State University of New York at Oneonta

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State University of New York College at Oneonta
SUNY Oneonta logo
MottoFounded in Honor and Good Faith
Parent institution
State University of New York
Endowment$30.9 million[1]
250 acres (1.0 km2)
AthleticsNCAA Division III
NicknameRed Dragons

The State University of New York College at Oneonta (more commonly known as SUNY Oneonta, and also called Oneonta State and O-State) is a four-year liberal arts college in Oneonta, New York, United States, with 6,543 students. The college offers a wide variety of bachelor's degree programs and a number of graduate degrees. Many academic programs at SUNY Oneonta hold national accreditations, including programs in Business Economics, Education, Music Industry, Human Ecology and Theatre. SUNY Oneonta is ranked No. 13 on the 2018 U.S. News and World Report list of "[4]" Best Public Colleges in the North" and was named to the Kiplinger's Personal Finance magazine list of "100 Best Values in Public Colleges" for 10 years running;[5] In 2011, the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching conferred upon SUNY Oneonta its Community Engagement Classification "in recognition of the college's civic partnerships and successful efforts to integrate service activities into its curriculum."[6]


SUNY Oneonta was established in 1889 as the Oneonta Normal School, as part of founding normal schools across the state to train teachers and expand public education. It was located in a building nicknamed "Old Main" at the top of Maple Street in the city of Oneonta. The school's first principal was James M. Milne, for whom the college's current library is named. For nearly 40 years, Old Main was the only building on campus, until 1933 when Bugbee School was built. Named after Percy I. Bugbee, the second principal of the Oneonta Normal School, Bugbee School provided an on-campus training facility for the student teachers attending the normal school.

In 1948, the college became a founding member of the State University of New York system, and the Oneonta Normal School was officially renamed the State University College of Education in 1951.[7] Royal F. Netzer was the college's president from 1951–1970, presiding over a period of tremendous growth. The three joined buildings known as the Morris Conference Complex were the first ones erected on the current campus. The cornerstone of the current building was laid in 1950, with one wing being completed in February 1951 and the other in September 1951. The two wings, Bacon and Denison Halls, were originally used as dormitories, which were much needed on the rapidly expanding campus.[8]

In 1952, the Faculty-Student Association Inc.(forerunner of today's Oneonta Auxiliary Services) purchased a 63-acre farm about four miles north of the college. This was the site for development of today's 272-acre College Camp, which provides educational, recreational and social opportunities for the college community.[9]

Home economics programs were added to the college's teacher education programs. In 1954, a Home Economics building and heating plant were constructed on the upper campus. These were followed in 1958 with the construction of a women's dormitory, Wilber Hall, followed by Tobey Hall in 1959.[7]

The 1960s were a period of rapid growth in the college's operating budget, student enrollment, number of staff members, and the campus buildings. To alleviate the shortage of classrooms, 10 mobile classrooms were brought in as a temporary solution. Additional property was acquired to the north and west of the campus, providing two entrances from West Street, one near a new service building.[10]

The first library on the upper campus was built in what is today's Alumni Hall. Other new buildings on the upper campus included a dorm, Littell Hall; a cafeteria (Lee Hall) and the Chase Physical Fitness Center. A path connected the upper campus with Old Main, which was slowly being phased out as the main academic building.[7]

In fall 1963, the college started accepting transfer students into 13 liberal arts programs, beginning the transition to a multi-purpose higher education institution.[10]

In 1964, a men's dormitory (Golding Hall) and the first science building, known as Science I, were built. These were followed in 1966 with the construction of four administration and class buildings (Mills Dining Hall, Schumacher, Netzer and Hodgdon Instructional Resource Center), five dormitories (Ford, Grant, Hays, Huntington and Sherman halls) and the health center.[7]

The late 1960s were a period of rapid faculty turnover. Between 1966 and 1970, there were 205 faculty resignations, retirements or contract terminations. With 35 or 40 new positions each year, the number of new faculty members increased from 35 in 1963 to 80 or more from 1966–1970. With the rapid growth in the number of faculty, the college's four major academic departments began to split into separate departments. The Department of English, Speech and Theater, which also included Foreign Languages, was the first to subdivide in 1969 into three departments: English, Speech and Theater, and Foreign Languages. In 1970, the Science Department split into separate departments of Biology, Chemistry, Earth Science, Physics and Science Education, and the Social Science Department split into six separate departments.[10]

