History of SUNY Schenectady
History of the College
SUNY Schenectady County Community College was officially established by the Schenectady County Board of Representatives on January 26, 1967, based in part on a study made by a citizens’ committee which showed a need for a community college in Schenectady County. In 1968, Governor Rockefeller appointed four Trustees. Following this, the Van Curler Hotel was purchased by the County and designated as the site for the College.
Located on the western edge of the City of Schenectady, the extensively renovated Van Curler Hotel was transformed into a college, and classes began in September 1969. The building was subsequently renamed Elston Hall in honor of Charles W. Elston. Mr. Elston was a member of the original Board of Trustees and served as chairperson of that board for eight years. Elston Hall houses traditional and electronic classrooms, computer, learning and language labs, science and culinary arts laboratories, the Casola Dining Room, the Van Curler Room, the Lally Mohawk Room, meeting rooms, the College Store, a cafeteria, and offices.
In 1978, a multi-purpose building was constructed on camp us which houses the Begley Library. This building also houses the School of Music, designed to meet the needs of students in the nationally ac credited music programs, and the Carl B. Taylor Community Auditorium, home to musical and theatrical performances and special events.
The campus was further enhanced in 1987 when the Center for Science and Technology (CST) opened. This unique facility contains the College’s physics and chemistry laboratories as well as specialized laboratory facilities for circuits, electronics, vacuum science, and computer networking.
A campus development project was completed in 1992. This add ed a new student center in Elston Hall, which includes a cafeteria, the College Store, student lounge, recreational space, biology and geology laboratories and 15 classrooms. The South Wing addition t o Elston Hall added four new culinary arts laboratories and an expanded restaurant facility, the Casola Dining Room. An enclosed pedestrian bridge connecting Elston Hall with the Center for Science and Technology was also added, providing improved access to t he CST.
In the Spring of 2000, SUNY Schenectady’s new Gateway Building officially opened. The colorful one- story building houses general classrooms, a child-care center, the SUNY Schenectady Integrated Laboratory Preschool, and offices.
Construction was completed in the Fall of 2001 on the Stockade Building, a three-story academic building that houses computer classrooms, traditional classrooms, lecture halls, conference rooms, Workforce Development, offices and specialty programs. The Stockade Building is connected to Elston Hall and the Begley Library through an enclosed walkway in the heart of campus.
An impressive Culinary Arts Expansion in Elston Hall house s the Casola Dining Room, two culinary arts laboratories, a dedicated kitchen for the Casola Dining Room, a bakery outlet, and a seminar room. The Center for Science and Technology features new labs for Nanoscale Materials Technology.
In Fall 2011, SUNY Schenectady began offering classes at Center City in downtown Schenectady and during the Fall of 2012, the College opened a new $3.9 million, 12,600-square-foot, two-story addition to the Begley Building for the SUNY Schenectady School of Music. The School of Music includes teaching studios, an industry-standard live recording studio, two specialized music classrooms, practice rooms, recital space, teaching studios, faculty offices and a student lounge.
In Fall 2012, the College opened a new $3.9 million, 12,600-square-foot, two-story addition to the Begley Building for the School of Music. The School of Music includes teaching studios, an industry-standard live recording studio, two specialized music classrooms, practice rooms, recital space, teaching studios, faculty offices and a student lounge.
In November 2015, SUNY Schenectady officially opened it’s newest building, the Kindl Building, located on at 201 State Street in Downtown Schenectady. The Kindl family generously donated the structure in 2009 to the College. The County, the State University of New York, and Empire State Development contributed $400,000 and $950,000, respectively, to help offset the $1.6 million cost to renovate the space, which now houses SUNY Schenectady's Workforce Development and Community Education center.
Charles W. Scholes, President
July 1968-June 1970
Dr. Anthony E. Terino, Acting President
February 1970-June 1970
Robert D. Larsson, President
July 1970-June 1980
Karl A. Zipf, Acting President
September 1979-July 1980
Dr. Wright L. Lassiter Jr., President
July 1980-August 1983
Karl A. Zipf, Interim President
August 1983-March 1984
Dr. Peter F. Burnham, President
March 1984-May 1991
Dr. Gabriel J. Basil, Interim President
June 1991-April 1992
Dr. Gabriel J. Basil, President
April 1992-November 2008
Edward S. Baker, Interim President
December 2008-June 2009
Dr. Quintin B. Bullock, President
July 2009-February 2013
Dr. Martha J. Asselin, Interim President
March 2013-June 2015