Haas, Dr. Ruth A. parts 1- 2 (tape #1)

Dublin Core


Tape stock length: 90 min

Running Time: 75 min


Dr. Haas opens by explaining how she came to be at WCSU, her original job title, and the duties that it entailed. She then talks about what she accomplished during her time as president of the college and what she wishes she could have completed before she retired.
Label Contents: 09/15/1976, 09/20/1976



Oral History Item Type Metadata


Friel, Jack


Haas, Dr. Ruth


Running Time: 75 min

Time Summary

0-10 Min: started at WCSU in 1931 as dean of women; appointed president in 1946, first women in the U.S. to hold such a position; took job here because as a political science major in 1931 she did not have much of a future in that field; fond memories of living in Fairfield Hall with the students; one of her duties was to find suitable off-campus housing for students who were not living on campus;

10-20 Min: anxious to always be expanding to attract a larger variety of students; wanted from very early on to make WCSU a co-ed college; wanted the earlier male students to act as if every woman on campus were his little sister; recalls that WCSU got a decent amount of students who were originally bound for the ivy league but could no longer afford it due to the depression; state would offer a complete free ride to any student who promised to teach for two years in a rural area after graduation, this again was a by-product of the depression;

20-30 Min: intensive training program, a program devised for college graduates that took one year of schooling to become qualified teachers; around 1960 WCSU began to attract a portion of students from New York because it was easier and cheaper to commute to Danbury rather than New York City; addition of more technical two-year programs created to serve the changing industrial needs of the greater Danbury area; familial nature of the student/teacher relationship and how it influenced the creation of do-day;

30-40 Min: origins of do-day continued; Dr. Haas made it a point to interview every potential student and teacher to determine if the person would be a good social fit for WCSU; felt she needed this level of personal contact to allow her to perform her job effectively; origins of the music program at WCSU

40-50 Min: Dr. Haas began to realize that WCSU would fail to exist if they merely offered liberal arts and teaching degrees; such areas as nursing and business administration; difficulties in placing black teachers in rural areas; lack of diversity was due to lack of applications; her college baseball career and the development of the athletics programs at WCSU

50-60 Min: her motto on the athletic programs was that if it could not be fully funded and supported by the school then WCSU should not advocate a sport;

60-70 Min: memories of staff that made impressions on Dr. Haas; the construction of the new campus is an issue that Dr. Haas feels needs to and will be completed;

70-80 Min: touts the amount of curriculum expansion that WCSU has engaged in over the years; laments the speed with which WCSU has outgrown its current facilities;



Friel, Jack -- interviewer. “Haas, Dr. Ruth A. parts 1- 2 (tape #1).” Jack Friel University History Collection, MS004. WCSU Archives, 9 July 2019. Accessed on the Web: 22 Oct. 2019.


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