Courses in arts and sciences are offered for the first time. Thirty-five students are taught by two full-time faculty. University of Buffalo Havana Cigars sell for 5 cents.
Townsend Hall at Niagara Square is given to UB by the Women’s Education and Industrial Union of Buffalo. The college’s home for seven years, the building is later sold and the name transferred to the current Townsend Hall on the South Campus.
UB issues historic non-discrimination statement: “For all Buffalo Boys and Girls regardless of race, creed or class.” Ad in Iris yearbook for Lutz’s Barber Shop promises “Electric Hair Cutting, Facial Massaging and Cranium Manipulating done with Ambidextrous Facility.”
Samuel P. Capen, the first director of the American Council on Education, is inaugurated as university chancellor. Capen will lead the university for 28 years, demonstrating a profound commitment to the arts and sciences.
Dean of Women Lillias MacDonald oversees dramatic increases in female enrollment, especially in the College.
Library director and English professor Charles D. Abbott founds the UB Poetry Collection, cultivating a wide network of English-language poets.
Immediately after the attack on Pearl Harbor, UB reorganizes its programs of instruction to allow students to finish their courses in shorter periods.
Total enrollment at UB is 7,045. The number of veterans enrolled reaches a peak at 2,511, with the majority in the College of Arts and Sciences.
Clifford C. Furnas is inaugurated as chancellor; he later becomes the State University of New York at Buffalo’s first president. Olive Lester takes the helm of the psychology department, becoming the first woman to chair an arts and sciences department at UB.
A Buffalo couple, Frederick and Alice Slee, leave their entire fortune to support music at UB, including the playing of Beethoven’s string quartet cycle in perpetuity. Vic Carbone of Alpha Phi Delta and Loretta Minsterman are listed as being “pinned” in The Spectrum.
Art department (now Visual Studies) merges with the Albright Art School. The university establishes the Slee professorship with composer Aaron Copland as its first holder.
UB joins the State University of New York (SUNY) system. Full professors’ salaries begin at $9,300.
Albert Cook is named chair of the English department, and over the next four years transforms the faculty, bringing in such visiting authors as Allen Ginsberg and Robert Duncan.
In a legendary hoax, the “Thallus of Marchantia” arrives at Buffalo Airport. Alleged potentate is a UB student who hoodwinks local media.
The College of Arts and Sciences is divided into three faculties: Arts and Letters, Natural Sciences and Mathematics, and Social Sciences and Administration. Martin Luther King Jr. gives a speech on “The Future of Integration” at Buffalo’s Kleinhans Music Hall.
UB’s English program is ranked 19th in the country by the American Council on Education. Construction begins on the Amherst Campus. Spring semester ends earlier than usual after four months of demonstrations and strikes focused on the Vietnam War, civil rights and other social issues.
Elizabeth Kennedy teaches the first women’s studies course at UB. “The Greening of America” by Charles Reich and “Future Shock” by Alvin Toffler are the best-selling books on campus.
Poets Lawrence Ferlinghetti and Gwendolyn Brooks read from their works in Norton Hall (now Squire Hall) on the South Campus.
The Amherst Campus officially becomes the university’s central campus, with the completion of the Capen/Norton/Talbert complex along the academic spine. Blizzard of ’77 blasts Western New York with record snowfalls and high winds.
Steven B. Sample is appointed 12th president and immediately announces his goal to develop UB into one of the nation’s top 10 public research institutions. He also pledges “to reaffirm the liberal arts and sciences as the core of the academic enterprise.” The Honors Program (later Honors College) is established.
The Undergraduate College is created to improve general education, especially for underclassmen. A sign posted at Undergraduate Library stipulates “No food or drink/Smoking in designated areas only.”
In an address to the academic community, President Sample urges a reintegration of the Arts and Sciences and “a reestablishment of the intellectual leadership of the liberal arts within the academy.”
The Center for the Arts opens with a three-week festival. Performers include the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra and Tanzfabrik, the Berlin Dance Company.
UB enrolls 25,000 students, offers almost 300 degree programs and has an operating budget of almost $600 million. Fred “Chico” Lager, former CEO of Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream, shares ice cream and expertise at an open house for freshmen.
University Libraries acquires its three millionth volume, Jacob Rueff’s “De conceptu et generatione hominis.” It’s added to the Robert L. Brown History of Medicine Collection.
UB’s arts and sciences departments are reunited in a reestablished College of Arts and Sciences.
New York City art dealer David K. Anderson donates the Anderson Gallery building to UB. He also establishes a $2-million trust to assist with exhibitions and upkeep.
Carl Dennis, professor of English, is named recipient of the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry for his eighth collection, “Practical Gods.”
John B. Simpson becomes UB’s 14th president. Novelist Joyce Carol Oates lectures as part of the Distinguished Speakers Series. President Simpson launches UB 2020, the strategic planning initiative to build the university’s prominence as a world-class public research university.
In the wake of Hurricane Katrina, UB opens its doors to students from four schools in New Orleans forced to suspend classes because of the storm. The UB Humanities Institute is established to help “question, comprehend and transform an increasingly complex world.”
The 14th Dalai Lama delivers an address at UB Stadium on the theme of promoting peace across borders through education.
The university launches “Building UB,” a comprehensive physical planning process. UB introduces undergraduate learning academies in research exploration, civic engagement and global perspectives.
Annette Cravens (MSW ’68) donates her priceless collection of nearly 700 archaeological and ethnographic objects for a permanent exhibit at the UB Anderson Gallery.
President Barack Obama delivers a major policy address on college affordability in Alumni Arena. Twenty-three new faculty members join the College of Arts and Sciences.
Sources include University Libraries timeline of UB history, 1846-2011; UB Archives reports and materials; “75 Years of Arts & Sciences,” UB Today, spring 1989.
Photography courtesy of University Archives, Douglas Levere and Nancy J Parisi