Croquet on the Green: SUNY Geneseo celebrates its centenary | Local news

GENESEO – Celebrations were in full swing at SUNY Geneseo last week as the college celebrated its 150th anniversary.

“The college was founded in 1871 as a normal school for teachers. This kicks off the year’s festivities,” said Kerri Howell, the university’s head of communications and marketing. “Sept. 13, 1871 was the first day of class. We started celebrating a few weeks ago with our class of 2024 coming in as they are the 150th class. ”

Howell said that while some things at SUNY Geneseo have changed over the years, others have stayed the same.

“What has changed is the composition of the students,” she explained. “When we were founded, it was mostly female. They studied to become teachers and many of the men were abroad and the women were back again. If you look at old photos, you don’t see many men.”

Student diversity has also changed, and in 2017 the college began hosting a “lavender graduation event” to recognize graduating seniors who are LGBTQ+ and allies for their contributions to the Geneseo community.

Such programs aim to help recognize the resilience and advocacy of LGBTQ+ students in the face of unique experiences and potential barriers within higher education.

To celebrate all of the college’s achievements, croquet was set up on the College Green on September 13.

“Croquet was very popular here. For many years there was a factory on Main Street that produced croquet mallets and sticks and we’re making a nod to that,” explains Howell.

The factory, the American Croquet Company, was located at 5 Main St. in Geneseo. It also started in 1871. The Livingston County Historical Society had volunteers helping the students with croquet and sharing information about the history of croquet in Geneseo.

“The students are here and they’re getting root beer flakes. In 1871 that was the treat people would get.’

While croquet isn’t unique to SUNY Geneseo, the activity has a special place in Livingston County, Howell said.

As the province is in the midst of a year of celebrations for its own bicentenary, croquet seemed like a natural choice, she said.

“It shows our collaboration with them. They’re celebrating their 200th anniversary this year, so it’s kind of related to that,” she said. “They are a little older than us, but it is still nice to work with them.”

Freshman Caden McCormack was among those who came by to play, although he said it wasn’t something he initially planned to do.

“It was available at the moment and I’m in between classes, so I decided to do something memorable,” McCormack said.

Will Hall, a sophomore, also enjoyed the game and helped create memories.

“I’ve played it in my backyard before, someone just came up to me and I had time,” he said. “I’m having a good time and actually I’m pretty good. It is surprisingly a good game for beginners.”

Liz Porter, a native of Geneseo, said she stopped by to swing a few times because of the ease and simplicity of the game.

“It’s easy and not dangerous and it’s all between you and your ball,” Porter said. “It’s very easy to just grab a hammer and take a ball, have someone look in front of you and there are two ways to hold a hammer and there are some basic rules to follow and you’re on right away the hit.”

Numerous other activities are planned in the coming months to celebrate the college’s 150th anniversary, including a National Sock Give Away Day event where the college will give away 500 pairs of special limited edition socks on a first come, first come basis. first served. base.

The giveaway is scheduled for December 3rd from 1am to 2pm in the lobby of the MacVittie College Union.

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