most emphatic support from friends and from educational experts. This is a good start, but is of course nothing but the physical foundation for the still better teaching and research which the faculty has in mind." 5

Reserving for later consideration the financing of the merger, it may be pointed out that the Carnegie Foundation cast a vote of approval by an appropriation to cover the definitive planning. An intercampus committee composed of teachers and students set to work on plans for the extracurriculum after consolidation. Frequent meetings scrutinized each significant activity on the two campuses; it was decided to perpetuate some activities and drop or revise others; student government, for example, would be carried on by a college congress comprised very largely of undergraduates with a small faculty representation. The location of the University School provoked lively controversy. Should it remain a downtown institution, or should it, too, move to the River Campus and have an office structure on or near the River Campus? Against the River Campus alternative it was contended that the presence of throngs of University School learners, together with a greatly increased undergraduate population, would cause undesirable congestion, would convert the campus into "a small equivalent of N.Y.U.," and would gravely accentuate the difficulties of automobile parking. But the proponents of removal, invoking the same fundamental arguments as for the merger of the two colleges, carried the day. 6

II

Even before the trustees had formally sanctioned consolidation, preliminary planning for new physical facilities on the River Campus had taken place. A women's residence center and gymnasium would be erected, and, after careful weighing of alternatives, it was agreed to reserve a section of the center as an infirmary. Beyond that, instead of attaching a wing on Todd Union for dining service, a men's dining center would be built, to contain space for a comfortable faculty club' as well. A separate structure for the central administration was considered and laid aside (or more exactly postponed); an addition on the east end of Rhees Library for administrative offices was similarly debated but dropped in favor of temporary quarters on the second floor of one wing of the projected women's building. For the time being, University School headquarters would beset up in the former service building.

Using red brick with limestone trim, the exterior appearance of the new buildings would match the older River Campus structures, but columns and cornices would be excluded because of the prohibitive cost. The firms of Eggers and Higgins of New York City and Waasdorp and Northrup of Rochester combined forces in drafting the designs, and A. W. Hopeman and Sons Company was picked as the general contractor.

For the women's residence hall a steep knoll, known in Oak Hill Country Club parlance as "Old Gibraltar," the sixteenth hole on the golf links, was chosen; it afforded pleasing panoramas of the Genesee River and the city. A tunnel would connect the structure with a gymnasium, fitted into the hillside to the north. Sharp differences of opinion emerged over the site of the men's dining hall; one faction wished it to rise to the north of Morey Hall, but the other, which won through, wanted it situated between the Library and the Alumni Gymnasium.

As finally designed, the women's residence center rose to six stories, the facade facing Rhees Library; four self-contained sections radiated in an impressive arc. On the first floor a foyer, flanked by offices, led into a corridor with spacious lounges on either side. At the north end, a dining room of four separate units had sliding screens which could be pushed back to form a large hall of 700 seating capacity. Five levels of living quarters accommodated about 630 students with double rooms four times as numerous as singles; each floor had two lounges and two kitchenettes. The top floor contained a glass-enclosed solarium and a deck for sun-bathing, while in the basement areas were reserved for games, typing, a snack bar, and a laundry. Small wonder that, undergraduates tagged the splendid edifice "The Habein-Hilton."

Undistinguished architecturally, the two-story men' s dining center had a flat roof; so that a third level might be added in the future. On the ground floor the eastern side was allocated to the faculty club, with generous lounges and dining facilities for 130; to the west a big recreational student lounge with fireplace was laid out. The dining room on the floor above had tall windows fronting on the Alumni Gymnasium," partitions separating the two dining areas could be moved back to form a room seating 500; side sections were temporarily fitted up for academic and other offices. If the need arose, the dining quarters could readily be expanded. 7

On Wednesday, September 2, 1953, ground-breaking ceremonies for the women's center were conducted on "Gibraltar," Dean Habein gingerly lifting the first shovelful of earth. Brief talks hailed the event as an important move in the direction of equality of collegiate opportunities for women, or, as de Kiewiet put it, of ending "something very much like discrimination," and Trustee Chairman Ball echoed that sentiment. Earlier it had been forecast that unification would be brought about in the autumn of 1954, but now it was revealed that it would come a year later; de Kiewiet chafed under delays caused by successive revisions in building designs and by strikes of workmen.

Some artisans who had been employed in the construction of the original River Campus buildings also worked on the new structures, but trucks had now wholly displaced horse-drawn carts and costs per cubic foot of floor space had climbed about three times.

