Editor's note: This is a series of columns by John Malcolm on his "50 years at Fredonia." Retired, he is a professor emeritus at Fredonia State.
By JOHN MALCOLM
Going north on the second floor of Fenton Hall, one came to another ambitious department,"Science."
In the '50s departments had generic names like "Social Studies" even though they contained many specialties within them.
There was a darkroom and a natural history museum. The museum collection was primarily the work of Dr. Willard Stanley who had obtained many of the specimens personally. The museum moved to Jewett Hall when it was constructed and may be visited today.
There was a lecture hall with a preparation room, a physical sciences laboratory and biology lab. Behind the lab was a specimen room and offices. One office was even built over the north stairway, as space became a premium item. Turning the corner you passed a locker room and finally arrived at classrooms that were often used by the Art Department. Art's primary function seemed to be to train elementary school teachers since a lot of the art was activity based. (Making puppets for example.) The chair, Dr. Jewell Conover, later became known for her studies and publication of a book on 19th Century Chautauqua architecture.
Below the Art Department were the offices of the Social Studies faculty. There was a major leading to certification as a junior high social studies teacher.
I thought it had an outstanding faculty. Dr. Dan Roselle who taught a freshman course in "Modern World Civilizations" was a favorite. He also was responsible for establishing a course in philosophy, but, as he joked, he was not allowed to teach this until he got married.
I remember Dr. William Chaznof as an outstanding student of New York State History but he scared a lot of students with his style. He would always tell a class that if they had not done the required readings they should tell him so that he would not have to embarrass them by asking a question they couldn't answer. He seemed to have an uncanny ability to uncover such students and slowly make them twist over his fires.
I remember Leo Alilunas as my tennis coach but his teaching style was also memorable. "And England said now look!" (As he dashed across the room.)
The chair was Dr. J. Murdoch Dawley. Dr. Dawley was trained in the law as well as having a Ph.D. He was very active in Chautauqua County politics and was one of the architects of its current government system. I wish I had had him as a teacher but he was certainly a good friend when we became colleagues. He once admitted to me that he had ambitions of being a college president. His wife, Erna, was one of the grand ladies who were a mainstay of a wives organization called "Faculty Dames."
Also downstairs was the mailroom and its single mailman, Ed Rocker. You have to remember that most of the faculty and academic programs were crowded into Fenton Hall. Many faculty shared offices. While it might have been crowded, there was a feeling of community but change was on the way.
John Malcolm is a Fredonia resident.