Dr. Charles Wesley Hunt (1880-1973)
For almost a century, a man lived among us who dreamed of a better world and dedicated his life to making it so. The achievements of Dr. Charles Hunt are too numerous to record here, but those which preserved, developed and enriched the present State University College at Oneonta should be recalled, at least in part.
In 1933 when he came to Oneonta as Principal of the Normal School, Dr. Hunt took immediate steps to institute changes and introduce fresh ideas which paved the way for the Normal School to become a State Teachers College in 1942 and eventually a part of the great State University system. He raised the academic requirements for faculty positions and encouraged the present staff to do advanced study. He reduced the student-faculty ratio, and instituted new programs in rural education, off-campus student teaching, health services and recreation for students.
Dr. Hunt enlarged the teaching and administrative staffs and worked to have salaries raised to an administrative level which would attract well qualified personnel. The library was expanded, and the physical plant was improved and experts were called in to make recommendations.
Finally, the school received accreditation from the American Association of Colleges of Teacher Education and the Middle-States Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools. During this time of crucial change with all of its accompanying problems, when a man could have been making more enemies than friends, his sensitivity for the feelings of others and his unerring the respect, the good will and the affection of his staff and the student body.
On October 13, 1973 Oneonta State's new College Union Building was dedicated to Dr. Charles W. Hunt and named in his honor. In making the announcement Dr. Clifford Craven, President of the college at that time, said "Suny Oneonta as we know it today with 38 buildings, 5,000 students and 1,000 faculty and staff, may not have been possible without Dr. Hunt's foresight and vision. The selection of this building, the center of student life on campus, is a good one because the students of the College have always been his primary concern."
"To Learn. To Search. To Serve."
is the motto of the State University of New York. The Hunt College Union provides a facility and a program to accomplish these aspirations.