By the early 1970s, several more new buildings had been constructed, including academic facilities (Fitzelle Hall, Fine Arts, Science II and the current Milne Library), Wilsbach Dining Hall, five dormitories (Matteston, MacDuff, Curtis, Blodgett and Hulbert halls) and the Hunt College Union, named for Charles W. Hunt, who served as the school's principal/president from 1933–1951.[7]

A field station on Otsego Lake in Cooperstown, New York was also completed, stimulated by a gift of 300–400 additional acres. The new building housed an environmental laboratory facility for the Biology Department. It also held the new graduate program in the Conservation of Historic and Artistic Objects, the forerunner to today's Cooperstown Graduate Program in museum studies.[10]

Between 1972 and 1980, teacher education enrollments declined dramatically, while liberal arts enrollments increased. The 1970s were a decade of state budget problems and declining enrollments.[10] Clifford Craven led the college as president from 1970 to 1987.[8]

The historic Old Main building was torn down in 1977, and in 1981, two pillars from the building were installed on a hill overlooking the SUNY Oneonta campus as a reminder of the college's history.[7] Today, they are part of a campus tradition for new and graduating students called "Pass Through the Pillars."[11]

In 1982, the College at Oneonta Foundation was formed with the mission of raising and administering gifts and grants to enhance the academic status of the college through endowment, scholarships and institutional programs.[12] Alan B. Donovan served as college president from 1988–2008. Accomplishments during his tenure included advancements in technology, including Internet access; a more competitive admissions process, expanded multicultural programs and increased financial stability. The college's endowment grew from $1.9 million when Donovan joined SUNY Oneonta in 1988, to $30 million when he left.[13]

Challenges during Donovan's era included student violence in downtown Oneonta and racial tension on campus. The college made national news in Fall 1992 during an incident known as the "Black List." On the morning of September 4, 1992, a 77-year-old woman told police she was attacked at the home of a family she was visiting outside the town of Oneonta. She concluded her assailant was black, by seeing only his hand. Police officers believed that blood at the scene indicated the assailant suffered a cut on his hand from a knife he had wielded. College officials provided New York State Police a list of 78 black and Latino male students to aid in the investigation, provoking outrage and national attention.[14] In the following days, police questioned hundreds of African Americans in the area, stopping them, and checking their hands for signs of wounds. Many members of the black community of Oneonta were stopped multiple times over several days. The perpetrator was never found.[15] In 2012, SUNY Oneonta President Nancy Kleniewski announced the formation of the September 4 Commemoration Committee to develop programming to mark and remember what she termed a "low point" in the school's history.[16]

In the 1990s SUNY Oneonta extended its commitments to community partnership, founding the Center for Economic and Community Development, and the Center for Social Responsibility and Community. Several construction projects were completed under Donovan, including the Alumni Field House in 1998 and the Robin Ross Higgins Hall in 2003.[7] A $10 million renovation to the Human Ecology facilities was also completed in 2003.

In 2008, Nancy Kleniewski began her tenure as SUNY Oneonta's seventh president. In 2009, she convened the Strategic Planning and Resource Council, composed of faculty, staff, students, alumni and community members and charged with developing a strategic plan to help define the college's future.

In fall 2013, SUNY Oneonta reorganized, founding five new schools—Economics and Business, Arts and Humanities, Social Science, Natural and Mathematical Sciences, and Education and Human Biology—to give greater focus to disciplines and careers in those areas.[17] In 2015, the college adopted "Strategic Plan 2015: Scholarship, Service, Strength" to guide progress through 2020.

Residential living[edit]

Over 3,000 students live in SUNY Oneonta's 15 residence halls, which offer living arrangements ranging from doubles to apartments. Four freshman Living Learning Communities[18] (LLCs)for students interested in teaching and social justice, leadership, pre-health professions, and sustainability and the outdoors are available. Dining services at SUNY Oneonta are offered by Sodexo, and the college's residential dining halls were the first in the country designed specifically for Sodexo's Campus Crossroads program. Dining plans are unlimited and offer options for additional dollars for purchases at cafes and other retail facilities on campus.

