Frances Travoska (Interview)

Dublin Core


~60 min; 1 cassette


Herb Janick Papers; MS012

Oral History Item Type Metadata


Tammy Thiboutot; Nancy Andreasen


Frances Travoska


~60 min

Time Summary

(Side A):
0-10 min: Background; came to Danbury State Teacher's College in 1936; had been teaching in Brooklyn, but wasn't happy there; heard about position at DSTC and applied; Dr. Jenkins; was president of college at time; great man and worked for him; Dr. Haas; she was the Dean under Jenkins; set up program and interviewed students; she took over as acting president when Jenkins died; later permanent; Inauguration of Haas was a great ceremony done on a Sunday afternoon; she was very popular; Working w/ Haas; she came to her and said she needed her help because she knew nothing about business (which was Travoska's background); worked w/ her a lot on budgets; she was great to work for; kept Dr. Haas well informed and conferred w/ her about things; explained to her about insurance and retirement issues; worked under Dr. Haas until about three years before she retired; Working under Dr. Robinson; Vice President of Student Affairs; she worked under him for three years;
10-20 min: He was difficult to work for; Male enrollment; 1936 was first significant enrollment; girls were happy to see men come in; Mr. Durgy was the custodian at time; not thrilled about it; dipped during WW II, but increased after war; did well in studies; Marriages between students; wasn't problem; many of male students were or did get married; when she felt began, few women were married; some districts required women to stay single; Housing problems; men weren't allowed to stay on campus; had five living in her home at one time, did this for two years;
20-30 min: Growth of the school; tuition was $10 per semester, which was hard for some students during the Depression; parking has always been a problem and run into many hassles; students resented paying fines for illegal parking; faculty had assigned spaces for parking; faculty had own classrooms, but as student body increased they had to share rooms; Interaction between state schools; felt all got along nicely; she was the only woman at the meetings; Closing WestConn; the state attempted to close both Western and Eastern at various times; since both were the smallest, they were the targets; Physical growth of college; bought about six houses where Litchfield Hall now is; some were moved across from athletic field, which are still there; moving the houses was expensive;
30-40 min: Westside; purchased before she retired; Campus expansion; just Old Main and Fairfield in beginning; Higgins Hall came later; White Hall; was Danbury High School; opened in 1928; she was part of first class that went there all four years; high school had been on Main Street prior to that; Faculty; didn't go to faculty meetings; Relationship w/ Dr. Haas; great person and talked w/ her about every morning; got along great; every once in a while she did something she didn't agree w/ but everything would get back to normal; Dr. Janick; was one of her favorite faculty members; wish they were all like him; Retirement; she decided to go and wrote letter of resignation; she gave it to Dr. Haas; Dr. Haas didn't want her to go, but she eventually accepted it; Dr. Haas retired not long after; Reason for retirement;
40-50 min: changes at the college (faculty, students, etc.); her age also a factor; Changes in faculty/students; seeing facial hair on faculty was shocking; changes in clothing styles; Dr. Haas initially didn't allow it in beginning; reprimanded a girl once for wearing pants; Men in dorms; before Dr. Haas allowed it, she wrote to the parents about it; most were against it, but it eventually happened; Curfew for girls in dorms; doesn't remember too much about it; Student problems; most of them were financial problems; (Side B):
0-10 min: Dealing w/ school funds; much more easier when school was smaller; Accounting role; had to do it for the school right up to just before she retired; Financial difficulties; would try to work something out for students who had difficulties paying; Dr. Haas and budgets; used all if at all possible; sometimes would send un; used money back; Expansion of the school; had most significant impact on college; from one building to where they are now; felt they should have expanded into city, not country; it made it more difficult for students to get back and forth; Dr. Haas felt the same way; final decision to expand was by state; Danbury; city and school were separate; very few students in beginning; state had own procedures that prevented Danbury from benefiting from the college being there; Male housing; many lived in homes in Danbury area; Growth of school; wasn't bad; Dr. Haas supported growth


Janick, Herbert F. “Frances Travoska (Interview).” Herb Janick Papers, MS012. WCSU Archives, 9 July 2019. Accessed on the Web: 23 Oct. 2019.


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