While construction progressed, a committee on sites and traditions, chaired by Professor Carl K. Hersey, was instructed to prepare an inventory of names, memorials, traditions, and the like at Prince Street worthy of transfer to the River Campus, to recommend new sites for the memorials and wording for commemorative plaques. For one reason and another the historic names of Anderson, Sibley, Reynolds, Carnegie, and Catharine Strong, affixed to Prince Street structures, were passed over. Though the women's residence center retained that nondescript, inelegant title, its four wings honored individuals who had pioneered in the education of women at the U. of R.: Lewis Henry Morgan, Susan B. Anthony, Emily Weed Hollister, and Mary T. L. Gannett. To the dining hall at the women's center was given the name of Edwine Danforth, another tireless promoter of higher education for women, who had served, for example, as the treasurer of the Anthony Memorial Fund of 1907 and for many years was a trusted friend and advisor of the College for Women. 8

Recalling the lengthy and arduous struggle of the alumnae to raise money for a swimming pool, an Olympic-size pool in the gymnasium was named the alumnae pool. For the dedication ceremony a happy alumna, Roberta Peters McFarland, 1922, described the evolution of feminine bathing apparel in ecstatic verse, which began:

The swimsuit is a strange alliance
Of frivolous fashion and sober science;
Archimedes, that sage clairvoyant
First discovered that girls are buoyant?
And, according to Darwin, all who wish
Can claim descent from the frogs and fish.
So urgings ancestral drive women and men
To dunk themselves in the water again.


To adorn the northern side of the gymnasium, University sculptor William E. Ehrich made an enameled "sunburst in stainless steel," a golden dandelion--symbolic of spring and defying northern winds and bleakness of winter; eventually it was transferred to a more visible location above the entrance to Alumni Gymnasium.

No distinguishing title was applied to the men's dining center until 1967 when it was designated the Frederick Douglass Building in tribute to the eminent Negro orator and editor who had spent many of his most creative years in Rochester. By that time the structure had undergone (1963) enlargement on the south to provide ampler faculty club quarters, rooms for student placement services, and for seminars. The University Bookstore was installed in the former faculty club and space for an African Student Center was soon blocked out.

In recognition of the services of Earl B. Taylor as teacher and administrator, his name was affixed to the University School headquarters. After no little debate on whether the Prince Street statue of President Martin B. Anderson, linking the past with the present, should stand on the Eastman Quadrangle or on a plot between Crosby and Burton Halls, the latter location was chosen. The stone sphinxes in front of Sibley Hall, "rather whimsical sculptures" which had braved the elements and undergraduate pranksters for generations, were moved to the basement entrance at the west side of Morey Hall. Marble markers bearing the numerals of fourteen classes of men who graduated from Prince Street were reset beside trees on the Eastman Quadrangle," left behind were the feminine statues in niches of Sibley Hall, a sundial before it, and an overlooked portrait of a founding father, Deacon Oren Sage. Beginning in the spring of 1955, the holdings of Sibley Hall and some 10,000 volumes from the Memorial Art Gallery were transferred to Rhees Library and integrated with its collections. 9

It was appropriate that venerable Professor Emeritus Slater should compose a fond farewell to the Prince Street Campus, where he had spent so much of his teaching career. "We can take along some of our Lares and Penates, but not the spirits which they guarded," he reminded readers. "Few will say good-bye to Prince Street without some regret...It stands for an honorable academic century..." 10

Delayed by work stoppages, the women's residence hall was ready when class instruction commenced on October 3,1955. (Lack of housing had forced a two-week postponement in the opening of the school year.) Several months elapsed before the women's gymnasium and the men's dining center were fully finished. Approximately three-quarters of the women students--about 540 or nearly one hundred more than had been estimated a year before--took up residence in the dormitory. Rooms were tastefully furnished in blond maple furniture with bedspreads and curtains for the large windows in striking color harmonies; a lounge and eight bedrooms were set aside for use by commuting undergraduates. Management of the residence hall was entrusted to a director and four head residents, with five graduate students as assistants. 11

III

Impressive though the additions noted above were to the River Campus facilities, they do not exhaust the story of physical expansion in the first half of the de Kiewiet presidency. There were in addition two new dormitories for men, renovations in some older buildings, new teaching and research apparatus--some of it expensive and elaborate--to sustain an up-to-date educational program, enlargement of Rhees Library stacks and its resources, and acquisitions inland holdings which more than balanced subtractions.

Shouts of undergraduate joy ascended when it was revealed in 1952 that the six-year old barracks would be replaced by two residence halls, L-shaped and similar in appearance to the older dormitories, with which they would form a sort of quadrangle; financed out of University resources, each structure would accommodate 150 men. Opened in September, 1953, one of the dormitories recognized the contributions to the University and the community of Frank W. Lovejoy, a former trustee and late president of the Eastman Kodak Company; to the other was given the name of Charles Hoeing, longtime professor of Latin and dean. 12

The men's class of 1952 gave a handsome sundial to grace the center of the dormitory quadrangle. The trustees also authorized the erection of a Service and Accounts Building adjacent to the Medical Center for offices, storage, and the like, and remodelled the former service building for use by the University School.

