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."
The Role of the College Union
The Union is the community center of the college, serving students, staff, alumni, and guests. By whatever form or name, a college union is an organization offering a variety of programs, activities, services, and facilities that, when taken together, represent a well-considered plan for the community life of the college.
The Union is an integral part of the educational mission of the college. As the center of the college community life, the Union complements the academic experience through an extensive variety of cultural, educational, social and recreational programs. These programs provide the opportunity to balance course work and free time as cooperative factors in education.
The Union is a student-centered organization that values participatory decision making. Through volunteerism, its boards, committees, and student development, the Union offers firsthand experience in citizenship and educates students in leadership, social responsibility, and values.
In all its processes, the Union encourages self-directed activity, giving maximum opportunity for self-realization and for growth in individual social competency and group effectiveness. The Union's goal is the development of persons as well as intellects.
Traditionally considered the "hearthstone" or "living room" of the campus, today's union is the gathering place of the college. The Union provides services and conveniences that members of the college community need in their daily lives and creates an environment for getting to know and understand others through formal and informal associations.
The Union serves as a unifying force that honors each individual and values diversity. The Union fosters a sense of community that cultivates enduring loyalty to the college.
"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 goals.