Don Thoren (Interview)

Dublin Core


~25 min; 1 cassette



Herb Janick Papers; MS012

Oral History Item Type Metadata


Jason Nesbitt and Richard Butler


Don Thoren


~25 min.

Time Summary

0-10 min: Background; Pacific University in California; came to WestConn in 1973; worked for Pitney Bowes and for a New Rochelle hospital before WestConn; began as an accountant at WestConn; Computers; first terminal at WestConn was about 1979; did everything by hand; FRS; Client Server will be the future; WestConn involvement; had worked for Pitney Bowes Alpex, which closed in 1973; they found jobs for all who lost jobs; Campus; talk was about a new campus at Westside; owned it at time, but nothing there for a while; Name change; was known as Western CT State College when he first came; 1983 becomes Western Connecticut State University; Student population; was smaller; Campus changes; the Quad is perhaps the biggest change; Dr. Haas; she retired in 1975; she was very nice and knew everybody who worked at WestConn; Athletic Field; wasn't here in beginning; games played on Osborne Street; built not too long ago; Roberts Ave School; WestConn owned it for many years; turned it over to the city of Danbury; trained teacher's there; Westside; two campuses always will exist; Fairfield Hills; would have been perfect for a college campus; Improvements at WestConn; many in beginning didn't know it was a 4 year college; Dr. Feldman; got WestConn name in newspapers;
10-20 min: Major programs; school began as Danbury Normal School in 1903; has evolved over the years; His job; spending plans for the college; State support; has kept going down over the years; has almost become self-sufficient; Tuition; in 1973, $150 per semester; higher tuition has brought down state support; Distribution of money; most goes for salaries; rest goes to supplies, etc.; Money for improvements; comes from public works (not from student fees); Salaries; Unions; 5; 6 unions at WestConn; AAUP the teacher's union (he was in an administrators only union); WestConn qualities; affordable; top teachers; Student response to world events; Protests; few on campus in early 1970s; remembers streaking; main protests have been students going to Hartford; no major social protests; Commuters; school involvement is effected due to college being commuter school; Financial aid; increased over the years; Student Center; supposed to open in May (1998); Governor Rowland going to be here;
20-30 min: Old Main; plan is to put all student affairs (registration, financial aid, etc.) on 1st floor; University Hall; the president will have office there; Alumni Hall; houses child care center; Feelings about WestConn; great place to work; less stress than private sector; WestConn relation w/ Danbury and other schools; good relationship overall; competition between the two year schools, but not major; Variety among students; coming from various places


Janick, Herbert F. “Don Thoren (Interview).” Herb Janick Papers, MS012. WCSU Archives, 9 July 2019. Accessed on the Web: 29 Jan. 2020.


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