Siena College Celebrates 70 Years

On September 22, 1937 St. Bernardine of Siena College in Loudonville, New York opened its doors for the very first time. Since then, seventy years later, Siena College has grown both physically and academically, helping to educate thousands of young men and women. Since its initial founding by seven 70th-birthday-logo.jpgFranciscan Friars on the site of an asperagus farm, the college has accomplished unprecendented growth during a relatively short amount of time. Today Siena continues to educate students in each of its Schools with its 29 majors and 43 minors, while continuing to stay true to its Franciscan roots. As we approach the 70th academic year at Siena, The Promethean would like to honor the occasion by taking a look back at some of the monumental events that have taken place over the past seven decades.

We have dug out some memorable photographs from the Siena College archives that allow our fellow readers to see how much the college has progressed throughout its seven decades of existence. Look below to see a brief timeline of some of the monumental events that have taken place at Siena College during the past 70 years.

We have also included collages of pictures and article headlines from each decade since the college’s founding.

After viewing the timeline and collages, scroll down on this page to see a selection of additional photographs and headlines from Siena’s 70 years.

Please note: depending on internet connection, pictures may take a few minutes to load.

All photographs, timeline and collages are property of The Promethean student newspaper and Siena College. Unauthorized duplication is prohibited by law.

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70 Years of Academic Excellence:

Siena CollegeA Timeline

Click on the links below to see a timeline of Siena College.
Please note: links open in a new window.

Part One (1937-1969) click to expand sienas-70th-birthday-timeline.jpg

Part Two (1974-2006) click to expand

70th-birthday-timeline-part-2.jpg

Note: A hard copy of the above timeline appeared in our summer issue of The Promethean and it has been reprinted in our October 25th issue.

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Blasts from the Past:

The following collages appeared in the January 2007 issue of The Promethean in commemoration of the college’s birthday. Click on the links below to see collages of pictures and newspaper clippings from each of the following decades. Please note: Links open in new browsing windows.

1937-1949

1937-1949-collage.jpg

1950s

1950-collage.jpg

1960s

1960s-collage.jpg

1970s

1970s-collage.jpg

1980s

1980s-collage.jpg

1990s

1990s-collage.jpg

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70th-happy-birthday-headline-graphic.jpg

Below are a selection of photographs and articles from the college’s 70 year history:

old-friary-destroyed-in-1956.jpg

(above) The college’s first building. An old farm house, it remained in use at the college until it was destroyed in 1950.

fouding-friars-of-siena-college.jpg

(above) The seven founding friars of St. Bernardine of Siena College, established 1937.

tuition-raised-1940.jpg

(above) Headline announcing a tuition increase for students (1940).

graduation.jpg

(above) An early commencement on the front lawn of Siena College (circa 1941).

siena-charter-1941.jpg

(above) Headline announcing the 1941 charter that Siena College was granted by the State of New York.

1950-friars.jpg

(above) The ground-breaking for the new Siena friary, (which is now Hines Hall) circa 1950.

daytime-session-1945.jpg

(above) This article announces the first daytime summer session, which began on July 1, 1945.

50s-b-ball.jpg

(above) Sienamen on the basketball team play a game of hoop (circa 1955).

chapel-construction.jpg

(above) Construction of the college’s chapel during the 1950s.

1948-cartoon.jpg

(above) 1948 cartoon commenting on the school’s rapid growth.

chapel-1950s.jpg

(above) The interior of the newly constructed college chapel (circa 1955).

sienamen-classroom.jpg

(above) Sienamen in a classroom in Siena Hall during the 1950s. The college was an all-male school at the time.

cafeteria.jpg

(above) The interior of the Siena College cafeteria (now Serra Hall) during the 1950s.

1950s-sienamen.jpg

(above) Sienamen from the 1950s having a good time.

march-1969.jpg

(above) Article announcing that Siena College will become a co-ed institution in the Fall of 1969. Click on the article to read it.

senate-students.jpg

(above) Siena College student senators from the late 1950s.

siena-cafeteria.jpg

(above) Advertisement for the Siena College Cafeteria from the 1950s.

dorm-and-dining-hall-model.jpg

(above) An architectural rendering of what was to become Serra Dining Hall and Plassmann Hall. Both buildings were constructed in the 1950s and they are still utilized today.

editors.jpg

(above) Editors of the student newspaper work on their latest issue, (circa 1955).

siena-indian.jpg

Until 1989, the Siena College school mascot was the “Indian.”

cartoon.jpg

(above) Cartoon from 1969, making reference to Siena’s decision to become co-ed.

students.jpg

(above) Siena student leaders from the 1950s.

kissing-dropouts.jpg

Laziness is nothing new. (above) An article describing the effects of dating while in college (1950s).

1969-cartoon.jpg

(above) 1969 cartoon that makes reference to the school’s decision to become co-ed.

siena-bowling-ally.jpg

(above) Kegler’s Paradise bowling alley was constructed in 1941 in the basement of Gibbon’s Hall (now Foy Hall). At the time it was said to be one of the best bowling alleys in the Capital District. It was later removed from Gibbons Hall in the 1970s when the school built a new gymnasium.

football.jpg

There was a time when Siena had football… (above) The football team in action from the 1970s.

1989-ncaa-game.jpg

(above) Snapshot from the 1989 NCAA Siena basketball game against Stanford University.

olympics.jpg

(above) The Olympic torch for the 1980 Lake Placid Olympic games stopped at Siena in 1979.

drinking-issue.jpg

College drinking problems are nothing new…(above) an article from 1980 discussing the drinking problems on college campuses. Click on the article to read it.

siena-sign.jpg

(above) The original Siena College sign, which was later replaced by a larger and more prominant one.

wvcr-goes-gold.jpg

(above) An article about WVCR’s “golden oldie” marathon from the 1960s.

1989.jpg

Siena College students hanging out in the dorms (circa 1989).

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70th-birthday-logo.jpgThe above photos are just a few of the historical documents The Promethean retrieved from the Siena College archives.
To see the photos and articles in context, and to see additional photographs from Siena’s past, please view the links from each decade at the top of this page.
Photographs retrieved from the Siena College archives and are property of The Promethean and of Siena College. Unauthorized duplication is prohibited by law.
Page managed by Christopher Hannmann, editor in chief. Questions about this page should be directed to newspaper@siena.edu

Tell us what you think about our 70th Birthday tribute to Siena College. Leave your comment below.

6 responses to “Siena College Celebrates 70 Years

  1. Scott

    This looks great! It looks like The Promethean staff has been hard at work digging through Siena’s past. My favorite newspaperclip is the one that reads “Tuition Raised to 8.00 an Hour”..if only that were still true! A job well done!

  2. Robin

    I love the whole idea of a collage for the decades and the various articles and photos. It’s fun to learn about the college’s history and see how far we’ve come. Great Job!

  3. Will

    Fantastic stuff! This was really interesting. I especially enjoyed the shot of the Olympic Torch, and the ad for the Siena Cafeteria.

  4. I’m a Siena alumni and I was crusing around on the internet and found your site. I heard about the Promethean’s website through a commercial on wvcr-fm. I just want to commend the entire staff for some great work here. This collage celebrating the college’s past 70 years is wonderful. I actually remember when the Olympic torch stopped at Siena. Keep up the great work!

  5. Very good web site, great work and thank you for your service.

  6. Paulina

    Very nice collection here. I fell upon your website while crusing the web. Some nice stuff you have here, especially for a college newspaper.

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