Truman Warner Interview

Dublin Core


2 cassettes (90 min, 60 min stock), ~120 mins


Interview generally about the history of WestConn.




Oral History Item Type Metadata

Time Summary

00-10 mins:
(tape 1;side A): Changes in students; as a student, it was a teacher's college; there was a certain appearance you needed to have (ties, suits, etc.); expectations of teachers had to be met; graduating class was small; Old Main; everything was in there (classrooms, gyms, library, etc.); White Hall; was Danbury High School; Fairfield Hall; only dorm; Had excellent teaching opportunities at DSTC; Many teachers had come from the New School; it was part of Columbia University; DSTC size; faculty knew everybody; better ratio of students to teachers than now; Influx of men; brought in several different backgrounds (like sciences); students were all exposed to different types of classes; Arts; Atmosphere; small college brought more unity; Time in army; had letters censored if an enlisted man; people would comment on his letters and the detail he used;

10-20 mins:
Credits this to exposure he had at DSTC to variety of courses; Expectations; expected teachers should have some knowledge of variety of things; didn't have status Yale did, but gave exposure to students nonetheless; Lab Schools; used Balmforth, Locust, and other schools; Roberts Ave wasn't around at the time he was a student; Balmforth and Locus Ave. Lab Schools; Mill Plain and Miry Brook Schools; Education process; began freshman year w/ observation and by senior year, students had been exposed to the teaching field; Other State Teacher's Colleges; all but Western have moved from their original location; Time at DSTC; started in 1937 and graduated in 1941; came back in 1958 as director of admissions; Background; had his Master's from Columbia (later Ph. D from same place); had been teaching high school Briarcliff Manor, NY; Director of Admissions; DSTC needed some to take care of admissions and recruitment; before entrance, all students had to be interviewed; he had to make the arrangements for this; Interview process; asked about their high school, etc.; meant to see what type of student they were;

20-30 mins:
Intersession off campus experience; expected by all students to do some work outside during intersession; faculty would visit them to see what they were doing; worked into students schedules; provided many opportunities for the students; DSTC as a progressive school; ideas of John Dewey; more hands; on activities; Botany and use of Squantz Pond as a lab a project of the CCC (New Deal organization); went on field trips; Geology department; the demise of the department; believes it was based on matters other than motivations; perhaps antipathy towards Dr. Groff leads to it as well as politics;

30-40 mins:
State's role; cost for students was minimal ($15 per semester when he went); it was an opportunity for an education the state provided students; Choice of college; couldn't afford to go to Yale; told about possible scholarship late (hadn't taken college boards yet); Higher education; things have changed; greater need for money; war came and influenced things; additional buildings; Dr. Lathrop Higgins; former head of school; created a portable science lab; Higgins Hall named for him; extremely interested in science; Inflation; CT reputation on higher education; is poor, ranks in bottom of the 50 states; outside Normal Schools, CT never gave much to higher education;

40-50 mins:
Not a high priority of teacher education; Yale and Trinity were trade schools in the beginning essentially - to be ministers. Expectation of professors and teachers; getting published; getting a job out of school; WestConn has focussed on teaching; Tenure process; Howard Durgy custodian; was here for years; longest employed person in state for a long time.

(tape 1;side B):

00-10 mins:

Student attitudes; less selectivity; change in attitude in students in school to basically get a job; most aren't here to get an education; past education of students plays role in how they view higher education; Special programs; developed to attract more students; Basic studies; there have been many who have become great students; some have gone on to get Master's and doctorates; hates to generalize type of students; Course development; likes to combine courses; Dedication of students; Change in technology, w/ emphasis on learning from television, has had an affect on way students learn;

10-20 mins:
Reading something stays w/ you longer than seeing it on television; television has altered generations; many students today don't want to learn; TV has altered generations; How do you counteract the entertainment of TV; Athletes and students; some students are just coming to college to play sports; Changes in Social Science department; There weren't departments in the beginning of the college; had someone who specialized in these areas to teach classes; the concentrations have become highly specialized; number of students have had an effect on program; Every senior had to write a final history paper; Tom West; a judge in Danbury; Lynn Taborsak;

20-30 mins:
Some students wrote a great papers; Change of curriculum; core requirements; number have had effect on requirements to be met by students; Major requirements; determined by committees; Should focus on outcomes; believes often come from a priority some people have; Choose objectives; Justify areas of study; Geology department demise;

30-40 mins:
Wouldn't let Geology dept. get equipment; Groff resigned; Barbara Obeda carried on geology courses for a while; invited to join social science department, higher up wouldn't allow it; Departments may suffer from political pressures; There has been some vindictiveness in the administration; Campus causes; Panty raid; Overall students haven't been very active as a group; individually many have been active and vocal; 1960s riots didn't occur at WestConn, but spillover was felt in terms of dress and attitude; Dr. Haas; felt strongly about how people should carry themselves; women shouldn't wear slacks; She had to bend;

40-50 mins:
Streaking; was seen on campus a little bit; Minorities at WestConn; few in numbers; not done on purpose; I'm sure there were prejudice among students; hard to attract minorities; Didn't feel there was prejudice in admissions; Columbia Students different in the 1960s - Music students; Alcohol and drug abuse; not a major problem at WestConn, but it does go on; a major problem throughout the country

(tape 2;side A): Prejudice on campus; doesn't believe it is a major problem on campus; believes it goes both ways; Gay community; quiet community; only contact w/ them is when a student approaches him w/ problems; Women's groups; Working students; many are working too much for their own benefit; high school students are similar in terms of working too much; Lack of involvement; those who have least involvement are quickest to complain, this includes faculty and students; last SGA election had only 250 people voting; more people need to get involved, vote, etc.


Beck, Cindy and Joe Bukowski. “Truman Warner Interview.” Herb Janick Papers, MS012. WCSU Archives, 9 July 2019. Accessed on the Web: 23 Feb. 2020.


Copy the code below into your web page

Item Relations

This item has no relations.