Move-in day at Keene State College in 1964 brought a “record-breaking” class of 400 first-year students to campus to engage in their respective areas of study and make everlasting memories over the next four years.
Additionally, the year 1964 welcomed a new Keene State College president, Dr. Roman J. Zorn, as KSC has also done during this current 2017-18 school year in welcoming Dr. Melinda Treadwell.
Each year at Keene State, first-year students are required to participate in an orientation program, but 53 years ago, the programming looked much different, with Vesper Services, or prayer, a meet-and-greet event with upperclassmen and “sock” dances.
In addition to the first-year student enrollment record of 400, once the upperclassmen students returned to campus in 1964, Keene State College’s overall enrollment also set an “all-time record of over 1,150” students, according to the Sept. 17, 1964 edition of The Monadnock, the former version of The Equinox. In 1963, they had also set a record of 1,019 students, which is quite the difference compared the the number we have now. During the 2017 year, KSC welcomed 3,733 students from all years and majors.
Because of the record-setting number of students at KSC at the time, Residential Life was running into problems as to where to house students. This led to a two-year lease signed with the Eagle Hotel on Main Street, which housed 62 college women. Isadore Borofsky, the hotel owner at the time, agreed to stop all hotel operations and rename it the Eagle House to accommodate the overflow of students.
In addition to taking over the Eagle Hotel, KSC also made rearrangements in both Huntress Hall and Fiske Hall to make room for an additional 30 residents. Many singles were switched to doubles, many doubles were switched to triples and in a few instances, large rooms were remodeled and house four girls together.
In 1964, Blake House, Duffy House and Caruthers House were buildings designed for women, all three of these buildings are no longer housing options at KSC.
For men, they had two housing options at the time. They were either to live in Monadnock Hall or in one of three fraternity houses. Sixty male students were out of housing options, so in order to solve this problem, many college houses were converted into dorms for men only. Proctor House, which was previously a residence for faculty members, was switched to accommodate men, as was Dunnell House. Additionally, an old sorority house (Kappa House) was renamed Hillsborough House and was given as a third option for male students.
In effort to reduce problems such as these in the future, Former President Dr. Roman J. Zorn worked with University of New Hampshire officials to design and build two new residence halls, as well as a commons building which were to begin construction in April of 1965.
Although the campus was suffering from too many students in 1964, the campus is just the opposite during the year 2017. With the close of Carle Hall, our campus is definitely not filled to ultimate capactiy as it once was.
Jessica Ricard can be contacted at jricard at kscequinox.com