In anticipation of the consolidation of the colleges, Todd Union underwent some remodelling and alterations were effected in Dewey Hall; for want of space and since they were no longer essential in teaching, the historic museum collections were largely sold or given away, and instruction in "natural history" ceased. Specimens that were retained were stored in "Himmel"--the top floor of the former museum wing of Dewey. Harkness Hall, hitherto the private preserve of the NROTC, was now shared with the AROTC. Once more the construction of a chapel--an interfaith religious center, dedicated to "the rediscovery of the brotherhood of all mankind"--was talked about, but once more it was pigeonholed, and a kindred fate befell a suggestion for a University Inn near the River Campus, which the financial officers frowned upon as not economically feasible. 13

During the Commencement season of 1954, the centennial of the birth of George Eastman, a meridian marker was unveiled inside the circle of benches at the center of the Eastman Quad. "Commemorating George Eastman's Gifts for Education * Health * Music," reads the inscription on a polished black disc, set on a red granite base with the legend "1854-1932." A stainless steel dial, engraved with the points on the compass and surrounded by twenty-four stars, indicates the exact latitude and longitude, while an inner circle contains the fundamental equation for equivalence of mass and energy. "E = mc2." Around the equation an optimistic line written by Sir Thomas Browne (1646) proclaims, "There is in wise men a power beyond the stars."

Professor Emeritus Slater, with whom originated the idea for this unusual memorial (its execution was carried out by William E. Ehrich), realized another dream when a section of the shabby wooded bluff owned by the University between the River Boulevard and the Genesee River was cleaned up. To warn airplane pilots, an ensemble of flashing lights was placed (1954) at the top of the smokestack of the University heating plant. Since discussion on that hardy perennial, the University colors, had revived, the trustees officially adopted (1954) cadmium yellow and blue. 14

IV

Looking to the future, de Kiewiet urged that more land be acquired near existing University holdings. Accordingly, two parcels approximating seventy acres south of the Barge Canal were bought (1954); designated the South Campus, the purchase gave the University a grand total of about 245 acres. Conversations were also carried on with the Barry family to acquire three houses and the surrounding acreage on Mt. Hope Avenue; it was suggested that two of the houses, if renovated, would make excellent homes for the president and the college dean. While the owners were prepared to donate the properties, they attached a condition that the University should perpetually maintain the adjoining arboretum; apparently, the trustees concluded that remodeling and maintenance would prove too costly an undertaking and negotiations ceased for the time being.

On the eastern edge of Rochester, the twenty-acre University Field along Culver Road was finally disposed of. For years the University authorities envisaged a lucrative income-earning housing or commercial development on the tract, but in 1951 the Rochester Board of Education indicated that it would like the area for anew high school. While the University was willing to sell, the price set by its appraiser was more than double the valuation proposed by a School Board appraiser. Controversy over the price was freely ventilated in the Rochester press and unquestionably hurt the community drive for the University Development Fund of 1953. As the end result of intricate bargaining, a compromise figure of $650,000 was agreed upon, the University acquiescing in the public interest and to counteract accusations of greediness. 15

University-owned property at 11 Prince Street was sold, and a citizens advisory committee of businessmen was formed to make recommendations on the disposal of the Women's College properties, except for the southern portion of the historic campus, the Eastman Building, Cutler Union, and Munro Hall, which the University chose to retain. One by one and at bargain prices, Anderson and Sibley, Reynolds and Carnegie, the heating plant, the administration building, and three former dormitories--Helen Bragdon House, Castle House, and Allton House--passed (1956) to astute purchasers; and so did the Catharine Strong-Anthony Hall complex, which a Baptist church had once considered acquiring and converting into a religious center, and which representatives of the Russian Orthodox church thought of buying for an arts college. Seelye House, residence of the first three University presidents, and then a cooperative women's dormitory, was razed (1956), thus enlarging the green space adjoining Eastman School residence halls. 16

Since the merger of the colleges would add the Prince Street holdings--about 100,000 volumes--to the Rhees Library, six more levels of stacks were built, providing space for about 200,000 volumes, and a second elevator was installed (1954). At the edge of the Welles-Brown room, a small room was set aside in which to listen to recordings of poetry and drama. Feeling that they possessed only marginal artistic appeal, critics wanted the two female statues at the head of the main stairways of the Library removed, but the matter was dropped when objections were raised.

Archival resources were enlarged by donations of papers of Louis Wiley, business manager of the New York Times and once a resident of Rochester, of William E. Werner, an eminent Rochester jurist, of David Jayne Hill, second president of the University, and of New York's Governor Thomas E. Dewey; this last gift, running to more than one million items, made necessary the construction of an additional floor in the stack area.

Other friends of the Library gave valuable collections of books by or about the novelists Thomas Hardy and Henry James. Also acquired were the original copy of the Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag, composed by Francis J. Bellamy, 1876, and a rare facsimile edition of the Book of Kells, prized masterpiece of medieval Irish artistry. Stocks of learned journals were enlarged year by year and special purchases were made of books relating to Canada, for use in instruction on the neighbor to the north. To get an experimental microprinting project underway, the Eastman Kodak firm supplied (1952) funds and equipment; styled the University Press, publication centered on reproduction of research materials and out-of-print books in music, medicine, and Americana.

V

Under the de Kiewiet leadership, the ceaseless striving for higher levels of academic excellence, heavier burdens were laid upon the trustees--more hours of sustained deliberation in coming to momentous decisions, in furnishing counsel on general policies, and in planning to build up financial resources. Repeatedly trustees were' asked to overlook no opportunity to interpret the educational goals and needs and to exert their influence to obtain good will--and good wills--for the University. For all that, the President regretted that the board did not manifest greater initiative; it lacked "internal combustion," he wrote, and he likened the board to an "ancient sailing fleet" which " lay becalmed if there isn't a wind;" yet he usually contrived "to whistle up" the wind that was essential.