Clubs and activities[edit]

Honor Societies[edit]

Active Chapters:

Inactive Chapters:

Greek Organizations[edit]

Active Fraternities:

Active Sororities:


SUNY Oneonta Undergraduate Political Science Conference[edit]

The SUNY Oneonta Undergraduate Political Science Conference is a tradition hosted by the Oneonta Political Science Club and the Political Science Department. The first conference was hosted March 20–21, 2009. The keynote speaker for that year was Alan Chartock, Professor Emeritus at SUNY Albany and host of The Capitol Connection.[19]

SUNY Oneonta Undergraduate Philosophy Conference[edit]

The SUNY Oneonta Undergraduate Philosophy Conference is an annual conference. First conceived in 1995 under the supervision of the late Douglas Shrader, Distinguished Teaching Professor of Philosophy at SUNY Oneonta, the event is sponsored by the college's Philosophy Club and organized by a student Conference Committee.[20]

SUNY Oneonta New Critics Undergraduate Literature and Composition Conference[edit]

The SUNY Oneonta New Critics Undergraduate Literature and Composition Conference is hosted each spring by the English Department.[21]

John Burroughs Nature Writing Conference & Seminar[edit]

The John Burroughs Nature Writing Conference & Seminar is held every other year in the summer. Papers are delivered to plenary sessions of students, faculty and visiting scholars. Conference field trips include a visit to John Burroughs's Woodchuck Lodge in Roxbury, NY, which is within walking distance of his burial site.[22]

James & Susan Fenimore Cooper Conference & Seminar[edit]

The James & Susan Fenimore Cooper Conference & Seminar is held every other year in the summer.[23]

SUNY Pride Conference[edit]

SUNY Oneonta hosts the SUNY Pride Conference each year to "unite SUNY campuses to create a more inclusive environment for the SUNY system as a whole." The fifth annual conference was held in October 2017. [24]


Faith-based Organizations[edit]

  • Muslim Student Association (Muslim)
  • Newman Club (Catholicism)


Poetry Slam Association[edit]

The Big O' Poetry Slam in the Hunt College Union is a widely attended campus event. It was founded by Alicia Francis, Jamie Manning, Robert Haggerty, George Castle and Robb Thibault on October 24, 2001. The Big O' Poetry Slam has featured more than a dozen national poetry slam champions, and several SUNY Oneonta teams have advanced to the final rounds of the Association of College Unions International's national collegiate poetry slam. Top performances include taking the silver medal in 2005, placing 4th in 2008 and finishing 10th in 2013.

WIRE TV[edit]

WIRE TV (Campus Channel 73, Time Warner Channel 23) is SUNY Oneonta's student-run television station. The station produces over 4 hours of original programming each week, in addition to Live Sporting events. To check out current and past programming, visit WIRE TV's Facebook page.


WONY 90.9 FM is SUNY Oneonta's student-run radio station. It was founded in 1962 and broadcasts both online and through physical radio, and is active 24/7.

Other Clubs[edit]

