1913 Delhi Founded
A State School of Agriculture and Domestic Science at Delhi was first proposed by Elizabeth MacDonald, and championed by her sister Amelia. The goal was to help stem the migration of young men and women from the area by preparing them for careers in farming.
The plan was initially rejected by governors in 1910, 1911, and 1912, but the determination of Delhi citizens culminated on May 24, 1913 when Governor Sulzer signed the bill into law.
"Church bells were rung and steam whistles blown... to commence the celebration. The band gave a concert from the pagoda, the park being profusely decorated with Chinese lanterns, while many business places and residences were brightly lighted."
--The Delaware Republican
1915 First Director
Dr. Carl E. Ladd served as the school's first director and took on the task of organizing the school in just under 10 weeks following his arrival.
A great deal of this (enthusiasm) was supplied by the director, Dr. Carl E. Ladd, who radiated confidence and created a spirit of zeal and loyalty that brought harmony out of an otherwise chaotic situation.
--1922 Fidelitas, Delhi's first yearbook
1915 First Class
It was October 14, 1915 when Delhi opened its doors to nine students, the college's director, and two instructors. There was only one building, the Dairy Barn, now known as Thurston Hall. It was a cold place. As one student said, "Red noses were in vogue."
The building was to serve as a model dairy plant; however, this proved to be impractical for class space, and the building's platform for receiving milk cans was converted into a school library.
"...They were a good-natured lot and what was lacking in equipment was made up in enthusiasm."
--from the 1922 Fidelitas
1915 Athletic Beginnings
Men's basketball, Delhi's first athletic team, was organized only weeks after the school opened. Until just after World War II, basketball and cross country were Delhi's only intercollegiate sports until the late 40's. Early on, Delhi had a small pool of candidates for its athletics teams, but the school spirit remained strong.
Through the years, Delhi's reputation in intercollegiate sports has grown. Delhi's 1982 wrestling team broke the national record for consecutive dual meet wins and its cross country teams have earned more than 10 national titles.
1917 Director DuBois, Downstate Recruitment Begins
Charles O. DuBois served as Director of the College beginning in 1917 and continued in that role until 1929.
Under his leadership, the college created an intensive training program for students to alleviate a farm worker shortage in Delaware County resulting from World War I. The majority of students were recruited from New York City.
1918 First Commencement
Delhi's first commencement took place at the end of April 1918 when 19 diplomas were awarded, four in Domestic Science and 15 in Agriculture. Six of the agriculture diplomas went to students who had completed their coursework the previous year when no graduation exercises were held.
The college now holds two commencement ceremonies, one in December and one in May, so that all graduates can participate in the celebration while they are on campus. At every ceremony, the college's alma mater, Sheltered by the Catskill Mountains, is sung. The original lyrics are credited to Richard Kirwan, a Delhi student who enrolled at the college through a program that allowed disabled WWI veterans to pursue an education.
1920 Earliest Recognized Student Group
Delhi's earliest recognized student group, the Rural Community Club, later called Country Life Club, was open to all students and provided informal dramatic and musical programs, debates and social functions.
In the club's heyday, students conducted enthusiastic elections for officers. Two political "parties," the Rustic Rushers and the Rural Boosters, would vie for control of the club. The club faded from campus life following World War I.
1920 First Newspaper
The Oracle, Delhi's first school newspaper, was published in November 1920. It originally appeared in a magazine format with more space devoted to literary works than to news accounts of school activities and athletics.
1920 Oldest Greek Organization
Delhi's oldest Greek organization was the Delta chapter of Theta Gamma, a society with representation at the six state agricultural schools.
Tri-Atelier, often considered a fraternity, belonged to the category of department clubs and was formed in 1938 for students in the construction division.
Other Greek organizations developed as the college grew. Pi Nu Epsilon was the first sorority, and a second fraternity, Psi Delta Omega, was chartered in 1958. Kappa Sigma Epsilon, another fraternity, and Alpha Beta Chi, a sorority, formed in the early 1960's.
1921 First Teacher Training Class
Eighteen young women enrolled in the college's first teacher training class. They studied rural sociology, psychology, principles of teaching, school management, and the methods of teaching all subjects taught at the elementary level.
Delhi's training course came at a critical time when Upstate New York was dotted with one-room schools desperate for teachers trained to teach a wide range of grades.