As veteran trustees were promoted to honorary status or withdrew from the board, their places were largely filled by socially conscious and influential business executives of Rochester. Herman Cohn, 1907, an apparel manufacturer, Albert K. Chapman, Kodak industrialist, and his colleague, Marion B. Folsom, long prominent in national and international affairs and soon an officer in the cabinet of President Dwight D. Eisenhower, entered the board in 1952, and Mercer Brugler, 1925, a community-minded business leader, was elected the following year. Four men joined the board in 1954: C. Grandison Hoyt, 1924, a Toronto financier who had effectively promoted U. of R. interests in Canada, Ezra A. Hale, 1916, Rochester businessman, T. Carl Nixon and Sol M. Linowitz, leading attorneys in the city; Linowitz, who was associated in business with Trustee Joseph C. Wilson (they were irreverently referred to as "the Gold Dust Twins"), had for years been active behind the scenes in University matters and acted as consultant to the Office of University Development.

At the end of seven years of devoted service as board chairman, M. Herbert Eisenhart resigned in 1952, and Raymond N. Ball,- 1914, took over the onerous responsibility for the ensuing seven years. He was succeeded in turn by Joseph C. Wilson, who held the chairmanship until 1967. 17

In the meantime, the right of alumni to elect trustees had been approved, women as well as men being accorded the franchise. At the request of the graduates, the board voted (1952) that alumni might choose three trustees to hold office for a maximum of three years; at the same time a successful application was addressed to the New York State Board of Regents to raise board membership from twenty-five to twenty-eight. Winners in the first graduate balloting were Josephine Booth Hale, 1917, John W. Remington, 1917, lawyer and financier, and E. Willard Dennis, 1910, department store executive--all residents of Rochester--who took their seats on June 5, 1953. Presently the division of labor within the trustee structure was revised, six committees being eliminated, and in their stead advisory committees for the River Campus and the Medical Center were instituted. 18

Before the board of trustees had formally approved the consolidation of the two colleges, plans were well advanced to raise capital funds for new construction on the River Campus, to cost in excess of $8 million; nearly half would be needed in cash within three years. In addition, it was decided that an aggregate sum of $6.7 million should be sought to improve faculty salaries, finance visiting professorships and research and publication enterprises, and enlarge the resources available for undergraduate scholarships. It was publicly--and possibly injudiciously--disclosed that the financial resources to be raised currently represented only the first stage of ten-year money-raising effort with a total goal of $46.7 million, a figure disconcerting to those not yet accustomed to the costs of mid-century education.

A major difficulty, which was to handicap the entire Development Fund effort, was the inability of leading trustees and officials to agree on a key factor--whether capital fund gifts or "reasonably assured annual giving" should be the major objective. Some felt that such annual giving was not a firm enough base for projecting the University's budgets. Others believed that in the long run expressions of intent for annual contributions would result in greater long-term financial benefit than capital gifts. In the end, a compromise was reached. It was decided to seek $4 million in capital gifts, sufficient to meet the needs of transferring the Women's College to the River Campus. Additionally, some $300,000 in annual giving would besought, the equivalent of $6.7 million of capital funds. By combining the two, the overall goal was expressed as $10.7 million.

Overall direction of the appeal was entrusted to the Office of University Development, previously mentioned; Vice President Gilbert and his top colleague, Andrew D. Wolfe, leaned upon a steering committee of trustees, Joseph C. Wilson, 1931, at the helm for counsel and guidance, Albert D. Kaiser, 1909, as general chairman of the campaign, and Ernest A. Paviour, 1910, and Josephine Booth Hale, 1917, as co-chairmen: A New York City expert, Harold Seymour, was engaged as consultant; he emphasized the urgency of shaping a climate of community opinion sympathetic to the University interest and the fundamental importance of making Rochester more familiar with the excellence of its University and its long-term objectives. 19

On some counts the ensuing campaign paralleled the financial drive of 1924, but there were material differences. For one thing, a professional fund-raising agency was employed--the Ketchum firm of Pittsburgh, which had scored impressive results in gathering money for public causes in Rochester; the men assigned to the University effort were regarded as seasoned technicians in the fine art (or is it a science?) of soliciting funds. 20

In the second place, the campaign was undertaken in a sequence of three phases, extending over about eighteen months. Beginning early in 1952, business concerns in the Rochester area were solicited by a committee headed by Raymond N. Ball. Since very large personal gifts could not be expected on the scale of 1924--there was no George Eastman to set a high level of giving and to excite popular imagination--it was appreciated that much the larger part of the money would have to be secured from industrial and commercial firms.

