Life began for Southern Connecticut State University on September 11, 1893, when three teachers and 84 students met at the old Skinner School in New Haven to create a two-year teacher training school, New Haven State Normal School. By 1937, Southern had grown into a four-year college with the power to grant bachelor's degrees.
Ten years later, Southern teamed up with Yale University's Department of Education to offer a master of science degree. In 1954, the State Board of Education authorized the institution -- then known as New Haven State Teachers College -- to assume complete responsibility for this graduate program.
In 1959, six years after the institution had moved to its present location on Crescent Street, state legislation expanded Southern's offerings to include liberal arts programs leading to bachelor's degrees in the arts and sciences. At the same time, New Haven State Teachers College became Southern Connecticut State College.
For the next 24 years, Southern grew, modernized, and diversified, expanding its undergraduate and graduate programs and opening up entirely new fields of study and research. But March 1983 brought even greater changes: Southern Connecticut State College was rechristened Southern Connecticut State University, and made part of the Connecticut State University System, along with Central Connecticut State University in New Britain, Eastern Connecticut State University in Willimantic, and Western Connecticut State University in Danbury.
A BIT OF SOUTHERN'S HISTORY
Founders Gate, which now spans the area between Lyman Center and Engleman Hall, is a physical link to Southern's past. Originally a feature of the school's early Howe Street campus, the gate was restored, moved to the Crescent Street campus, and dedicated during Homecoming in 1987.