Through the 60s and 70s

Planting the Seeds

In the course of the 1960s, Ford Hall and Hill Center, Job Hall and Muller Center all followed on schedule. By 1967, the year Jim Butterfield began a football legend on the South Hill turf, Textor Hall had its controversial Disc, the gift of a trustee, mounted on the roof terrace.

With the passing of the turbulent decade, Ithaca came of age as a college under fifth president Ellis Phillips Jr. The physical face of campus reached a plateau during the first half of the 1970s with the completion or renovation of several key buildings. The academic infrastructure stabilized as well, as we—at least for the moment—finished reorganizing schools, programs, and courses for maximum efficiency.

We also began to experiment with giving students an educational experience beyond South Hill. Internships grew into distant-learning opportunities with the establishment of a program in London, laying the foundation for future hands-on learning in such places as Rochester, Los Angeles, Singapore, and Australia.

Response to War

By the end of the 1960s, the sleepy town of Ithaca awakened to marching feet and chanting voices. Students from Ithaca marched on Washington for the Vietnam moratorium, took over Job Hall and detained President Dillingham, and won for the first time their place among the College's trustees. African American students protested for the cause of civil rights in addition to the cause of peace.

A Time to Grow

The second half of the '70s ushered in an era of success in both financial stability and academic reputation.

A Pennsylvania native with a long history in higher education administration came on board as our next president. James J. Whalen, or simply “J.J.” to many, arrived on South Hill in 1975. Over the next two decades the College saw a dramatic increase not only in the number of students but also in their academic profile. To accommodate these changes, we doubled the number of degrees offered and added more than 10 academic and residential buildings. And, most importantly for an institution supported largely by tuition payments, the College's endowment dramatically increased.