During the second stage of the drive in the spring of 1953,"the University's Year of Progress" a committee of more than one hundred canvassers, directed by trustees B. Emmet Finucane and Mercer Brugler sought major subscriptions from individual donors, some of them in the form of memorials. Lastly, in the autumn of 1953 appeals were addressed to U. of R. graduates, the faculties and staff, and the general public of Rochester. E. Willard Dennis and Thomas H. Hawks, co-chairmen of this section of the drive, had James W. Gray, 1925, and Ruth Tuthill Hoffmeister, 1925, as their principal lieutenants for work among about 7,000 alumni then residing in. metropolitan Rochester. No fewer than sixty teams, each comprising a captain and nine privates, were enlisted for the campaign; personal solicitation was also organized among graduates in six other cities, and the rest of the alumni were approached directly by class agents.

Solicitation of University personnel was directed by Professor D. Lincoln Canfield. For the appeal to the Rochester public, A. Richard Todd, nephew of George W. Todd of 1924 fame, led a special gifts committee, Robert E. Ginna headed a "commerce and industry, professional and executives" group, and Mary A. Sheehan and William E. Hawley, 1921, took charge of the "education and general public" division; each of these latter groups had chairmen, vice-chairmen, division leaders, captains, and canvassers. All counted, about 3,000 men and women, several of whom had participated in the memorable appeal of 1924, were directly involved in presenting the University cause to Rochesterians. Film strips explaining methods of solicitation amplified word of mouth instructions by campaign managers.

The important task of dramatizing the fund-raising effort through various media of communication was assigned to Charles L. Rumrill, 1922. On request, a spokesman for the Development Fund appeared before service clubs and other city organizations; the Rotary and Ad Clubs held "U. of R. days." A continuous flow of radio and television programs disseminated information; displays in store windows, cards in public buses, billboards depicting a happy young man and woman, symbolical of the projected integration of the colleges, and newspaper advertisements endeavored to plant in the public mind the uppermost theme - of the campaign: "A truly great U. of R. benefits us all. Will you help?" Heavy reliance in publicizing the drive was placed on stories in business publications and articles contributed to the city press by members of the University administration and faculty.

From campaign headquarters, located at 21 Prince Street ("Castle House"), issued brochures and pamphlets setting out the financial requirements of the University and the advantages a finer institution would bring to the city. Among these pieces were "Facts," "Your Questions Answered," "The Merger Story," "A Handbook of Information about the U. of R. Development Fund," and "A Report to Our Friends" by Trustee Wilson sketching University plans "of interest to everyone who has faith in the Rochester tradition." "The U. of R., A Statement of Financial Trusteeship" succinctly recounted the soundness of University business management, its services to the community and the nation, its contributions to the economic health of the city, the high proportion of graduates who made their homes in Rochester, and related items. "How State and Federal Laws Encourage Gifts to Universities" indicated how a donor might save on income or estate taxes and pleaded, "Even more important," a gift "is an investment in youth, who will help make the world a better place in which to live."

As the campaign unfolded, President de Kiewiet penned a series of -personal letters to well-to-do Rochesterians putting forward strong and contributions to persuasive arguments for the Development Fund. Rochester, he wrote, "has a maturity and a unity of purpose which I have not found elsewhere...any goal in terms of quality achievement is possible...University and city cannot prosper without the other prospering." But the crowning publicity glory was a handsome booklet, "Creative Change for the U. of R. and Its Community," vividly portraying the University saga, the plans for growth and the money required to implement them, and strikingly illustrated by the nationally-known photographer, Ansel Adams. 21

Starting in the first half of 1952, Rochester firms such as Haloid (later Xerox), Pfaudler, Lawyers Cooperative Publishing, and Graflex turned in subscriptions, but Chairman Ball reported that company managements, though they could understand the need of funds for buildings, had difficulty in grasping the cognate purposes for which money was being accumulated. To remedy this, on October 24, 1952, Rochester business leaders were welcomed by Ball at a Development Dinner. An eminent Chicago lawyer, Laird Bell, addressed the assembled company on "The Mutual Interests and Responsibilities of Private Enterprise and Higher Education," and de Kiewiet followed with a sweeping survey on "the integrating role" of higher education in the United States and its relevance to "the stature, the position, and the security" of the country. He reviewed the specific objectives of the Development Fund and remarked upon the pledges already in hand--"an impressive beginning--harbinger of gifts to come." 22

For a month beginning on March 19, 1953, the Memorial and Special Gifts committee conducted its part of the drive, and since the targets were not reached the solicitation was continued into May. Major disagreements between volunteers and the Ketchum group ended in the replacement of its leader and restructuring of office personnel. Unhappily, three of the key Rochester figures in the overall effort, Kaiser, Wilson, and Gilbert, had to withdraw from participation for health reasons.

Disturbed by the slow pace of subscriptions, de Kiewiet addressed a clarion call to the trustees for greater commitment to the cause in hand. "I want to beg you most strenuously," he wrote, "to help us combat the apathy and the indifference and the alibis that stand in the way of success...We have to eliminate the conviction or philosophy that giving to a university is charitable giving...It is a great social and economic necessity. It is buying skill, stability, and the guarantee that the brighter people will be successfully integrated into their own society.... They say that wisdom is more precious than fine gold. That's true. But if you give us such fine gold, we can give you pure wisdom..."

