Timeline

Travel through a timeline of Southern history, from our earliest years as a small teacher-training school to the full comprehensive university of today

An Enduring Legacy

Life began for Southern Connecticut State University on September 11, 1893, when three teachers and 84 students met at the old Skinner School in New Haven to create a two-year teacher training program, New Haven State Normal School.

By 1937, Southern had grown into a four-year college with the power to grant bachelor's degrees. It became a fully fledged university in 1983, fueling Connecticut’s economy with graduates from its schools of Arts and Sciences, Business, Education, Health and Human Services and Graduate Studies.

Join us this fall as we celebrate the past and look forward with anticipation to the continued evolution of this vibrant institution of more than 10,200 students and 85,000 alumni.

September 11, 1893

  • Opening day for New Haven Normal School.
  • Arthur B. Morril is principal.

1896

New home of a more modern Normal School located at 2 Howe Street opens doors.

1896

The class of '25 forms a permanent New Haven State Normal School Alumni Association.

1933

  • Normal School becomes “The New Haven Unit of the Teachers College of Connecticut.”
  • Normal School becomes a college.

1937

  • The Teachers College of Connecticut becomes New Haven State Teachers College.
  • Principal Engleman becomes first President Engleman

1943

The Teachers College celebrates its 50th anniversary with a GOLDEN JUBILEE celebration.

1951

The groundbreaking ceremonies for the new Crescent Street campus

1952

New Haven State Teachers College Owl

1959

Southern Connecticut State College

1968

Celebration of the opening of John Lyman Auditorium and 75th anniversary of the college

1969

Five new dormitories are dedicated: Wilkinson Hall, Chase Hall, Hickerson Hall, Farnham Hall, and Schwartz Hall.

1970

Dedication of the Hilton C. Buley Library

1972

John Crosby, '74, most decorated student athlete in the history of Southern athletics, competes as a member of the U.S. Olympics men's gymnastics team.

1972

Nursing department graduated its first class.

1975

The college opens its day classes to part-time students and allows full-time students to take classes in the evening.

1977

Founders Gate is installed between Lyman Auditorium and Engleman Hall. It serves as a commencement day landmark and remains one of the modern campus' reminders of the college's rich history.

1980

Groundbreaking ceremonies for the Jennings science building

1983

Southern Connecticut State University College becomes Southern Connecticut State University

1986

Board of Governors for Higher Education accredits Southern's School of Business Economics, allowing undergraduates in the school to receive a degree in business, rather than in business economics.

1989

American College Theater Festival selects “No, No, Nanette,” a glitzy musical produced by Southern’s Crescent Street Players as one of the six best shows presented by New England colleges and universities.

1992

Southern's soccer team celebrates its third NCAA Division II championship.

1996

Admissions House moved from Seabury Hall to Farnham House.

1999

Colin Powell is the inaugural speaker for the Mary and Louis Fusco Distinguished Lecture Series

2001

Southern celebrates the groundbreaking for a new state-of-the-art, $36.5-million-dollar student center.

2002

The Doctor of Education degree (Ed.D.) is the first doctoral program in university history

2004

President Norton becomes first female president of SCSU.

2007

NCAA Division II Women's Basketball National Champions

2009

Southern launches its Master of Fine Arts degree in creative writing, the first of its kind in the state.

2012

Southern Connecticut State University's School of Business building opens.

2013

Groundbreaking for the new academic and laboratory science building

2013

Jesse L. "Jess" Dow, founder of the intercollegiate athletic program at Southern, is inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame.

2013

Swimming sensation Amanda Thomas wins the 200-yard individual medley for the third year in a row, ending her college career with four national titles and 18 All-America honors.

2013

The largest private gift in Southern's history endows the Werth Center for Coastal and Marine Studies and its cutting-edge environmental research.

2015

Bigger, better and busier than ever, an expanded, renovated Buley Library opens its doors as the academic heart of campus

2015

Southern and England’s Liverpool John Moores University partner for a Trans-Atlantic Alliance that is unique in American higher education.

2016

Alumna Jahana Hayes ’05, is named National Teacher of the Year. Southern grads also receive eight top state educator awards, including superintendent, principal and counselor of the year.

2017

Southern’s University choir adds to its growing list of international appearances by performing in Greece, thanks to support from the Stutzman Family Foundation

2018

Construction begins on the new Barack J. Obama Magnet School on campus — a unique lab school partnership with the New Haven school system

Presidents of Past & Present