Transformation to a Four Year College
By President Emeritus Richard Foy
Preliminary history of the Marist Brothers
The Marist Brothers were founded in 1817 in southern France, an area which had been neglected since before the French Revolution. In particular the educational system was almost nonexistent for rural areas. Elementary education was not mandatory for French boys and girls until 1870.
Saint Marcellin Champagnat (1789 - 1840)
Father (now Saint) Marcellin Champagnat was among a group of priests who attended the seminary at Lyons and determined to band together for mutual support, even though they would be assigned to different parishes in the Lyons diocese. Later they organized and referred to themselves as Marists, in honor of Mary the mother of Jesus. Since Champagnat was reared in rural area, he was assigned to Lavalla, a small parish on the hills southwest of the city of Lyons. A determining moment in his life was when he was asked to give the last rites of the Church to a sixteen year old boy who had never heard of God. Champagnat pleaded with the Marist group to institute educational programs; their response was that they were already overburdened with routine parish duties. His fellow priests suggested that if he considered education to be so important, he ought to found a teaching group himself.
Champagnat was a delayed student, which he discovered when he was placed in classes with city boys five or six years younger than himself. All his life he carried high esteem for education for all, believing that without some education, growth in spiritual and religious life would be stunted or non-existent. So he founded the Brothers himself on January 2, 1817.
The number of Brothers grew quickly; they taught in schools established in cooperation with local parishes or local civic officials. There were no standards or credentials required for teaching. During the long summers from Pentecost until the end of the harvest season (about September 29, the feast of Saint Michael) the students were needed on the farms. During that time the young brothers returned to the main house where they studied the subjects they were expected to teach, including religion.
By 1870 elementary education became compulsory. Soon the state instituted standards for teachers. For three decades only the school principal was required to hold a teaching certificate, called a brevet (see note one). The principal in turn could certify the teaching competency of those in his/her school. By the turn of the century the state had insisted that every teacher have the brevet. It also insisted that religious may not wear the religious habit in any school sponsored by a civic entity. It was part of the uneasy relationship between the church and state. Rather than agree to these conditions, there was an exodus of religious teachers to other countries, beginning in the mid 1880s and reaching its height after 1903.
Brothers come to Canada and the United States. (1885 - 1886)
The Brothers came to the United States and taught in Lewiston ME in 1886, one year after their arrival in Canada, where the authorities saw a neat convergence for Brothers from a rural area in France to teach in the elementary schools throughout rural, French-speaking Canada. (For background, see Brother Leonard Voegtle's book on the history of the Canadian and United States provinces (see note two)). The Brothers settled in New York City in 1892 to teach in the French oriented St. Jean Baptiste parish elementary school which extended from the first through sixth grades. Soon they were asked to open a boarding school which accepted seventh and eighth grade pupils. This was termed an academy. Meanwhile Brothers from the Canadian province came south through Maine and New England, especially to service French-speaking immigrants drawn from Canada to working in the mills of Massachusetts.
Viewing the outside controls in the Brothers' lives.
While the Brothers were members of a religious institute, there were two patterns influencing their activity, one religious, the other civil.
The religious overlay was set by the Canon Law of the Catholic Church which applied to all religious institutes. This required that to join the Brothers a candidate must spend spend a full year in religious study (called the Novitiate) before official acceptance to the institute (see note three). The candidate would not be allowed to make vows (promises) before the age of seventeen, and final vows before the age of 21.
The civil overlay was set by the authority supervising the school system. This authority might specify the rules for operating a school; a key rule might be the requirements for a person to teach at the given academic level. Early in the twentieth century, this requirement was satisfied by taking and passing several examinations, which resulted in a teaching certificate. Eventually this requirement evolved to a minimum of a bachelor's degree with an additional core of courses in teaching.
Since the supervising authority in Canada was different than that in the United States, the Brothers had to pattern their preparation for teaching on the requirements of the educational authority in that region or state.
Logical concepts for the Poughkeepsie campus.
In the descriptions which follow, it is useful to think of four logical functions on the Poughkeepsie campus:
Provincial house. This was the original use of the campus. It included provincial administration, working brothers, the infirmary, and eventually the Brothers' cemetery. Located in the MacPherson house on the property north of the water works road, the provincial house included a large chapel and dining facilities. Logically it concerned itself with recruiting and training candidates for the Marist Brothers (see note four).
