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Page 18 text:
The Robert W. Rhoades Center opened on January 26, 1976. It houses a gymnasium, auditorium to seat 130, a snack bar, book- store, and student lounge. Mr. Rhoades, who died in 1967, was President of the Oil City Chamber of Commerce when it sponsored the establishment of Venango Campus. Named for the prominent oil pioneer who co-chaired the advisory committee to establish this campus, the Charles L. Suhr Library opened on July 6, 1976. Mr. Suhr lived from 1877 to 1970. The building houses the library and four faculty offices. At left, Dr. William E. Vincent, Administrative Head from June 1972 until October 31, 1976, visits with Mrs. Charlotte Boyles, who served as Administrative Assistant from 1962 until her retirement in October, 1984, The occasion was the Dedication and Open House held on October 25, 1976 for the two new buildings pictured above. The facilities had been critically needed since the late 1960s, and program development had been hampered for lack of space. Because of the long delay between the appropriation made in 1967 and actual construc- tion in 1975, the escalation of costs resulted in the deletion of four classrooms and 2 practice rooms from the library building plan. The delays largely resulted from the failure of the PA. Legislature to accept the deed for the land presented in 1961 by Venango Campus, Inc.
Page 17 text:
As early as 1962 need for more buildings became evident. On June 24, 1965 ground was broken for a dormitory (above) dedicated December 12, 1965 and named for J. G. Montgomery, Jr., a founder and benefactor of Venango Campus. He died in 1982. Built by a private developer to house 200 and never reaching full occupancy, the dorm has not been used since Spring Term 1982. In 1986, after years of legal battles over title to the dorm, it ha s been transferred to Clarion University Foundation for renovation and as an instructional complex and residence hall. In June 1968 the PA. Dept. of Public Instruction reversed its policy that associate degrees be offered only at community colleges and authorized an Associate Degree in Nursing program to fill a special need for nursing education here. The program had been in the planning stages since the early 60 ' s. The first Director of Nursing, Miss Ruth Benfield, was hired in 1969. The first students were admitted to the program in September 1970. The popular nursing education program has grown to include a Bachelor of Science in Nursing program begun in January 1982. Both nursing degrees are accredited by the National League for Nursing. Dramatics, along with music, sports, clubs, and social activities have supplemented the curriculum. Above, " The Dark at the Top of the Stairs " directed by Mr. Frank Clark (1981). Despite proper facilities, a music program flourishes. Above, Dr. Rex Mitchell rehearses the campus choir (196768).
Page 19 text:
Development at Venango Campus has been guided by its administrators. Mr. Frank M. Clark, top left, served as Acting Administrator during searches for permanent administrators. Mr. Charles L. Blank, top right, was Administrative Head from August 30, 1977 to October 15, 1982. Dr. Thomas J. Rookey, above left, has served as administrator since June 1, 1983. Under the leadership of these men enrollment, especially part- time students, has increased dramatically from an all-time low of 290 in 1977 to the current 575. Besides the nursing program, associate degrees are offered in business administration, liberal arts, habilitative services, and a paralegal program will begin in fall 1986. Mr. Dalph Cook, pictured above right with biology students, will retire in May 1986 after 22 years service. He typifies the dedicated faculty have served the campus these 25 years.
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