Prospects for success brightened when the Kodak Company pledged $1.4 million, one million of which was earmarked for the capital fund and the remainder an annual commitment to support the Institute of Optics. When making this generous gift, Kodak president Thomas J. Hargrave said in part, "Industry realizes that it can be truly successful only if it accepts its share of responsibility for the charitable, cultural and educational interests which surround it. An alert community conscience translated into action is now , an acknowledged function of good industrial management." 23

The month-long solicitation of alumni and alumnae got underway in September, just as ground for the Women's Center was broken. More than 5,000 graduates subscribed, and about $21,000 accumulated by the alumnae for a swimming pool was turned in, bringing alumni contributions to nearly $1 million.

At assemblies, undergraduates were briefed on the campaign for the general public, a striking feature of which was a University "Open House" on the weekend of October 3 and 4, students acting as hosts and hostesses. Through the city newspapers and over the airways Rochesterians were cordially invited to come to the River Campus where they would find something to delight and interest everyone in the family. An estimated 15,000 visited the campus to see displays and demonstrations, extending literally from A to Z--art to zoology. They marveled at the giant atom-smashing cyclotron, watched "A for Atom," a color cartoon on the mysteries of atomic energy, and inspected "a shooting gallery" in Harkness Hall, a testing machine in Gavett Hall that pulled metals apart at pressures up to 300,000 pounds, and an exhibit on physical education in the Gymnasium. At Rhees Library there was a magnificent display of rare books and manuscripts, famous paintings from the Eastman collection, and a topographical scale model of the campus as it would appear after buildings necessitated by the projected merger had been erected. At the Memorial Ax Gallery a special exhibit centered on the Erie Canal.

On the nights of the "Open House," floodlights illuminated the Eastman Quad for the first time, and on Saturday afternoon fund workers by the hundreds lunched in the Gymnasium field house and then watched the Williams College eleven outscore the Yellowjackets by a touchdown. (the first U. of R. defeat in two seasons). A Sunday feature was an open-air concert by the Eastman School Symphony Band on the Eastman Quadrangle. 24

The "Open House" prelude to the public campaign for funds was followed on October 13 by a "kick-off" gathering in the Eastman Theatre, gaily decorated for the occasion with bunting in University colors. Brief remarks - were made by three leaders in the drive, and Professor Emeritus Slater, undergraduates William R. Howard, 1954, and Mildred (Nena) Bigelow Vreeland, 1955, and the President. Again the Centennial Ode was heard, the Eastman School Senior Symphony Orchestra playing and William Warfield, 1942, performing as narrator and soloist. Pictures of American celebrities ranging from George Washington to Susan B. Anthony were flashed on a screen, and as their faces appeared prerecorded voices repeated words each had spoken in praise of higher education.

Promptly solicitation in the community began and ran on until November 19. To illustrate the diverse types of canvassers, the Rochester press carried photographs of a businessman, a policeman, a nurse, a lawyer, and a physician, all poised for action; newspapers also ran a coupon for use by citizens who wished to subscribe but who had not been waited on by a campaigner.

At the final meeting of the workers it was disclosed that upwards of 13,000 pledges from all sources amounted to slightly more than $7.5 million, and campaign spokesmen expressed confidence that the balance of $3.2 million would be forthcoming as a result of "follow up" activity. Nearly eighty percent of the University faculties and staff contributed, de Kiewiet helping the cause along by turning over a modest wager he had won by reason of the election of Dwight D. Eisenhower as President of the United States. As a token of appreciation, each campaign worker was given a handsome serigraph by John Menihan, showing Rhees Library and the Eastman Quadrangle. A suggestion to inscribe the names of all donors in a book placed permanently in Rhees Library, as had been done for the 1924 appeal, was not implemented.

It was all very well to have the Development Fund drive described as "an unqualified success" and as "a new peak in civic cooperation," but the inescapable fact was that pledges had fallen far below the goal. An accounting of January, 1954, revealed that the fund total approached $7.7 million, of which about $4.6 million came from business firms, $2 million in special and memorial gifts, and the remainder from graduates and Rochester citizens. Incorporated in the figure was the capitalized value of sums to be contributed annually and assured bequests, added "to prevent a threatening collapse of the drive." Cash available for capital construction on the River Campus amounted to about $3.8 million.

At their June, 1954, meeting the trustees learned that about $8 million were then in sight, of which $4.3 million were in cash or pledges, $2.7 million represented the capitalized value of annual giving subscriptions, and nearly a million was promised in bequests. "From a financial viewpoint," de Kiewiet remarked, "the outcome must be considered both as a success and as an undertaking that requires further effort." To that end, the trustees presently set up a trustee Corporate Relations committee of thirteen, led by Joseph C. Wilson, to solicit support from business firms, and also a University of Rochester Development Fund Committee. The latter, headed by trustee Mercer Brugler, coordinated annual giving and individual donations. 25

An investigation into the shortcomings of the campaign suggested that the University was not sufficiently "community-minded," that the posture of gown toward town needed improvement. University policies in purchasing supplies and awarding contracts, in admitting--or neglecting to admit--student applicants from metropolitan Rochester, and the need for broader University aid to city industry were all cited as liabilities. Wrangling over the price the School Board should pay for the University Field at Culver Road had been another handicap, as was the ineradicable feeling that the University was wealthy and did not really need more money.

