Southern Connecticut State University

Coordinates: 41°19′57″N 72°56′51″W / 41.33250°N 72.94750°W / 41.33250; -72.94750
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Southern Connecticut State University
Southern Connecticut State University Seal.png
Former names
New Haven State Normal School (1893–1937)
New Haven State Teacher's College (1937–1959)
Southern Connecticut State College (1959–1983)
TypePublic University
Established1893; 130 years ago (1893)
Parent institution
Connecticut State Colleges & Universities
Academic affiliation
Endowment$30.6 million (2020)[1]
PresidentJoe Bertolino
Administrative staff
Students8,155 (Spring 2022)[2]
Undergraduates6,242 (Spring 2022)[3]
Postgraduates1,913 (Spring 2022)[4]

41°19′57″N 72°56′51″W / 41.33250°N 72.94750°W / 41.33250; -72.94750
CampusUrban, 168 acres (68 ha)
ColorsReflex Blue and White[5]
Sporting affiliations
NCAA Division IINE-10
MascotOtus the Owl
Southern Connecticut State University.svg

Southern Connecticut State University (Southern Connecticut,[6] Southern Connecticut State,[7] SCSU,[8] or simply Southern) is a public university in New Haven, Connecticut. Part of the Connecticut State University System, it was founded in 1893 and is governed by the Connecticut Board of Regents for Higher Education.


On September 11, 1893, New Haven State Normal School, a two-year teacher training school, was established. The Skinner School, a two-story building, was used as the first campus. It was situated on State Street at the corner of what was then known as Summer Street. Arthur Boothby Morrill served as the first principal of the Normal School from 1893 to 1924. Two female teachers and Morrill made up the faculty.[9] Prospective students had to be at least 16 years of age, and typically had either a three year high school degree or two years teaching experience. There were 85 women in the first class. Tuition was free for students, in-state or out-of-state, as long as a declaration to complete their studies and teach in Connecticut was signed. All textbook materials were provided by the school. Boarding was available for between $3.50 and $4.00 a week, although the majority of the students were from New Haven and commuted.[10]

The Skinner School was soon outgrown by the rapidly growing Normal School. In 1896, it was moved to a new building on Howe and Oak St. This was a better location because of its larger size and its proximity to several elementary schools where students could train. At this point, the Normal School could only award certificates in teaching to graduates.

By 1937 the school was able to grant bachelor's degrees, and thus renamed New Haven State Teacher's College. Graduate degrees were offered starting in 1954, a year after the school moved to its current campus on Crescent St.

New Haven State Teacher's College became Southern Connecticut State College in 1959. In March 1983 the school was renamed Southern Connecticut State University and made part of the Connecticut State University System.[11]


Southern has one campus located at 501 Crescent Street, in New Haven, bordering parts of Hamden, Connecticut. Fitch Street separates the academic and residential sections of the campus. The School of Business was moved to the renovated former student center in mid-2012. The building houses meeting rooms, offices for faculty, and trading rooms. As part of an effort to expand on the university's science programs, the laboratory science building was opened in 2015. The four-story building specializes with cancer research, physics and optics, along with other fields of sciences.



Teacher Education[edit]

Southern Connecticut State University remains a center for teacher education. Southern is the only school in Connecticut to offer a master's degree concentration in autism spectrum disorders.[13] The university received approval for its first doctoral program, an Ed.D. in Educational Leadership.


NCLEX passing rates for Southern students hover between 90 and 100 percent in the past three decades.[14]

Liberal Education Program[edit]

The LEP program consists of electives, and is a requirement for all majors. This program is meant to expose students to different types of classes outside side of their major. It is broken up into three tiers of classes and accounts for 42 credits of a student's degree. Tier one includes Inquiry 101, Writing 102 and a couple other basic classes that are geared towards Freshmen. It also requires completion of a 200 level language course in any of 10 languages, including American Sign Language. Tier two is broken into 9 categories. Students are required to take one class for each category. The categories include American Experience, Cultural Expression, Creative Drive, Global Awareness, Mind and Body, Natural World I and II, Social Structure, and Time and Place. Tier Three is considered a "Capstone" and only one class is taken. Generally a student's major requires a 300 or 400 level course in the major to complete this capstone. Every major is required to take 3 W or written intensive courses before graduating.[15]

Student life[edit]

Greek life[edit]

There are many Greek-lettered social organizations on campus. Each organization strives for the betterment of students. Each organization is unique in its make-up, beliefs, and traditions.[16]

Here is a list of the fraternities and sororities that are active or inactive on campus.