Scholasticate. This was set up post novitiate studies. Originally in the scholasticate the Brothers prepared for taking exams that qualified them to receive teaching certificates. In addition Brothers arriving from France or Canada took lessons in English there. By 1930 studies at the scholasticate included college level courses. What was called Marist Training School and eventually evolved to a bachelor's degree college program.
Novitiate. The two year period of religious training prior to taking temporary or permanent vows. For many years the Novitiate was located in the Bech house at the southern end of the campus.
Juniorate. This was a high school for young men who might be interested in becoming Marist Brothers. In the early years, most Brothers taught in elementary schools. This left a gap between when youngsters were taught by the Brothers and when they were old enough to enter the Novitiate. To fill this gap, the Brothers established a secondary school, known as a juniorate, which admitted only young men who might be interested in becoming Brothers (see note five).
Move to junior college status (1920 - 1930)
By the beginning of the 1920 decade, the need for certification was changing. Fewer Brothers were coming to the United States from France or Canada, so the need to concentrate on speaking English was reduced. Meanwhile, the trend in the United States was towards teacher colleges that focused on teaching methods rather than academic content (see note six).
For Brothers, the road to a bachelor's degree was long. He would teach and take courses part time. To achieve a bachelors degree might take eight or ten years of part time study -- all while teaching full time.
Arrangements were made with Fordham University to provide courses in Poughkeepsie which would be credited towards a degree at Fordham. This was formalized with the approval of Marist Training School by charter from the Regents of the State of New York. The scholasticate then moved to a full two years of study; agreement with Fordham facilitated transfer of these credits towards a bachelor degree. Usually the Brother would teach in a New York City school while taking the courses at Fordham. Completion of the customary final two years of study would stretch out to four or five years and summers (see note seven).
The leader in this move towards a two year college was spearheaded by the Provincial, Brother Legotianus (family name Leo Brouillet), a brilliant self-taught person who developed expertise in electricity and radio. Earlier he had spearheaded the development of hydroelectric power using a dam on the stream flowing from the Winslow property. When his term ceased as Provincial, he taught mathematics and physics in secondary schools, including the future Marist Preparatory in Esopus NY.
The Leo Dorm is named in his honor for his foresight to establish a two year college in 1930.
Chaotic planning period (1938 - 1943)
By 1938 three factors predominated the planning and activity at the Poughkeepsie campus. 1) The Marist superiors in Europe were insistent that something be done to remove the residents from the Provincial House (MacPherson mansion) and Novitiate (Bech house), both wooden houses which the superiors, accustomed to stone houses considered firetraps; 2) The combined properties were considered too crowded to accommodate the functions cited in a previous section; and 3) there was growing dissatisfaction with the system of two years college at Poughkeepsie and a long period of part time course work at Fordham, where not all desired courses were given at times convenient to those teaching full time.
Recently the Marist College archives received a set of blueprints dated January 30, 1939 for a proposed provincial house to be located in the central campus near the current Greystone building (see note eight). This led me to a review of the minutes of the Provincial Council of the Marist Brothers, that show a dizzying array of possibilities and plans for the scholasticate.
The first mentioned option (in 1938) was to transfer the scholasticate to the Washington DC area, close to Catholic University (see note nine). The possibility of a move of college level studies to Washington DC was mentioned again in 1939.
At the same time Brothers in the United States petitioned the Central Administration for permission to construct a new provincial house, citing as one reason for acting then was the health of the Superior General who visited in 1927 and on several occasions encouraged the local authorities to replace the old wooden building serving as a Provincial House; it had been the MacPherson mansion (see note ten).
The novices and postulants were overcrowded in the Novitiate (located in the former Bech house). This was alleviated by construction of a small bungalow near the Novitiate called St. Mary's. Later it saw use as a dormitory for lay students, housing for a small group of brothers of another order (the Lammenais Brothers) who eventually transferred to Walsh College in Ohio, but St. Mary's is most remembered for housing brothers who returned to Poughkeepsie to work on the projects during the 1950s (see note eleven).