  • Accounting Society
  • Africana & Latino Studies Club
  • American Chemical Society
  • American Marketing Association (OnMark)
  • Anthropology Club
  • Apollo Music Club
  • Art & Scope
  • Association of Childhood Education
  • Association of Secondary Educators
  • Audio Production & Engineering Club
  • Badminton Club
  • Biology Club
  • Botany Club
  • Caribbean Student Association
  • College Union Activities Council
  • Colleges Against Cancer (American Cancer Society)
  • Communication Arts Society
  • Computer Art Club (Eta Kau Pi)
  • Computer Programmers United
  • Creative Writing Club
  • Cricket Club
  • Criminal Justice Club
  • Dance Team
  • Democracy Matters Club
  • Different Paths
  • Drag'n Rolls (Drumline)
  • Economics Club
  • Environmental Science Club
  • Equestrian Club
  • Film Club
  • Finance Club
  • Food & Nutrition Association
  • Gender Equality & Rights Society
  • Gender and Sexuality Alliance (GLBT Alliance)
  • Geography Club
  • Geology Club
  • Habitat for Humanity
  • Harry Potter Club
  • Hispanic Organization for Learning Advancement
  • History Club
  • Hooked on Tonics (Acapella Choir)
  • Human Ecology Club
  • Indian Cultural Club
  • International Students Organization
  • Intramural Association
  • Japanese Anime and Media
  • Japanese Society for All
  • Kickline
  • Korean Cultural Club
  • Knit-Wits (Knitting & Crochetting)
  • Club Lacrosse
  • Mask & Hammer (Theatre Production)
  • Men's Rugby Football Club - yak team chief
  • Meteorology Club
  • Mock Trial Club
  • Mountain Biking Club
  • Music Industry Club
  • Oneonta State NORML (National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws)
  • Oneonta State Cheerleading
  • Oneonta State Fencing Club
  • Oneonta State Gamer's Guild
  • Oneonta State Hockey
  • Oneontan (Yearbook)
  • Outing Club (Outdoor-Living)
  • Parnassus (English Club)
  • Philosophy Club
  • Physics & Astronomy Club
  • Pitched Slapped (Women's Acapella Group)
  • Political Science Club
  • Pre-Health Professions Association
  • Pre-Law Society
  • Progressives and Friends
  • Protect Your Environment Club
  • Psychology Club
  • Racquetball Club
  • Resident Student Organization
  • Rock to Cure
  • Women's Rugby Football Club
  • St. Jude's Giants (St. Jude's Children Hospital)
  • Sanford Society (Math/Computer Science/Stats)
  • Ski & Snowboarding Club
  • Sociology Club
  • Songwriters' Club
  • Speech and Debate Team
  • State Times (School Newspaper)
  • Student Fashion Society
  • Students Alternative Voice
  • Students for Global Education
  • Students of Color Coalition
  • Students Protecting Animal Rights
  • Taekwondo
  • Terpsichorean Dance Company
  • Trait D'Union (French Club)
  • Ultimate Frisbee
  • Voices of Serenity Gospel Choir
  • Volleyball (Men's)
  • Young Republicans Club
  • Zombie Defense Corps


Oneonta Red Dragons
UniversitySUNY Oneonta
NCAADivision III
Athletic directorTracey Ranieri
LocationOneonta, New York
Varsity teams21 (10 Men & 11 Women)
Football stadiumField Hockey/Lacrosse Venue
Basketball arenaDewar Arena
MascotRed Dragon
NicknameRed Dragons
ColorsRed and White

The Oneonta Red Dragons athletics program represent SUNY Oneonta, State University of New York. The school's team currently competes at the Division III level in the State University of New York Athletic Conference, and has been since the conference's inception in 1958. Oneonta's athletic teams also compete in the Eastern College Athletic Conference. The school facilities include Dewar Arena in the Alumni Field House, All College Field, Chase Athletic Building, and Red Dragon Soccer, Baseball and Softball fields.


Sport Venue Coach 2017–18 Year
Baseball Red Dragon Baseball Field Ben Grimm 7th Year
Basketball (Men) Dewar Arena Cameron Conover 2nd Year
Basketball (Women) Dewar Arena Daphne Thompson 11th Year
Cross Country (Men & Women) Fortin Park Brett Willmott 2nd Year
Field Hockey All College Field Kelly Kingsbury 10th Year
Lacrosse (Men) Red Dragon Field Peter Owens 1st Year
Lacrosse (Women) Red Dragon Field Allyson Baribault 1st Year
Soccer (Men) Red Dragon Soccer Field Iain Byrne 15th Year
Soccer (Women) Red Dragon Soccer Field Liz McGrail 11th Year
Softball Red Dragon Softball Field Sara Headley 5th Year
Swimming & Diving (Men & Women) Chase Pool Chris Schuler-Ghiorse 21st Year
Tennis (Men & Women) Dr. Joseph A. Heissan Tennis Courts Lonnie Mitchel 8th Year
Indoor Track & Field (Men & Women) Alumni Field House Brett Willmott 2nd Year
Outdoor Track & Field (Men & Women) All College Field Brett Willmott 2nd Year
Volleyball (Women) Dewar Arena Ashley Coyle 1st Year
Wrestling Chase Gymnasium Duane Ritter 14th Year

Notable alumni[edit]

Claire Doyle, Professor of Communications, Retired, North Country Community College, Saranac Lake, New York

Notable faculty[edit]