In retrospect, Andrew D. Wolfe, who had succeeded to the drive leadership in midstream, felt difficulties stemmed in considerable degree from the attempt to raise funds before the full impact of de Kiewiet's leadership could be translated into strong support in the Rochester business community, the alumni organization, and the general public. And, whereas de Kiewiet warmly praised the Ketchum firm for its management of the fundraising drive, other University leaders begged to differ. Vice-President Thompson, for example, put the cat among the pigeons when he wrote that the men from Pittsburgh "could not possibly have done a more unsatisfactory job, if they had set out to do so..." Echoing that appraisal, Wolfe blamed the Ketchum personnel, who "never seemed able to adapt to local conditions," for multiplied blunders and faulty, overly complicated organization. 26

Taking into consideration the difficulties of timing and the loss of the three key leaders to illness, however, the effort was surprisingly successful. The initial goal of $4 million in capital funds and over $300,000 in annual giving had been largely achieved. An even more important result was the inauguration of annual giving by corporations (corporate gifts were virtually unknown in the 1924 campaign) and the beginning of a new era of alumni responsibility in university affairs.

A fresh survey of the cost of capital construction at the River Campus yielded an estimate of $8.13 million. From the Development Fund would come $3.9 million, approximately a million would be transferred from Eastman School resources in compensation for Cutler Union and Munro Hall, surplus funds of the University School would be tapped for another million, the sale of the University Field to the Board of Education would bring $650,000, and the remaining million and three-quarters would be borrowed from the University endowment. 27

Success crowned the diligent activities of the trustee Corporate Relations committee and of the Development Fund committee. A summary of the situation presented to the trustees on January 26, 1956, disclosed that cash on hand or in sight of nearly $4.7 million, together with the capitalized value of reasonably assured annual giving of over $7.3 million, exceeded by a gratifying margin the original $10.7 million target. (These sums did not include bequest pledges reported during the drive nor the proceeds from the sale of the Culver Road field and of properties on the abandoned Women's College campus.) At this juncture the fundraising effort was pronounced "completely successful, " and it was felt that the attitude of the community "toward the University is now much more favorable than at the outset of the campaign." 28

Next Chapter: River Campus Panorama
Back to: History of the University of Rochester Homepage


