Historical Timeline of Hartwick College



1746 John Christopher Hartwick arrives in America to serve as a Lutheran minister for the German settlers.
1761 Hartwick obtains a patent for 21,500 acres on the Susquehanna River in New York State.
1796 John Christopher Hartwick dies at Clermont Manor, the home of Robert R. Livingston.
1797 The executors of Hartwick’s estate meet in New York City, the Hartwick Seminary is established, Reverend John Christopher Kunze is named director and begins teaching theology at his home in New York City.


1804 Construction of the Seminary building begins in Albany, but is soon halted due to disagreements regarding estate funds.
1807 John Christopher Kunze dies, leaving Hartwick Seminary with neither a director nor a building.
1811 John G. Knauff becomes executor of the Hartwick estate, and decides to establish the Seminary on Hartwick’s Patent in Otsego County.
1815 Construction of the Seminary is completed, and classes begin with Ernest Lewis Hazelius as principal and professor of theology.
1816 The Regents of the State of New York grant Hartwick Seminary a charter, establishing it as both a classical academy and theological seminary.
1831-32 Isaac Newton Arnold is enrolled as a student at Hartwick Seminary.
1839 The Seminary temporarily closes due to a decline in enrollment.
1841 The renovated Seminary reopens, now providing room and board accommodations for students.
1851 Charlotte Miller becomes the first female teacher. 27 women are admitted as students into the Academy.
1853 The Board of Regents authorizes Hartwick to prepare students to teach in district public schools.
1866 Hartwick celebrates its semi-centennial, recognizing the incorporation date of 1816.
1867 The Seminary building closes for reconstruction. Theological classes are held in Professor George Miller’s home.
1869 A new and much larger structure accommodates the reopening of the Seminary.
1888 Courses constituting the freshman year of college are added to the Academy curriculum.
1897 Hartwick celebrates its centennial.


1902 The Seminary installs indoor plumbing.                                               
1912 Alumnus Andrew B. Yetter donates funds for a gymnasium.
1916 The Seminary is wired for electricity.
1924 The seminarians demand a change in administration during the “Student Strike of 1924.”
1927 The Oneonta Chamber of Commerce offers $200,000 and land suitable for the construction of a college. “A Greater Hartwick, A Greater Oneonta” campaign begins.
1928 Charles Myers is appointed first president of Hartwick College. Ground is broken for the first building on the Hartwick College campus, and classes are temporarily held at the Walling Mansion near downtown Oneonta.

Charles W. Leitzell becomes second president of Hartwick College.

Hartwick College’s first permanent building opens for classes in December. Originally known as Science Hall, it is later renamed Bresee Hall.

1930 The College Board of Trustees chooses Wellesley blue and white as Hartwick’s official colors.
1931 Hartwick College is granted a permanent charter from the New York Board of Regents.
1932 The first College Commencement is held at the First Methodist Episcopal Church.
1939 Henry Arnold becomes the first layman to head any of the Hartwick institutions–Seminary, Academy, or College.
1943 Hartwick is selected to train members of the Cadet Nurses Corps for duty in the armed services or in public health.
1946 The School of Nursing holds its first graduation exercises.
1949 The College receives accreditation from the Middle States Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools.

The north wing of the College’s second building – Religion and Arts – is completed. Three years later the south wing is added and in 1959 it is renamed Arnold Hall.

The Board of Trustees votes to discontinue football.

1953 Miller A.F. Ritchie is appointed president of Hartwick College.
1954 Dewar Hall opens as the first on-campus women’s dormitory.
1958 Louis Armstrong performs before a capacity audience at Hartwick.
1959 Frederick M. Binder becomes fifth president of Hartwick College.
1960  Hartwick’s Junior Year Abroad Program begins.
1963 Thornwood becomes the official residence of the president.
1965 Students lobby for a stronger voice in student policies and regulations.
1968 Hartwick College severs official ties with the Lutheran Church.

Adolph G. Anderson is appointed president of Hartwick College.

Dr. Benjamin Spock speaks on “Vietnam and Civil Disobedience.

The first computer, an IBM 1300, arrives on campus.

WRHO – Campus Radio begins broadcasting.

1970 Hundreds of Hartwick students and faculty protest the war in Southeast Asia during a rally for peace.

Hartwick College purchases Pine Lake.

Alex Haley discusses “Black Heritage” at Parent’s Weekend.

1973 Construction of Anderson Center for the Arts is completed.

Philip S. Wilder becomes seventh president of Hartwick College.

The men’s soccer team wins the NCAA Division I Championship.

1979  Guest speaker Charles Kuralt discusses the ‘Real’ America.
1980 Jerry Rubin talks about changes in America before a capacity crowd at Hartwick.
1985 The first “Awakening” orientation program is held.