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  5. ^ [2]. (December 18, 2015).
  6. ^ College News. (January 5, 2011).
  7. ^ a b c d e f g Past as Present: A history of the SUNY Oneonta campus. (September 27, 2011).
  8. ^ a b The State University of New York College at Oneonta, David Brenner, 2002
  9. ^ college website.
  10. ^ a b c d e In Honor and Good Faith, Completing the First Century, 1965–1990, Carey Brush,1997
  11. ^ SUNY Oneonta and You: Traditions. (September 27, 2011).
  12. ^ college website. (March 19, 1982).
  13. ^ ''The Daily Star'', The Daily Star
  14. ^ [3], "College to Mark Black List Anniversary"
  15. ^ [4], "The Black List: Is Racial Profiling Legal?", CBS News
  16. ^ ''The Daily Star'', The Daily Star
  17. ^ College News Archived January 16, 2014, at the Wayback Machine August 30, 2013
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  19. ^ Conway, Paul. "Spring 2009 Undergraduate Political Science Conference at the SUNY Oneonta". Humanities and Sciences Retrieved February 28, 2011.
  20. ^ "". External link in |title= (help); Missing or empty |url= (help)
  21. ^ "". External link in |title= (help); Missing or empty |url= (help)
  22. ^ { "". External link in |title= (help); Missing or empty |url= (help)
  23. ^ { "". External link in |title= (help); Missing or empty |url= (help)
  24. ^ { "". External link in |title= (help); Missing or empty |url= (help)
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  26. ^ Template:Cite
  27. ^ "Is Edward Burns the Next Woody Allen?". ostoNY. Retrieved April 7, 2013.
  28. ^ D'Elia, Gianluca. "2017 Election Guide: District 16 legislative race", Planet Princeton, November 5, 2017. Accessed January 16, 2018. "The longtime Hillsborough resident and member of the Hillsborough sustainable steering committee was a vice president in strategy and analytics at Prudential Financial from 1992 to 2016. Freiman earned his bachelor’s degree in business and managerial economics from the State University of New York College in Oneonta."
  29. ^ Astronaut Bio: Ronald J. Garan (04/2012).
  30. ^ Mickle, Tripp (March 2009). "How Don Garber helped MLS get its game on". SportsBusiness Journal. Retrieved April 7, 2013. Check date values in: |year=, |year= / |date= mismatch (help)
  31. ^ Hernandez, Raymond (November 3, 2000). "Pataki Selects Judge for Appeals Court He Sees as Lenient". The New York Times.
  32. ^ "Former Directors & Under Secretaries for Memorial Affairs, 1973-2011". United State Department of Veterans Affairs. Archived from the original on April 6, 2012. Retrieved April 7, 2013.
  33. ^ Mancinelli, Lou. "Kids love Mt. Airy author's 'Popularity Papers'". Chestnut Hill Local. Retrieved April 7, 2013.
  34. ^ "Alumni Spotlights, Class of 1963at Oneonta in 1977 with a bachelor of arts degree in history". Missing or empty |url= (help)
  35. ^ New York State Senate.
  36. ^ Cassavaugh, Daniel J. (October 18, 2012). "Gym Class Heroes to Play at SUNY Oneonta Homecoming Weekend".
  37. ^ "Sal Paolantonio". ESPN Media Zone. October 5, 2010. Archived from the original on April 30, 2011. Retrieved March 30, 2012. Paolantonio was graduated from the State University of New York at Oneonta in 1977 with a bachelor of arts degree in history.
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  40. ^ Koenig, Kate (December 5, 2012). "Professional Playwright Works with SUNY Oneonta Students". The State Times. Retrieved April 7, 2013.
  41. ^ Schnier, Al (July 1, 2011). "Tales from Winter Tour - Skiing with moe. Guitarist Al Schnier". The Cleanest Line. Retrieved April 7, 2013.
  42. ^ "Keith Tozer". Oneonta State Athletics. Retrieved April 7, 2013.
  43. ^ Dermody, Dennis. (April 5, 2007) R.I.P. Roger Watkins Archived March 30, 2008, at the Wayback Machine. Papermag.
  44. ^ "Democrat Judy Griffin unseats Republican Brian Curran in 21st Assembly District". Herald Community Newspapers. Retrieved 2018-12-17.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 42°28′10″N 75°03′50″W / 42.4695°N 75.0640°W / 42.4695; -75.0640