The college continues to serve New York State's need for educators with its three teacher education transfer programs.
1928 Student Government Begins
The Student Council was set up to provide a link between the students and faculty. In 1948, the Council was charged with establishing a student lounge that would be open all day, something the school never had. In 1953, the Student Court system was introduced to deal with disciplinary matters. Later the Council was replaced by the Student Senate.
1929 Director Harlond L. Smith
Harlond L. Smith served as Director of the College from 1929 to 1954. His wife, Eleanor Hussy Smith, authored Delhi's only comprehensive history, Delhi Tech: The First Half Century.
1930 FDR Speaks
Farm and Home Days were important events on campus in the 1920's. Regular school work was suspended to give time to a series of lectures and demonstrations for the benefit of students and the community. These events attracted notable speakers, including Governor Roosevelt in 1930.
1933 First Construction Program in U.S.
A building construction program, the first of its kind in the United States, was introduced to meet the growing demand for carpenters and builders. This program marked the beginning of Delhi's technology programs.
Students put what they learned to good use by designing and building a house for a Delhi resident. Many of the houses on Park Place and Sheldon Drive in the Village of Delhi were the result of Delhi construction students' hard work.
The tradition continues with Delhi construction students building homes, as well as facilities for non-profit organizations, to gain hands-on experience.
1941 New Name
Campus expansion and an increasingly diversified curriculum, combined with the growing stature of New York's six agricultural schools, culminated in 1941 when the official name was changed to the New York State Agricultural and Technical Institute at Delhi.
1943 Meeting a Nation's Need
Delhi responded to a national call for nurses by creating a training course for practical nurses in 1943. The program required students to spend 12 weeks on campus and then work at affiliated hospitals for 26 weeks of practical experience. Students then became eligible to take the state examination for licensed practical nurses.
Today, Delhi continues to be an innovator in nursing education. The college launched the first total online RN to BSN program in New York State in January 2008.
1945 Hospitality Roots
Food technology was added to the curriculum in 1945, which marked the beginning of what is now Delhi's Hospitality Management program.
Later program developments included hotel technology in 1958, restaurant management in 1961, travel and tourism management in 1987, culinary arts in 1994, and in 1998, the college's first bachelor's degree?the BBA in Hospitality Management.
1948 Charter Member of SUNY
Thousands of G.I.s returning from war took advantage of incentives to attend college, and Delhi, like other colleges around the state and the country, were bursting to capacity. Governor Dewey appointed a commission to assess the need for state-supported facilities for higher education. Delhi was one of the original 14 state colleges and agricultural institutes that were included when the State University of New York system was created. It's new name was the State University of New York Agricultural and Technical Institute at Delhi. In 1964, its institute designation was replaced by "College".
Construction students built a sign of two brick columns proudly displaying the college's new designation at the entrance of the campus.
1949 Enrollment Grows
Thousands of G.I.s returning from service took advantage of incentives to attend college, and Delhi, like other colleges, was bursting at capacity. The 1949 graduating class had 104 members, 40 percent of whom were World War II veterans.
1952 First Associate Degree
As a unit of the State University of New York, Delhi was authorized in 1952 to grant the degree of Associate in Applied Science to anyone completing a two-year course. The new diplomas now included the signature of the President of the State University.
1955 President William R. Kunsela
William R. Kunsela became Delhi's first president in 1955 and served until 1973. Director William R. Kunsela began calling upon Delhi's more than 2,000 alumni to support the "future growth and development" of their alma mater. An alumni council made up of 27 alumni was formed with the main purpose of raising funds for student scholarships. Professor Willis Waite, a faculty member since 1932, was the first alumni affairs advisor.
1956 Business Division Emerges, Construction Curriculum Expands
Delhi's dairy commercial department, which had offered a one-year course to students who learned typing, shorthand and office practice, became the secretarial department in 1948. The department expanded to become the Division of Business Technology in 1956, offering separate programs in business administration, accounting, and marketing.
That same year, the Construction Division expanded to include civil technology and mechanical equipment.
1956 CADI Begins
Organized by President William R. Kunsela, the Faculty-Student Association, now known as College Association at Delhi, Inc. (CADI), was formed to help meet the needs of Delhi's growing student population.
