Staff reflects on evolving campus as bicentennial approaches

In four years, when the class of 2015 receives their diplomas, Allegheny will turn 200 years old.
College Historian Jonathan Helmreich lauded the rising number of students and faculty.
“It’s very clear that it’s larger than it used to be,” Helmreich said. “In terms of competition and larger faculty, there is a greater diversity of expertise, all which make it a richer institution.”
Helmreich also noted increased diversity among students.
Helmreich pointed out that an important part of the school’s curriculum has remained the same – the senior project.
According to Helmreich, the senior comprehensive project has almost always been a requirement for students since Allegheny’s founding. The project either involved an oral exam or written assignment. Today, the senior comprehensive project involves both writing and oral defense.
Allegheny has not only evolved in the classroom, but on campus as well.
Tiffany Cipollone, a member of Allegheny’s Bicentennial Committee, praised the changes on the university grounds.
“The campus has become even more beautiful with the addition of more brick walkways, the sculptures and the Gator Quad,” she said.
“People put their heart into the design of our campus to make sure everything has just the right feel and that really shows.”
She explained that the committee is planning to set up displays to showcase new buildings, as well as many historic ones on campus.
Yvonne Longstreth, who has worked at Allegheny for almost 30 years, also shared the changes she has seen on campus.
She commented that Allegheny used to have three dining halls: Brooks, South Hall and Skylight Hall. Skylight eventually became McKinley’s, while South Hall became Schultz Auditorium.
Although students now have the choice of either Brooks or McKinley’s, Longstreth explained that students once did not have that freedom.
“Back then they were told what hall to go to – Brooks was always freshmen, Skylight was for the seniors,” Longstreth said. “They didn’t know any better. It’s just the way it was.”
In addition to the physical changes on campus, Longstreth also discussed the student body’s willingness to be more involved outside of classes.
“It’s nice seeing the students evolve,” she said. “It used to be that the college was just up here and then there was downtown. Now the students are more connected with the community.”