Student Life


1916, March--The first students arrive on campus, approximately 60 in number. The buildings are not yet completed, so male students have to sleep in the top floor of the Power House (now Conklin Hall) and women stay in Mott House. The school did not formally open until Fall of 1916.*

1917-1918-World War I made its impact on the campus. Cadet camps were established for high school boys during summers of 1917 and 1918. The Women's Land Army also sent students to Farmingdale for training. After the war, about 225 ex-service men enrolled. One student, Jack Bamforth, was killed in action.

1919--The first class of graduates, numbering 15. An outbreak of influenza took the lives of 2 students, Charles Giuliano, Class of 1919 and Dav id Wright, Class of 1921. Although there were only 15 graduates of the full program in 1919, there were 274 students in attendance at the time, many of whom were either part-time, or in short courses that ran at different parts of the year. Kathryn Freeman and Maud Schaeffer were the first two women to graduate from NYSSA, in 1919 and 1920, respectively.

Students entering in 1916 were enrolled in a four-year course. There were subsequently offered a series of short, special courses in specific subjects, such as Soil Fertility or Dairying. In 1920, the four-year regular course of study was shortened to a three-year course of study.


During the 1920's, the school grew under the leadership of Directors Johnson and Knapp.

The 1925-1926 Freshman Manual
lists the following Freshman Rules

The Freshman Rules must be obeyed by al l Freshman, whether regular or special students.
The Freshman Rules Committee has the power of prolonging the duration of Frosh Rules if these are not abided by.
Thou Shalt:--1-Show proper respect to all members of the faculty and upper classmen.2-Respond willingly to all requests of upper classmen, A. A. managers, etc.3-Learn all college songs and cheers and rules within two weeks.4-Greet every one with a cheery "hello."5-Wear the required Freshman cap.6 -Wear coats and ties to all meals and ties to all classes.7-Carry a box of matches at all times during the year and respond willingly to all requests for their use.8-Attend all athletic contests on campus and sit in the cheering section and CHEER.9-Attend all student organization A.A. mass meetings and Freshman labor work.10-Carry Freshman Fules at all times.

Thou shalt not:--1-CRAB.2-Smoke outside of the dormitory.3-Speak to or escort a girl.4-Take short cuts on the campus.5-Wear bow ties.6-Leave the campus after dark except Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights.


Gerald Raynor, Class of 1932, Orna. Horticulture, met with SFCA staff in 2002 to share his memories about his time as a student. He also donated a large number of pictures, meticulously labeled in scrapbooks, to the SFCA. These are some of the pictures from his collection, now held by SFCA.

Mr. Raynor told of times when every student had to perform rotating barn duty (two weeks on, two weeks off). This meant getting up before 6AM, doing barn duty, eating breakfast, and then continuing with a full day of classes. Students also performed barn duty on weekends. They were required to be in the dorms at night by x:00, and on weekends were allowed out until x:00.

In 1932, there were 3 fraternities--Sigma Alpha Gamma, Phi Sigma Chi, and Th eta Gamma. On March 19, SAG hosted the annual Spring Hop. (see invitation card to right).


Sporting events drew large crowds. Pictured here are cheerleaders with the team mascot, a ram.

In 1946, th e School broke up into 2 Divisions--Ag&Hort, and Industrial and Technical. Most of the I&T courses were offered at the Conklin Street Building (Nazareth Trade School). Shown here is an assembly of students inside the auditorium at the Conklin St. school.

In 1948, Long Island Ag & Tech became one of the founding SUNY schools.


Student enrollment continued to grow during the 1950's. The Industrial and Technical Division of the college was becoming very popular, with many new programs. New buildings were opening, like Memorial and Alumni Halls. The campus also had an active social life.


In the 1960s, students were living in Nassau and Suffolk Halls.


On all college campuses, the late 1960's and early 1970's were times of student unrest.

In the mid 1970's, Roosevelt Hall was the place to be. There was a new "Flab Factory," as well as bowling, billiards, air hockey, and more. Roosevelt also housed a Tavern and a Candy Store.

By 1979, the campus was changing. There were still 100 acres of agricultural land under cultivation, but new buildings, such as the Greenley Hall Library and Nold Hall Sports Complex, were dotting the landscape. There were 16,652 students in the 1979-1980 school year, including 6,156 full-time, 7,232 part-time, and 3,264 EOC students.(1)

(1) From 1979-1980 Annual Report, State University of New York, Agricultural and Technical College at Farmingdale.


The 1980s was a vibrant time on campus. The college opened Gleeson Hall, the largest classroom building on campus.


During the 1990s, the diverse student body was for the first time able to earn bachelors degrees. Shown here are students from different campus activities, such as Cheering, Computer Club, and leadership retreats.

Thomas D. Greenley

Greenley Library

Circulation: 934-420-2183
Reference: 934-420-2184


Mon-Thurs 7:45am - 11:00pm
Friday 7:45am - 5:00pm
Saturday CLOSED
Last Modified 6/1/20