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College History: Timeline of Springfield College History



1844 George Williams founded the Young Men’s Christian Association in London
1851 First YMCA established in the United States (Boston)
1885 School for Christian Workers founded at Winchester Square in Springfield, Massachusetts, by Rev. David Allen Reed, to train Sunday School teachers and administrators of YMCAs; tuition was free
1885 Jacob T. Bowne creates and heads the School’s YMCA department and brings his extensive library of YMCA materials to the School
1886 First international student arrived
1886 The School completed construction of its first building at the corner of Sherman and State streets in Springfield, Mass. The Armory Hill YMCA rented space in the building for its operations.
1887 Luther Halsey Gulick pioneered the Department of Physical Education
1889 Luther Halsey Gulick developed the School’s inverted equilateral triangle logo, the basis for the YMCA’s official symbol, to represent spirit, mind, and body
1889 A new athletic grounds, located within five minutes' walk of the School building, was installed on May 1.
1890 School for Christian Workers incorporated as the YMCA Training School
1890 Football introduced on campus by student-instructor Amos Alonzo Stagg
1891 YMCA Training School incorporated as the International YMCA Training School
1891 Henry S. Lee named President
1891 Thirty acres on Lake Massasoit purchased
1891 James Naismith invented basketball
1893 Charles S. Barrows appointed President
1894 West (Judd) Gymnasium built
1894 Bicycle club established
1895 Alumnus William G. Morgan invented volleyball in Holyoke, Massachusetts
1896 First dormitory (present Administration building) constructed. Transfer to new campus completed
1896 Laurence Locke Doggett named first full-time President
1896 Student Association established
1897-1900 Association Outlook published
1899 Nobody’s Business begins publication for students
1901 Boathouse erected as center for aquatics instruction
1901 Alumnus Edgar M. Robinson appointed first national director of boys’ work for the YMCA
1902 Henry S. Lee dies
1902 International Lyceum organized
1903 International Society and Debating Society organized
1904 First gymnastics exhibition team organized
1904 Woods Hall constructed
1905 Massachusetts legislature gave permission to grant four degrees: bachelor and master of humanics and bachelor and master of physical education
1906 William Beckett, an African American, was the first graduate to receive a diploma
1906 Gerrish Grove acquired
1907 Student Senate organized
1908 Springfield Student first published
1909-1910 Philomathean Literary Society organized
1910 Pratt field created
1910 President Laurence Doggett and alumnus Edgar M. Robinson (’01) helped found the Boy Scouts of America
1912 School changed name to the International Young Men’s Christian Association College
1912 First rope pull
1912 Marsh Memorial dedicated
1913 McCurdy Natatorium constructed
1913 Football spiral snap from the center to punter invented
1914 Wrestling and swimming begin at the College
1916 Number of years of study changed from 3 to 4, beginning in September 1916
1916 Summer courses begin
1916 First book on lifesaving, written by student George Goss, published
1916 Brass Band established
1920 First Junior Prom held
1920 Industrial department created
1920 New department of medical gymnastics established
1922 Seven acres of land on the south shore of Lake Massasoit acquired
1923 Physical Education Annex and Weiser Hall built
1924 Freshman camp started
1926 Bachelor of Science degree first granted
1927 Alumni Hall, a men's dormitory, completed (architect George C. Gardiner)
1927 First Master of Education degree presented
1928 Women admitted to all summer courses including classes for coaching of track, baseball, and basketball
1928 Lake Massasoit campsite purchased (now East Campus)
1929 First Master plan for future college adopted
1929 Peter Karpovich invented the natograph to test efficiency of swimming strokes
1930 East Campus established to integrate the benefits of outdoor recreation, adventure training, focused human development, and group work in outdoor, team-building programs
1932 Indian Pageant replaced the usual hazing of freshmen
1933 Women admitted
1933 Ted Shawn, modern dance pioneer and founder of Jacob's Pillow, started teaching at the College.
1937 Ernest M. Best becomes president
1940 Crew becomes a varsity sport
1945 Major blueprint for future development established
1946 Paul Limbert appointed President
1947 Memorial Field House brought to campus from upstate New York
1950 Abbey-Appleton Hall constructed
1950 Doctor of Physical Education program begins
1951 Women first accepted as full-time students
1953 Donald Stone becomes President
1954 Name officially changed to Springfield College
1954 New master plan and capital funds program developed
1958 Glenn H. Olds named President
1958 First endowed chair of physical education in the United States, Buxton Chair, awarded to the College
1959 Beveridge Center built
1959 Doggett Memorial (President’s House) dedicated
1960 Lakeside Hall completed
1960 Massasoit Hall constructed
1961 Schoo Hall built
1963 College adopts major Long-Range Development Plan
1963 College grants Bachelor of Arts degrees
1963 Women's intercollegiate athletic program begins
1964 International Hall built
1965 Wilbert E. Locklin becomes president
1965 Allied Health building erected
1967 Art Linkletter Natatorium constructed
1968 Cheney Hall built
1969 Gulick Hall opened
1970 Dana Building completed
1971 Babson Library opened
1971 Towne Health Center erected
1972 Blake track completed
1973 Benedum Field
1975 Bemis Hall built
1979 Memorial Field House condemned and razed
1980 Women’s cross country and golf became intercollegiate sports
1980 Physical Education Complex built
1983 Fuller Arts Center erected
1988 School of Human Services established at Springfield College
1989 Town Houses constructed
1991 Living Center & Graduate Student Annex completed
1999 Richard Flynn named President
2010 Springfield College Celebrates 125th Anniversary
2013 Mary-Beth Cooper becomes 13th President of Springfield College
2017 Harold C. Smith Learning Commons opened
2023 Health Sciences Center opened