Footnotes for Chapter 35

  1. Cornelis W. de Kiewiet to Mrs. Cornelius Betten, December 14, 1951. de Kiewiet Papers. Hulbert W. Tripp to de Kiewiet, December 5, 1951. Ibid.
  2. Memoranda and committee reports are filed in the de Kiewiet Papers at various dates in 1952, notably January 7, February 20, March 10, April 11, 14, 15, May 5, 12, and June (no day).
  3. Campus, LXXIX, March 14, 28, 1952. Ibid., LXXXI, May 21, 1954 Tower Times, XXVII, March 14, 1952.
  4. Cornelis W. de Kiewiet to John F. Bush, Jr., 1922, June 5, 1952. de Kiewiet Papers. Faculty Minutes, XII, April 17, 1952. Executive Committee Minutes, April 18, 1952. Trustee Records, April 26, 1952 and Appendix XII. New York Times, April 30, 1952. Fortune, LXXV (1967), 168.
  5. R D&C, April 30, 1952. Cornelis W. de Kiewiet to graduates, May 7, 1952. de Kiewiet Papers. "The Merger Story" (1953),a pamphlet prepared for the Alumni Federation.
  6. Executive Committee Minutes, September 25, 1952. Faculty Minutes, October 9, 1952.
  7. New York Times, March 15, 1953. Executive Committee Minutes, May 5, August 11, 1953, November 10, 1954. RAR, XIV (1953), no. 3, 12-13. Campus, LXXXI, October 2, 1953, May 21, 1954.
  8. R D&C, September 2, 3, 1953. Report, Committee on Sites and Traditions. de Kiewiet Papers. Trustee Records, June 10, 1955, Appendix C. Anthropologist Morgan, it will be recalled left $80,000 to the U. of R. for women's education; earlier he had been an active supporter of the projected (1851) Barleywood Female University. Mrs. Hollister and Mrs. Gannett were members of the Women's Committee (1891-1900) charged with raising funds necessary for the admission of women, the success of which was assured by Miss Anthony's last-minute pledge of her life insurance. Mrs. Hollister, wife of Trustee George C. Hollister, was mother-in-law of a second trustee, Thomas G. Spencer, and of Professor Eliott Frost; Mrs. Gannett, wife of Unitarian clergyman William C. Gannett, was awarded a Doctorate of Humane Letters by the U. of R. in 1941.
  9. Executive Committee Minutes, June 2, 1953, and Appendix I and II. Trustee Records, June 10, 1955. Directive to and minutes of the Committee on Sites and Traditions, September 8, October 4, November 5, 1953, January 30, June 11, 1954, January 29, 1955. de Kiewiet Papers. Paul McFarland, 1920, "The 'Hickory Limb' Passes," Brighton-Pittsford Post, March 24, 1966; RAR, XVI (1954), no. 2, 3. Ibid., XVII (1955), no. 1, 2, 5. University Record, VII (May, 1967), 5.
  10. John R. Slater, "Goodbye, Mr. Boody," RAR, XVI (1955), no. 5, 2 ff.
  11. R D&C, September 25, 1955. R T-U, October 1, 1955. Florence L.C. Kitchelt letter to Editor, New York Times, August 27, 1955.
  12. Anon., Frank W. Lovejoy, the Story of a Practical Idealist (Rochester, 1947).
  13. Campus-Times, III, October 26, 1957. R D&C, April 12, 1954. Executive Committee Minutes, September 15, 1954. Hulbert W. Tripp to Cornelis W. de Kiewiet, May 17, 1955. de Kiewiet Papers.
  14. RAR, XVI (1954), no. 1, 4.
  15. RAR, XVI (1955), no. 3, 4. Executive Committee Minutes, December 18, 1953, November 10, 1954. Finance Committee Minutes, April 15, 1952, April 20, May 24, 1954. R D&C, November 28, 1953.
  16. RAR, XVI (1955), no. 4, 4. Ibid., XIX (1957), no. 2, 8. Finance Committee Minutes, July 18, October 18, November 29, 1955. Executive Committee Minutes, October 24, 1955. A middle-western insurance broker, noting an advertisement for the Prince Street buildings in the New York Times, urged that they be leased, not sold: "Just because Indians sold Manhattan Island for $24 is no reason for the University [to] give away a Perpetual Income." C. Williams to Cornelis W. de Kiewiet, March 1, 1955. de Kiewiet Papers. R D&C, June 30, 1951. Raymond L. Thompson to de Kiewiet, June 23, 1953. de Kiewiet Papers. Campus-Times, I, January 13, 1956. When venerable Sibley Hall was torn down in 1968, the sundial in front and five of the famous statues in the niches passed into the possession of the Memorial Art Gallery.
  17. Cornelis W. de Kiewiet to Harold J. Seymour, March 30, 1954. de Kiewiet Papers. Trustee Records, February 2, June 7, 1952, June 5, 1953, January 31, September 25, 1954.
  18. Trustee Records, February 2, June 7, 1952, June 5, 1953, January 29, 1955.
  19. Executive Committee Minutes, July 9, 1951, June 2, 1953. Finance Committee Minutes, October 16, 1951. de Kiewiet Papers. Trustee Records, January 30, 1953, June 5, 1953. The dual goal (capital funds and annual giving) led to considerable confusion in the public mind. In addition, some of the trustees and administrators, notably Treasurer Raymond L. Thompson, refused to accept "annual giving" pledges as "hard" money. Generally, only the first three or five years of such pledges were counted as a "capital" gift. The record of the years 1953--1968 has more than justified, the hopes of the "annual giving" proponents, because almost all contributions have continued on an annual basis, and most have been increased. See, Andrew J. Wolfe, January 9, 1969. Rhees Library Archives.
  20. Basic information on all aspects of the Development Fund is contained in a fat folio "Scrapbook" kept by the Ketchum men (Rhees Library Archives) and in amass of Development Office papers in the custody, as of 1968, of the Vice President for University Relations. Administration Building.
  21. RAR, XIV (1953), no. 3, 15-21.
  22. R T-U, October 20, 1952. Cornelis W. de Kiewiet, "The Opportunities and Development Plans of the U. of R.," October 24, 1952. Rhees Library Archives.
  23. Memorial Gifts Committee Report, April 10, 1953. Development Office. Donald W. Gilbert, "The Campaign to Date and Plans for the Remainder of 1953," May 3, 1953. Rhees Library Archives. President's Report, 1952-1953, 5. Cornelis W. de Kiewiet to Trustees, August 28, 1953. de Kiewiet Papers.
  24. "Welcome to the U. of R. Open House," a pamphlet. Rhees Library Archives. R D&C, October 4, 1953.
  25. R D&C, October 14, November 20, 1953. R T-U, November 14, 1953. Andrew D. Wolfe to C.W. de Kiewiet, January 29, 1954; Development Office. Trustee Records, June 11, 1954. President's Report, 1953-1954. Executive Committee Minutes, January 26, 29, 1955.
  26. Cornelis W. de Kiewiet to Norman MacLeod, November 25, 1953. Development Office. Raymond L. Thompson to Raymond N. Ball, December 17, 1953. Ibid. Andrew D. Wolfe to Ball, December 10, 1953. Ibid. See, also, President's Report, 1953-1954, RAR, XV (1954), no. 2, 10 and no. 3, 8, and Wolfe, January 9, 1969.
  27. Trustee Records, January 30, June 11, 1954.
  28. Trustee Records, January 26, 1956, especially Appendices A, B, and C. Campus-Times, February 17, 1956.