The non-profit corporation provided services that included the dining hall, campus store, student union, alumni council and financial aid for students.
1960 Delhi Campus Expands
Dr. William R. Kunsela immediately took up the fight for better facilities for Delhi's growing student population. A massive construction project to modernize the campus began with virtually every structure torn down to make way for new facilities.
In his message to the 1963 graduating class, he wrote, "It is unlikely that any class in the past or future will have the same opportunity you have had in observing and experiencing the physical transformation of Delhi..."
1961 First in Veterinary Science Technology
Wilbur M. Farnsworth, then a Division Chairman, is credited with founding the college's veterinary science technology program, the first of its kind in the United States.
Today Farnsworth Hall serves as the program's home on the Delhi campus. This unique complex was dedicated in 1980 as one of the country's most sophisticated laboratory facilities in the animal science field.
1962 First Residence Halls
Gerry and DuBois Halls were completed as part of an extensive building plan to modernize the Delhi campus.
Gerry Hall was originally an all-female residence and was dedicated in the memory of Miss Angelica Livingston Gerry, one of the area's great philanthropists.
DuBois Hall received its name from Charles O. DuBois who served as director from 1917 to 1929.
1964 College Foundation Formed
The College Foundation at Delhi, Inc. was established in 1964. This private, non-profit corporation solicits and accepts gifts to support student scholarships and priority programs at the college. It also operates The College Golf Course at Delhi and led efforts to build the Riverview Townhouses apartment complex adjacent to the campus in 2008.
1965 New Buildings Dedicated
Governor Nelson A. Rockefeller visited the campus to dedicate four new buildings: MacDonald Hall, a new dining center; Smith Hall, a new construction technology building; Farrell Hall, a student union; and Sanford Hall, a library-science building.
At the dedication, Governor Rockefeller honored the building namesakes?Delhi Founder Amelia MacDonald, former Director Harlond Smith, Board of Visitors (now the College Council) member Jerome J. Farrell, and civic leader and publisher of the Catskill Mountain News, Clarke A. Sanford.
1967, 1970 More Academic Divisions Added
The Vocational Studies Division was established, followed three years later by the establishment of the Liberal Arts Division.
1968 Yearbook Dedicated to Fidelitones Director
Delhi's Yearbook recognized Director Donald O. Shaver for bringing state and national acclaim to Delhi's concert choir and the Fidelitones, a special group of the choir. He and his wife Bev, who served as accompanist, led the music groups from 1956 to 1983.
1973 President William F. Kennaugh
William F. Kennaugh served as president from 1973 to 1974 and as Vice President from 1962 to 1963. Prior to this leadership, he was a faculty member, division chairman and dean between 1937 and 1961. As president, Kennaugh was active in the community and supportive of the development of the college's golf course.
1974 President Francis J. Hennessy
Francis J. Hennessy became Delhi third president in 1974 and served until 1978.
1976 Evenden Tower Dedicated
Evenden Tower, known as Delaware County's tallest building, was formally dedicated in memory of Corey C. Evenden. Evenden, a faculty member from 1920-1952, was well-known for his adages such as "It's a blessing to have on paper what you don't have in your head."
In 1953, funds were raised to install a carillon on top of the Tower so collegiate bells can be heard around the campus and village. In 2008, the equipment was modernized and the college alma mater is now played at noon.
1977 Bill Pullman Makes Directorial Debut
Actor Bill Pullman, who had performed in the College Players as a Delhi student, returned to the campus to serve as the group's director in 1977. Pullman has starred in a wide range of movie roles including the President of the United States in Independence Day, a private detective in Zero Effect and a troubled musician in David Lynch's Lost Highway. Other film credits include The Thin Red Line, While You Were Sleeping, Sleepless in Seattle,A League of Their Own, The Serpent and the Rainbow, and The Accidental Tourist.
1977 President Seldon M. Kruger
Seldon M. Kruger became Delhi's president in 1979 and served until 1991. Previously he served as Academic Vice President, 1977-1978, and Faculty/Division Chairman/Dean, 1958-1977.
1979 Nobel Prize Winners Debate
Nobel laureates Dr. George Wald of Harvard University and Dr. Hans Bethe of Cornell University debated the nuclear power issue at Delhi. This event was billed as the first-ever debate between two Nobel Prize winners.
