History of the State University of New York at Fredonia

The State University of New York at Fredonia joined the newly-formed State University of New York System in 1948 as one of the 11 teacher’s colleges within the university and in 1961 became the State University of New York College at Fredonia with an expanded mission. Its history dates back to its roots as the Fredonia Academy, established in 1826 by the citizens of Fredonia. In 1867, Fredonia was named the site of one of the four new State Normal Schools.

The 256-acre Fredonia campus is striking in its beauty. A traditional brick perimeter encloses a modern sculptured core. Well-kept lawns and wooded areas enhance the beauty of the campus. Facilities on the university campus reflect its diversity and reputation for excellence.

There are 14 residence halls on campus, including high quality corridor, suite-style and independent living, as well as kitchen suites in some halls. In addition, several lifestyle options are available including residence halls with smart classrooms, a Wellness Center, an Aerobic Center and a Crafts Room. There is high speed Internet access in every room and all residence halls have electronic entry access for added safety and security. Hendrix Hall is also the site of the student-operated television station, WNYF-TV. Residence life offers the added advantage of activities planned by students. The University Village Townhouses opened in Fall 2014.

Cranston Marché is the main dining facility, supplemented by the Williams Center food services including, Willy C's and cafes in selected buildings including Mason Cafe and McEwen Cafe. University Commons combines Cranston Marché with a residence hall, bookstore, Starbucks coffee shop, and convenience store. Gregory Hall, the first residence hall on the present campus, was named in honor of former university president Dr. Leslie R. Gregory, and also is the home of the Office of Residence Life, the Office of Marketing and Communications, the Faculty Student Association, Career Development Office and University Police.

The Williams Center, a circular building appropriately situated at the center of campus which houses the offices of Campus Life, the Intercultural Center, the Department of Student Engagement and Inclusion; the Student Association, and several major student organizations including the student newspaper, The Leader. It also contains dining options, meeting, activity and recreation spaces, including Blue Devil Den and Blue Lounge, and the Fredonia Ticket Office. Dods Hall, one of two athletic facilities, contains classrooms, gymnasia, the Blue Devil Fitness Center, a dance studio and racquetball courts. Outside are lighted tennis and basketball courts. Adjacent to Dods is Steele Hall, which contains an indoor ice skating rink, track/basketball arena, and the university’s natatorium/swimming and diving facility. A soccer/lacrosse stadium with both natural and artificial turf fields opened in 2007.

Enhancing student and community life is the Michael C. Rockefeller Arts Center, a magnificent performing and visual arts facility. In addition to classrooms, the facility contains the 1,200-seat King Concert Hall, the 400-seat Marvel Theatre, Bartlett Theatre, and two art galleries. Construction began in 2014 on a 40,000-square-foot studio complex addition and renovation to the arts center. The studio complex was dedicated in Fall 2016 and includes among other items a multipurpose community room, large art studios and three dance studios. Rockefeller is also the home to the departments of Theatre and Dance, and Visual Arts and New Media.

LoGrasso Hall is the home of Student Wellness and Support Services, including the Health Center and Counseling Center. McEwen Hall includes lecture halls, classrooms, a television studio and the student-run Fredonia Radio Systems. Reed Library, named in honor of Daniel A. Reed of Sheridan, plays a key role in the teaching and learning process at Fredonia by providing a wide array of materials, services and spaces needed for collegiate study. Through the library, thousands of books, millions of articles, and various media are available in electronic and print forms. Interlibrary Loan gives students and staff access to additional resources from around the world. Reed Library houses strong specialized collections in Music, the Holland Land Company, the Coalition on West Valley Nuclear Wastes, saxophonist Sigurd Rascher and noted Austrian author Stefan Zweig. Online resources and reference help are available 24/7. Reed Library is also the home of College Tutoring Services, the Office of Disability Support Services, the Office of Academic Advising Services, the Professional Development Center, the Office of Grants and Sponsored Programs, the Office of Online Learning and the Office of the Registrar. With seating for 500-plus in many different areas, robust wi-fi throughout the building, a computer lab and study rooms, there is always a place to study in Reed Library. 

Maytum Hall is the home of administrative and business offices as well as Academic Affairs, Admissions, Graduate Studies, Financial Aid, Student Affairs and Finance and Administration, including Student Accounts.

Fenton Hall, named in honor of Reuben Fenton, governor of New York State from 1865 to 1868, former congressman and U.S. Senator, who attended the Fredonia Academy, is the main humanities classroom building. The University President’s office is located in this building as well as the offices of Extended Learning, and Institutional Research, Planning and Assessment.  The new $60 million Science Center, which opened in 2014, and Houghton Hall, are natural and physical sciences buildings containing classrooms and laboratories. A planned renovation of Houghton Hall was completed in 2022 to create the Fredonia Science Complex to house Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) programs. The new Science Center is home to the departments of Chemistry and Biochemistry, Biology and other sciences, including Exercise Science.  Houghton Hall houses the departments of Computer and Information Sciences, Mathematical Sciences, Geology and Environmental Sciences, and Physics. Thompson Hall was opened in the summer of 1975. In addition to the social science departments, the College of Education, Human Services and Health Sciences, the School of Business, the Office of International Education and the Henry C. Youngerman Center for Communication Disorders, are all housed in this building.

Mason Hall, home of Fredonia’s School of Music, is named for organist, composer and teacher Lowell Mason, called the “Father of Public School Music in America.” Its 500-seat Juliet J. Rosch Recital Hall opened in 2004, named after the 1930 Fredonia alumna. The beautiful new Robert and Marilyn Maytum Music Rehearsal Halls were dedicated in October 2010.

Foundation House, located on Central Avenue near the entrance to the university, is the home of the Fredonia College Foundation. Alumni House, located at the Central Avenue entrance to the university, is the home of the Alumni Affairs Office and the Fredonia Alumni Association.

Located about 12 miles from the campus, the Herbert C. Mackie Memorial Camp provides opportunities for year-round educational and recreational activities. A sleeping lodge was completed in 1989.

A formal groundbreaking for a permanent building in the nearby City of Dunkirk to house Fredonia’s Technology Incubator was held in Fall 2008 and the completed building was dedicated in December 2009.

Hours when academic buildings are open are published separately.