Guest speaker Ralph Nader criticizes Reaganomics and the power elite.

Curriculum XXI is initiated – preparing Hartwick students for the 21st century.

1990 Angela Davis speaks about “Race, Gender and Class.”
1991 The Board of Trustees reinstates football.
1992 Richard A. Detweiler is appointed president of Hartwick College.
1993 The first notebook computers are issued to the freshman class.
1994 The Sondhi Limthongkul Center for Interdependence opens.

The new campus network links Hartwick to the world.

Two new residence halls open.

Guest speaker Ellen Goodman discusses value judgments.

1997 Hartwick College celebrates its bicentennial.
1998 Construction begins on the renovation and expansion of Miller Science Building that was renamed the Johnstone Science Center Complex and Miller Hall in honor of John W. Johnstone ’54, H’90. 


2002 Completion of the Strawbale House at Pine Lake, constructed by students in the “Architecture of the Sacred” course.
2003 Richard P. Miller, Jr. becomes president of Hartwick College.
2004 Rev. Dr. Calvin O. Butts, III, pastor of the Abyssinian Baptist Church of New York City and president of SUNY Old Westbury gives the address at Opening Convocation and is awarded an honorary degree for his distinguished service to society.
2005 The First Annual Oh Fest, a street fair and concert organized by Hartwick and SUCO students, is held in downtown Oneonta.

Golisano Hall is completed. It is Hartwick’s first LEED Certified Building.

Hartwick adopts its Liberal Arts in Practice Educational Curriculum.

Hartwick holds its first Annual Student Scholar Showcase, celebrating the broad scholarship of Hartwick Students in a remarkable variety of displays, demonstrations, panels, posters, presentations, and performances.

Dr. Margaret L. Drugovich is inaugurated as Hartwick’s first woman president. A weekend of events celebrated Dr. Drugovich’s presidency, as well as Hartwick’s mission. Based upon the inaugural theme, “Think It. Feel It. Find It. Know It. Hartwick,” the weekend’s activities focused on the connection between Hartwick College, its students, faculty, alumni, and the world around us.


Hartwick’s innovative Three-Year Degree Program is launched, including 25 major areas of study leading to a bachelor of arts (B.A.) or bachelor of science (B.S.) degree. Areas of study include majors from the Humanities, Physical and Life Sciences, and Social and Behavioral Sciences divisions.

Hartwick offers an accelerated 18-month nursing program designed to create a new, flexible educational program for area adults to help alleviate the nursing shortage in upstate New York. Supported by a grant from the Appalachian Regional Commission, Hartwick’s Strengthening Rural Nursing Workforce project will serve Delaware, Otsego, and Schoharie counties in the northern Appalachian sub-region of upstate New York.

2010 Completion of the Cob House at Pine lake, constructed by students, faculty, staff, and volunteers.

Hartwick’s Professional Service and Global Engagement Center, or PSGE, is created to support the administration of experiential and integrative learning in Hartwick’s curriculum, and to connect students to the worlds of work and post-graduate study.

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo, the New York State Museum, and the National September 11 Memorial & Museum select Hartwick to host “New York Remembers” — one of only 30 official exhibits in the state to commemorate the 10th anniversary of 9/11. Many artifacts have never been seen by the public, and Hartwick was the only independent college in New York chosen to host the exhibition.

The National Parks Service names the United States Colored Troops Institute as a facility of the National Park Service’s National Underground Railroad Network to Freedom, acknowledging the institutes association with the Underground Railroad story.


Dedication of the William V. Campbell H’10 Fitness Center.

Unveiling ceremony for the Sally Griffiths Herbert ‘88 Aquatic Center.

2016 Center for Craft Food and Beverage opened, offering testing services, technical assistance and business planning services.

Completion of the Main Campus Gateway Entrance and Hartwick Founder’s Way.

Bachelor’s degrees now available in four new majors: Actuarial Mathematics, Criminal Justice, Environmental Sustainability & Society, and Global Studies.


Griffiths Center for Collaboration & Innovation opened as an umbrella for Makerspace, E-Hub and Fab Lab. Named in honor of Jim Griffiths P’88

Clark Nursing Simulation Lab opened thanks to a generous grant from the Clark Foundation.


Promise Implementation Committee (PIC) formed and began development of a 3-year plan which would include recommendations for an actionable, exciting and sustainable approach to assure the success of every Hartwick student.


Launch of FlightPath, designed by PIC, promising: integrated career development, intensive mentoring, the development of skills that are required to fully prepare for 21st century professional opportunities, and a vibrant campus experience. Implementation under the direction of the FlightPath Implementation Team (FIT) to occur during academic year 2020-2021, with the final inaugural plan to commence academic year 2021-2022.