1981 Links to China
An unprecedented internship program for two-year college educators from the People's Republic of China brought seven Chinese professors to the U.S. for study at Delhi and four other SUNY campuses. In 1986, Delhi and Tianjin Commercial College announced an agreement for a faculty and student exchange. In 2008, Delhi participated in the SUNY China 150 exchange. The program brought four of the 150 students displaced from Sichuan Province to study at Delhi for a year.
In 2009, a SUNY delegation, including Delhi President Candace S. Vancko, visited the students in their homeland.
1982 National Record
Delhi's wrestling team, ranked number one in the country, set a new all-time collegiate record for consecutive dual meet wins. A three year winning streak stretched to 77 consecutive dual meets, beating a previous all-time college record of 76 held by Oklahoma State, an NCAA Division I institution.
1983 First Primate Colony
Delhi became the first two-year college program in the U.S. to establish an on-campus primate colony as part of its veterinary science technology program. Two years following, Chulalongkorn, a 12-ounce monkey, was delivered on the Delhi campus, making her the first primate in the U.S. born at a two-year college.
1984 New Center for Applied Technologies
A ribbon-cutting ceremony is held to commemorate completion of the first building of Delhi's Center for Applied Technologies.
1988 Honoring Campus Leaders
Tribute was paid to five local residents who played a key role in the college's history. Campus facilities and an athletic field were named in honor of President William Kunsela, former faculty member Sherman Decker, Jr., former State Senator E. Ogden Bush, Margaretville publisher and civic leader Roswell S. Brown, and Delhi alumnus Louis Resnick and his wife, Mildred.
1989 Reaching Out
In 1989, building trades students traveled to Charleston, SC, to spend two weeks helping repair homes of low income families devastated by Hurricane Hugo. This was a precursor to Delhi's Alternative Break. Students now travel during the winter and spring breaks to assist Habitat for Humanity with the rebuilding of devastated areas.
That same year, Delhi received approval to introduce New York State's first landscape contracting technology program, now known as Landscape Design and Management.
1990 Alumni Hall Renovated
The Alumni Hospitality Center formally re-opened following a $1.2 million renovation project supported by hospitality alumni that transformed the building into a contemporary education and conference center.
Five years later, the Alumni Hall beverage laboratory was named Kennedy Lounge in honor of Jack Kennedy, a 1964 hospitality graduate who arranged for a major donation to support the construction of the lab.
1991 President Duncan
Mary Ellen Duncan became Delhi's fifth president in 1991 and served until 1998.
1991 National Championship Site
The National Junior College Athletic Association named Delhi host of the first NJCAA Division III Men's Basketball Championship, an event that Delhi hosted annually for the next 20 years. In 1999, the college hosted the NJCAA Division III National Cross Country Championships for the first time.
1992 Golf Expansion
The State Education Department approved Delhi's plan to introduce an associate degree program in golf course operations in 1992. A year later, college officials announced plans to expand the college golf course to 18 holes to support the college's plans for a professional golf management program.
In 2008, the Golf/Turf Management programs were ranked within the Top 15 in the U.S. and named "Best in New York State" by Turfnet magazine.
1997 Community Service Grant
Delhi was awarded over $199,000 in an AmeriCorps grant to develop a 50-acre outdoor recreation park. The park provides the college and community opportunities to participate in recreational activities such as snowshoeing, hiking, cross-country skiing, and a site for the outdoor recreation programs to host educational activities.
1998 First Bachelor's Degree
Delhi received official approval to offer a bachelor of business administration in hospitality in 1998.
The BBA traces its roots to Richard Seguare, who headed the hospitality program from 1974 to 1988. Robert Seibert, who followed Professor Seguare as chair, continued the program development process after Seguare's retirement. When Mary Ellen Duncan became president in 1991, she embraced the concept and worked with department faculty to see it through the approval process.
1999 Community Service Center Established
The O'Connor Center for Community Service was established in January 1999 to match the needs of area non-profit organizations with student, faculty and staff volunteers. The Center has been generously supported by grant funds from the A. Lindsay and Olive B. O'Connor Foundation since its inception.
Today more than 70% of students participate annually in community service, leading to three consecutive years of recognition on the national President's Honor Roll for Community Service.
