This article is from the archives of the UB Reporter.

40 years ago

40 years ago

Breaking ground for the North Campus were, from left to right, SUNY Chancellor Samuel B. Gould; UB Council Chair Seymour H. Knox; Gov. Nelson A. Rockefeller; Matthew Meyerson, son of UB President Martin Meyerson; Meyerson; and Professor John T. Horton with the University Mace.

The development of UB’s North Campus began on Oct. 31, 1968—40 years ago tomorrow—when Gov. Nelson A. Rockefeller broke ground for what would become the Ellicott Complex. Rockefeller used the same silver shovel that had been used in 1920 at the groundbreaking for Foster Hall, the first building UB constructed on the South Campus. Planning for a new campus began in 1964, two years after UB’s merger with SUNY, when the SUNY Board of Trustees announced that UB would become the largest and most comprehensive institution of higher education in New York State.

After the groundbreaking, dignitaries and guests moved into a heated tent to hear Rockefeller describe how UB’s merger with SUNY had brought together the rich tradition of excellence and diversity of a venerable private institution with the financial strength of the world’s fastest growing state university. As the official proceedings ended, a mock groundbreaking was held nearby attended, according to the Spectrum, by “those adorable flower-children types so much in vogue.”

Concerns about the projected cost of the project and labor issues related to opportunities for minority employment delayed work for two years. The first building contract was for Governors Residence Halls; by January 1972, projects completed or under way were valued at $115 million. Governors and O’Brian Hall opened in the fall of 1973, five years after the groundbreaking.

John Edens, University Archives