Sororities Fraternities
Alpha Sigma Alpha Alpha Phi Delta
Delta Phi Epsilon Beta Mu Sigma
Lambda Pi Upsilon, Latinas Poderosas Unidas, Inc. Lambda Alpha Upsilon, Latino America Unida, Inc.
Omega Zeta Pi(*) Phi Beta Sigma
Zeta Phi Beta Tau Kappa Epsilon
Sigma Gamma Rho
Sigma Iota Alpha

(*)Omega Zeta Pi is currently suspended due to mocking the strolls of Zeta Phi Beta[17]


Southern Connecticut State University's Hilton C. Buley Library was named after Hilton C. Buley, the president of the New Haven State Teachers College which was a former name of the institution, from July 1, 1954, to February 18, 1971. He was an educator and administrator in New York, New Jersey, and Wisconsin prior to earning a doctorate degree from Columbia University. He served as an administrator in the New Hampshire public schools before joining Southern.[9]: 168 

Hilton C. Buley Library

The first library was housed at 2 Howe Street, New Haven, the original home of the university which was then called New Haven Normal School and consisted of a reading room with two walls of wooden bookshelves and a stack area in the balcony on the third wall.[9]: 56  When the school opened in 1893, the library contained 500 books.[9]: 20  By 1950 a collection of over 28,000 books and 200 periodical subscriptions was crammed into the space which was originally intended for 10,000 volumes.[9]: 145  The library's move to the main building on Crescent Street, Engleman Hall, was accomplished in 1954 shortly before Buley came to Southern. By the year 1969 it contained over 200,000 volumes and was outgrowing its space yet again.[9]: 163 

The dedication ceremony of a new Hilton C. Buley Library was held on October 31, 1970, a few months prior to the president's retirement.[9]: 185  The library could hold up to 500,000 volumes with flexible space that could accommodate an equal number of additional volumes. However, as the library's collections kept growing, space was a major concern. When funding for a new addition and renovation to the existing library was approved by the legislature, a building planning committee was formed in 1999 with a new library building finally opening in March 2014.[18]

The current library features four Tiffany Windows. Louis C. Tiffany (1848-1933), one of America's most talented and renowned artists best known for his work in stained glass, created these beautiful pieces. Three of these, "Angel of Praise", "Water Brooks", and "Hector" are located on the south side of the Learning Commons area just behind the Reference Desk in large boxes to be viewed against natural light. These were donated to the university in the sixties from the First Center Church of Christ in New Haven. A fourth window, the "Congregational window", was donated by the Congregational Church in the 1990s and is currently displayed in the second floor reading room. The windows were installed in the old library in 1972 but just before the building was renovated they were removed, restored by Serpentino Stained Glass Studio, and kept in storage till they were ready to be displayed.[19]

The Water Brooks window (1898-1904) was created in memory of Ezekiel Hayes Trowbridge, a descendant of one of the founders of the Church, and is 54" wide and 98" high. The Hector, which was designed in 1898, is the ship which transported the early colonist to New Haven in 1638. The four corners of the window contain the four meeting houses of the congregation dated 1640, 1670, 1757, and 1814.[20]

