How far we have come

By on October 17, 2007

When Leonard Engel began teaching at Quinnipiac in 1964, he described it as “a glorified high school” because of how small it was.

“There were two or three buildings and a tiny parking lot,” said Engel, a professor of English. The campus was on Whitney Avenue until 1966 when it was relocated to Mount Carmel Avenue, where it remains today.

Perhaps the most obvious of the changes Quinnipiac has gone through over the years is the campus’ physical environment.

“The setting is the real dramatic change,” Engel said. “Before President Lahey came, the place was not beautiful.”

Associate Professor of Cardiopulmonary Sciences Christine Fitzgerald, remembers how different the campus looked when she was a student at Quinnipiac in the 1970s.

“There were five dorms called A, B, C, D, and E. Boys and girls did not live together in the same buildings,” she said. “The quad was all mud back then, and the cafeteria was only one level.”

Fitzgerald became a professor at Quinnipiac in 1985.

“When I first came to teach, I was in temporary buildings and very isolated,” she said. “Now there are so many beautiful buildings, and there is a lot more collaboration and sharing of information between teachers.”

Engel believes the number of students who have applied to the university has been one of the most positive changes the university has seen.

“It’s unbelievable that we are now turning away students. We rarely did that in the past. The level of intellectual curiosity has risen,” he said.

While Quinnipiac has made dramatic improvements over the years, it continues to grow and expand. The Blue Cross Blue Shield campus in North Haven will be home to graduate students in the near future. The TD Banknorth Sports Center is part of Quinnipiac’s York Hill campus and attracts members of the community to watch Quinnipiac’s sports teams compete.

“Lahey has taken us from this small school to a university,” Engel said. “I often see students who graduated years ago and my first words to them are ‘the value of your degree has increased.'”


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