1999 New Leadership
Dr. Candace S. Vancko became SUNY Delhi's president in 1999. She brought a new focus to Delhi as a nationally recognized expert in higher education management by introducing baccalaureate degrees and strengthening Delhi's niche two-year programs.
President Vancko was honored for her 10 years of leadership in 2009 when the SUNY Delhi Alumni Association presented her with a $10,000 check to bolster the scholarship endowment she had established.
2000 Culinary Emerges, More Buildings
Delhi's culinary team won the American Culinary Federation's New York State competition for the first time. That same year the team was featured in the National Culinary Review as New York's finest. Delhi went on to win nine consecutive state titles. In 2003, the team earned a gold medal at the ACF National Championship, and in 2010 Delhi captured the ACF National Championship in Anaheim, CA.
A new golf course clubhouse and Electrical Technologies Center opened.
2001 Hillary Rodham Clinton Speaks at Commencement
Hillary Rodham Clinton made her first official commencement address as New York State Senator at SUNY Delhi in May 2001.
She personally congratulated each graduate as they received their degrees. Clinton agreed to speak at commencement after receiving a special invitation from President Candace Vancko. Clinton returned to Delhi in 2005 to launch the Delhi Cyber community with the help of Microsoft, and again in 2006 to help highlight the Center of Excellence in WATER, which was established in 2004.
2004 Revival of Alumni Association
SUNY Delhi's Alumni Association was revived in 2004 with the establishment of an Alumni Advisory Board. The board's mission was established to provide guidance on initiatives and programming and stimulate alumni engagement and support.
2004 More Campus Expansion
Two greatly anticipated facilities, Clark Field House and Catskill Hall, open. Clark Field House serves as the new home for the Delhi Athletic Department. With 32,000 square feet, the facility features an 1,800 seat arena and a state-of-the-art fitness center. Catskill Hall is the first new residence hall added to the campus since 1970 and fills a critical need by offering suite-style living.
2006 National Recognition
An article in the New York Times ranked SUNY Delhi eighth among colleges and universities for the best baccalaureate graduation rate in the U.S.
In 2008, SUNY Delhi was ranked among top baccalaureate colleges in the North in U.S. News & World Report's Guide to America's Best Colleges and the college's Golf/Turf Management programs were ranked Top 15 in the U.S. and best in New York State by a leading industry trade publication.
2007 CADD Accredited
Computer Aided Drafting and Design became the only program in the world to have all concentrations accredited by the American Design and Drafting Association.
2009 Great College to Work For
SUNY Delhi was recognized by The Chronicle of Higher Education as a "Great Colleges to Work For." SUNY Delhi was among the four-year colleges across the nation that were recognized for specific best practices and policies, such as compensation and benefits, faculty-administration relations, and confidence in senior leadership.
2009 Student Opinion
According to the 2009 Student Opinion Survey, Delhi was ranked among the top 10 SUNY campuses in 28 categories, including quality of instruction, acquiring knowledge and skills needed for a career, advising, and mentoring relationships with faculty and staff.
2009 Branching Out
To meet the educational needs of Capital District residents, SUNY Delhi began offering three unique baccalaureate programs on the Schenectady County Community College campus.
2010 Farrell Transformed
A major renovation project was completed, thanks in large part to Senator John Bonacic who secured a $10,000,000 state grant to transform the building into the new Farrell Student and Community. Farrell has been the hub of student activities since its construction in 1965. Through the years it has seen record-setting athletic achievements, blood drives, convocation and commencement ceremonies, and performances by comedians ranging from Jay Leno to Carrot Top and rock legends ranging from the Beach Boys to the Byrds to the Grateful Dead to U2.
2011 Student Success
SUNY Delhi achieves an impressive student success rate of 88.6 percent for its four-year programs and 75.2 percent for its two-year programs, according to the State University Office of Institutional Research and Analysis. Success is defined by the percentage of first-time, full-time students who either graduate or transfer to continue their education.
2013 Celebrating 100 Years of Inspiring Minds, Changing Lives
SUNY Delhi kicks off a year-long celebration that begins May 10, 2012 and continues into 2013.
2018 Time Capsule to be Opened
A time capsule buried on campus in 1993 by Delhi's Phi Theta Kappa Leadership class is due to be unsealed in 2018.