Library holdings include the Carolyn Sherwin Bailey's Collection of Children's Literature, Helen Liveten Juvenile Collection, William Cahn Labor Collection, Connecticut Collection, Eula H. Davies Napoleonica Collection, A.H. Gosselin Sound Collection, David Libbey Collection of Library Postcards, Edward G. Levy collection of Nineteenth Century Textbooks and Ephemera, Sherman Reilly Collection of Tracts, and the Artists' Book Collection.[21] The university's digital collections include American Publishers' Binding, 1829–1975; Connecticut Libraries, the newsletter of the Connecticut Library Association; Connecticut Women's Hall of Fame containing samples of ephemera owned by women who belonged to the Hall of Fame; and the Libbey Library Postcard Collection consisting of over 1,400 library postcards donated by Dr. David Libbey, professor emeritus.[22]


On May 30, 2019, Southern officially declared a "Climate Emergency" after recent student advocacy and Faculty from the Department of the Environment, Geography and Marine Sciences advocating for the university to take stronger action in addressing climate change. This makes Southern the first university in the U.S. to make such a declaration.[23]


Notable alumni[edit]


  1. ^ As of June 30, 2020. U.S. and Canadian Institutions Listed by Fiscal Year 2020 Endowment Market Value and Change in Endowment Market Value from FY19 to FY20 (Report). National Association of College and University Business Officers and TIAA. February 19, 2021. Retrieved February 21, 2021.
  2. ^ "CSCU Headcount Enrollment Spring 2022" (PDF). Retrieved 21 May 2022.
  3. ^ "CSCU Headcount Enrollment Spring 2022" (PDF). Retrieved 21 May 2022.
  4. ^ "CSCU Headcount Enrollment Spring 2022" (PDF). Retrieved 21 May 2022.
  5. ^ "Elements of the Southern Connecticut State University Logo" (PDF). Southern Connecticut State University. Retrieved 26 September 2014.
  6. ^ "SCSU Athletics". Retrieved 9 February 2018.
  7. ^ "Southern Connecticut State 2018 Schedule - Owls Home and Away - ESPN". Retrieved 9 February 2018.
  8. ^ "SCSU Athletics (@SCSU_Owls) - Twitter". Retrieved 9 February 2018.
  9. ^ a b c d e f g Farnham, Thomas J (1993). Southern Connecticut State University A Centennial History 1893–1993. New Haven, Connecticut: Southern Connecticut State University. pp. 17–20. ISBN 0963624407.
  10. ^ Connecticut. State Teachers College, New Haven (9 February 1894). "General catalog - New Haven State Teachers College". New Haven, The College. Retrieved 9 February 2018 – via Internet Archive.
  11. ^ "SCSU History".
  12. ^[bare URL]
  13. ^ "SCSU special education program gets boost". 3 March 2010. Retrieved 29 July 2012.
  14. ^ "Nursing Department Accelerated Career Entry Program (ACE)". Retrieved 29 July 2012.
  15. ^ "Liberal Education Program (LEP)". Retrieved 9 February 2018.
  16. ^ "Greek Life". Southern Connecticut State University. Southern Connecticut State University. Retrieved 22 March 2023.
  17. ^ Mayes, Leslie. "SCSU Sorority Suspended After Social Media Video Surfaces". NBC Connecticut. NBCUniversal Media, LLC. Retrieved 22 March 2023.
  18. ^ Schofield, Cindy (October 2015). "Ct Library: Hilton C. Buley at SCSU" (PDF). Connecticut Library Association. Retrieved January 31, 2018.
  19. ^ "Tiffany Windows Come Home to Buley". Southern Connecticut State University. April 9, 2015. Retrieved February 2, 2018.
  20. ^ "Restoration and Conservation of Tiffany Southern Connecticut State University". Serpentino Stained Glass Studio. Retrieved February 2, 2018.
  21. ^ Holmer, Paul. "SCSU Special Collections and Archives". Southern Connecticut State University Records and Information Management. Retrieved February 2, 2018.
  22. ^ "Digital Collections at Buley Library". Southern Connecticut State University Digital Collections. Retrieved February 2, 2018.
  23. ^ "Southern Declares A Climate Emergency". Southern Connecticut State University. 30 May 2019. Retrieved 8 June 2019.
  24. ^ Fantano, Anthony. "WNPR Profile". Archived from the original on 2014-01-03.

External links[edit]