A Clarkson Mosaic - page 105

College Trustees authorized a sign to be erected on the northeast corner of the hill estate
bearing the hopeful announcement: "Future Home of Clarkson Memorial College." And
between 1923 and 1927, students constructed the athletic field on land donated by Miss Annie.
Two years later it appeared that the College's "future home" was assured when Miss Annie died
in 1929, leaving the College as the ultimate inheritor of her estate in excess of $1,100,000.
Because that seemed to be the signal for "Clarkson on the hill," the Trustees allotted
$300,000 of Miss Annie's money for construction of the first educational building and hired
architects to draw up plans for a collection of handsome buildings on the hill site. Hardly had
the brochure depicting this "greater Clarkson" campus been distributed in 1931, when all hopes
for the realization of this dream were dashed by the long-term effects of the stock market crash
of 1929: the value of Miss Annie's stock had dropped to less than $600,000.
During the 1930s, the idea of "Clarkson on the hill" continued to dominate the Trustees'
thinking. In 1936 they authorized a plan for the first step of "Clarkson on the hill" at a cost not
to exceed $350,000 and to begin construction as soon as $100,000 could be raised from outside
sources. However, because fund raising was difficult, especially during World War II, the plan
was postponed year by year. Even as late as 1944, the Board adopted a resolution that "future
building of any magnitude be done on the hill as part of a developed step-by-step program."
Six months later, however, a situation occurred which halted for more than 15 years any
thought of educational construction on the hill. In May 1945, the planned removal of the State
Teachers' College to another site in Potsdam gave Clarkson the opportunity to purchase the
building now known as Snell Hall for a financial consideration too advantageous to be turned
down. Thus, between 1945 and 1961, Snell Hall, just across the street from Old Main, was
purchased and renovated; three educational buildings and a student union were constructed on
the village campus; and it appeared for a time that no educational construction would take place
on the hill.
However, the Trustees did recognize the need for residence halls and athletic facilities,
and between 1954 and 1968 the Alumni gymnasium and five dormitory complexes were built
on the site. Meanwhile, in the early 1960s under the leadership of President Whitson (1963-66),
a proposal for a massive fund drive called Operation '71 for the construction of an "all-electric
campus" on the hill took center stage. The prospects of a plentiful supply of inexpensive
electricity from the recently completed Moses Barnhart Power Dam as part of the St. Lawrence
Seaway made this dream seem highly feasible.
That plan, however, proved to be too ambitious for Clarkson, and served to turn the
Trustees' thoughts back to educational construction on the hill, culminating in the construction
of the first educational structure on the hill, the Science Center, begun in 1968. That building
opened the door; the Educational Resources Center followed in 1980, and the CAMP building
in 1991. The Indoor Recreation Center, the Townhouse Apartments, and the Cheel Campus
Center also completed in 1991 rounded out the campus on the hill.
Business Administration.
Expected growth of the North Country included projects to harness
the waterpower of the St. Lawrence River. Prof. Wilson expressed the belief that a course in
Business Administration would appeal to some men who have an interest in the subject. Rufus
Sisson, Jr., and George Stebbins, alumnus and Chairman of the Board, spoke to Mr. and Mrs.
William Moore (Mrs. Moore, a sister of Miss Annie Clarkson and a niece to Thomas S.
Clarkson, later had Moore House named for her) about establishing a $250,000 endowment for
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