Farmingdale’s First Class: The Lost Generation of 1919

Authored by Robert Voyles

Commencement schedule

The remnants of the first commencement program for the New York State School of Agriculture on Long Island Class of 1919.

Farmingdale State College was not always named as such and had a narrower purpose than what it has become today. It began as an agricultural school, then called the New York State School of Agriculture on Long Island, with class sizes not much larger than a dozen students (Farmingdale State College 2018b). The college will be celebrating its centennial graduation in the spring of 2019 and there is a desire to reminisce about the first graduating class 100 years ago in 1919. Outside of a few documents that detail the day-to-day of school administration and the 1919 class yearbook, little information has been retained in the school archives of the first class. The commencement program normally is a booklet filled with information on the activities that take place for graduation. The program for the Class of 1919, however, had little to show except for a schedule. Continue reading

Memorial Oak Tree at Farmingdale State College: A Living Tribute

Authored by Jaimie A. Albanese

An image of a pile of parcels on the ground, each with an attached paper tag stating the parcel's place of origin. The pile is surrounded by small flags from different countries stuck into the ground.

Taken during the Memorial Tree Planting Ceremony on June 4, 1921, this photograph shows the soil used in the planting of the Memorial Oak. The soil was gathered from each state in the United States, including the territory of Alaska, and countries who were members of the Allied Powers during WWI.

During the post-WWI era, the planting of memorial trees served as a popular tribute (Robbins 2003). Unfortunately, many have fallen or the plaques that once showed their dedication have been destroyed or lost (Gangloff 2003, 5). At the Farmingdale State College campus, one such “memorial that lives” (Gangloff 2003, 5) still stands strong almost a century later. Continue reading

A Generous Donation Made to Greenley Library

Authored by SC

Correspondence between Michael Knuth and Charles E. Feinberg.

Letter dated 25 March 1987 written by Michael Knauth, Head Librarian of Farmingdale State College, to Charles E. Feinberg, a book and manuscript collector who specialized in the works of Walt Whitman.

 

On March 25, 1987, Michael Knauth, the head librarian of Thomas D. Greenley Library at Farmingdale State College wrote a letter to Charles E. Feinberg regarding a donation made by Mr. Feinberg unto the college.1 Charles E. Feinberg was a collector of all materials related to the the great American poet, Walt Whitman. His donation consisted of “a collection of 1860 engravings, including a corrected edition of a Trouble reproduction.”2 Continue reading

Stony Kill Farm: An enduring example of “Agriculture in Perpetuity”

Authored by Kat Baumgartner

Stonykill Photo

A December 5, 1957 photo of Stony Kill Farm with the Manor House visible in the background. Photograph of the land, Dec. 5, 1957, Box 10, Stony Kill 1942-1952, Farmingdale State College Archives, Farmingdale State College, Farmingdale, New York.

On November 9, 1942, John Bayard Rodgers Verplanck, James DeLancey Verplanck, and their wives Evelina and Susan gave a 750-acre property to the Long Island Agricultural and Technical Institute, now Farmingdale State College, in exchange for one dollar. The Verplanck brothers had a particular vision for this land: “In presenting the gift of the farm to the State it was specifically stated in the Transfer of Title that the primary function of the farm would be to serve as an outdoor laboratory enabling Institute students to receive a wider range of instruction than would otherwise be possible at Farmingdale. In addition, the farm was to be kept in ‘Agriculture in Perpetuity.’”2  Continue reading

“Modern Community” in 1950

Authored by Kevin Quinn

Page 1 of the Modern Community syllabus at Farmingdale State College, circa 1948.

Farmingdale State College “Modern Community syllabus,” page 1, circa 1948.

“Modern Community in 1950”

As part of an Academic Service-Learning project, I was tasked with cataloging textbooks and notebooks donated by an alumnus of the 1950 class at Farmingdale State College. The donor of the material was Mr. Benjamin P. Vecchio, a graduate of the Building Construction (BC) program at LIATI. At LIATI, students were either part of the Agricultural College, or the Technical College. As a student in BC, Mr. Vecchio was a part of the Technical College that, according to a campus map[1], made its home on Conklin Street in Farmingdale, NY, away from the Main Campus.  The history of the Technical Campus is interesting because the ‘Central Hall’ building used to be known as the Nazareth Trade School, a home for Orphans between 1900 and 1940.[2] “It was held at the old tech area which was on Conklin Street. All the classes were there, none of them were here, except sports, sports were here, but the rest were over there.”[3] Continue reading