Clare Kinast Interview

Dublin Core



1 cassette (60 min stock), ~40 mins.


Interview generally about the history of WestConn.



Oral History Item Type Metadata

Time Summary

00-10 mins.

(side A): First day at DSTC; January of 1957 in middle of a blizzard; Roberts Ave and Locust Ave Schools; the two lab schools at DSTC; Business office; everything was done there; Fairfield Hall; only dorm; Quonset Hut; snack bar, bookstore, and recreation; located where boiler room is now; Tennis court; Old gym; in Old Main and is still there; 2nd floor of Old Main; auditorium was there with teacher's lab; research library was up there as well; Library; was located on the 3rd floor of Old Main; Higgins Hall; first part was built when she got there; Male students; few, but all had to stay off campus; Berkshire Hall; part of it was there; White Hall; was Danbury High School when she got there; her daughters went there; Name change; changed from DSTC to DSC to WCSC to WCSU while she was there; Purchasing for the school; initially done through Middletown, CT; she became the purchasing officer and placed bids;

10-20 mins.

Purchasing for the athletic teams; Sports; only had basketball and baseball in beginning; Dr. Haas; open door policy; knew every student and their family by their name; all the governors came down and spent time in her office; she gave the school a family atmosphere; Growth of the college; great to see the growth of the college; Dr. Bersi and Dr. Feldman; differed from Dr. Haas; the college became more closed door; Unions at WestConn; CSEA was only thing they had in beginning; not a real union; salaries were poor, but benefits were good (except health); Health benefits; covered only 10% in beginning; eventually able to get 100%;

20-30 mins.

Union benefits; have helped get better salaries, etc for Western employees; Hartford; made several trips to lobby for better benefits; she was vice president of local retiree chapter; get $6.00 for lunch everytime you go; Vice president of chapter; often resided over meetings because president wasn't there; promote and recruit for the chapter; meet 10 months a year; have people come in to speak; CSEA; has been very beneficial; have a great credit union; don't need to be a member to use credit; have retirees in Florida; Richard Cyr; outspoken and went against administration; did a lot for the maintenance at WestConn to get them union support; Conditions of the campus; discouraged by what she sees when she goes there now; Retirement; she left because she felt it was time; she was 73 when she retired (mandatory retirement at time was 70); wasn't forced to retire though, in fact they asked her to stay.

0-10 mins.

(side B): Teacher qualifications; teachers are born w/ ability to teach; social conditions of students w/ many come from broken homes; raised by one parent or by neither; good teachers are born w/ the ability to care about students; Office procedures and changes; now everything on computer; had to do everything by hand in beginning; did a lot of purchasing and bidding by phone, now by computer; Computers; did have computer department there when she was there; was taught how to use it, but never did much w/ it; preferred the old way of doing things, but accepted computers; likes one; on; one communications; Don Thoren and other faculty and staff at WestConn; Current feelings about WestConn


Kinast, Clare. “Clare Kinast Interview.” Herb Janick Papers, MS012. WCSU Archives, 9 July 2019. Accessed on the Web: 21 Jan. 2020.


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