On November 11, 1941 a cablegram from the General Administration in Europe notified the Brothers in the United States that permission to go on with the construction of a new Provincial House is postponed until more opportune times. The Second World War had been raging in Europe for two years; it was less than a month before the United States entered the war with the bombing of Pearl Harbor. The Provincial Council took stock of local current conditions and devised a plan of action at its meeting of January 31, 1942 (see note twelve). The next two meetings of the Provincial Council related to plans drawn up by the Brother Provincial. The majority opinion of the members was dissatisfaction with the prospect of building new wooden buildings or adding to existing wooden buildings (see note thirteen).
In February 1942, a real estate agent in Poughkeepsie alerted the Brothers that the former Raymond Riordan School in Ulster County (on North Chokidee Road, off route 299) was available (see note fourteen). Several members of the Provincial Council besides the Brother Provincial visited the property and quickly decided to apply to the diocese for permission to purchase the property, using the Provincial House construction fund if need be to effect the purchase. By secret vote, the Council was unanimously in favor of purchasing the property. A second secret vote of the Marist Brothers Corporation was taken (consisting of the same individuals) and the vote was also unanimous. Brother Provincial announced that he would apply immediately to the General Administration, seeking the necessary permission and stating that it was our intention to move the the present St. Ann's Juniorate to this new location.
Shortly after these meetings, Brother Provincial met with Bishop McIntyre and another person associated with the archdiocese to visit the Riordan property. The archdiocesan representatives asked him to visit another property seventeen miles west of Kingston which had come into the archdiocese possession. The three acknowledged that that property would not suit the Brothers' needs. They then visited the Riordan School. Bishop McIntyre was not impressed, citing the run down condition of the buildings and their all wood construction, but he indicted he would present the Brothers' request to the next diocesan meeting. There was some delay in learning the results of this meeting.
Meanwhile, Monsignor Connolly, Pastor of St. Peter's Church in Poughkeepsie suggested that they look at the Payne estate in Esopus (see note fifteen). All who viewed the property were enthusiastic, as the buildings were fireproof and of stone.
Things moved quickly after the Provincial Council meeting of June 5, 1942. The Diocese gave its approval. The deed transferring the Esopus property to the Marist Brothers was signed August 1, 1942 and recorded in the Ulster County records August 21, 1942. The Episcopal Diocese may have given the Brothers the right of prior entry, as some Brothers remembered working there during the month of July. My brother Peter Joseph Foy and I arrived at Marist Preparatory on September 23, 1942 as juniors.
With the departure of the Juniors for their new home in Esopus, it was thought advisable that transformations be made in their old dormitories to accommodate the scholastics. This freed up the residential area in the wooden building next to the Greystone building for academic use (save for the lower floor which was the laundry for the Poughkeepsie and Esopus groups).
Brother Paul Ambrose Fontaine (1943 - 1958)
Brother Paul Ambrose Fontaine, having completed his masters degree in English at Catholic University (he previously earned a Library Science degree at Villanova) was assigned to Poughkeepsie as the master of scholastics.
The thrust towards a bachelor degree granting college in the scholasticate was noted in the minutes of the provincial Council dated October 2, 1943:
However, the location of such a college was not yet definite. At the council meeting held November 1943, Brother Paul Ambrose was given permission to seek affiliation with the Catholic University of America. Brother Emile Nestor, the supervisor of Marist schools, worried that progress in this direction might entail heavy financial obligation. However, he is not averse to allow Brother Paul to proceed with his plan because we shall learn definitely just how we stand scholastically with an institution of the type of the Catholic University of America.
The application process went through Doctor Roy Deferrari, Secretary of the University. Originally religious institutes were encouraged to locate close to Catholic University, but the thinking evolved to encourage religious institutes to establish bachelor level colleges locally and send future teachers at these colleges to Catholic University for graduate work at the masters and doctoral level. Dr. Deferrari was a strong supporter of this policy and assisted many religious congregations to establish their own college. Mount Saint Mary of Newburgh NY was one of these, and as we shall see so was Marian/Marist. After his visit to the college he sent his report to Brother Assistant General, which led to an extended discussion of future direction at the council meeting of April 3, 1944. Again the question of location arose, and several council members favored moving the scholasticate to the Tyngsboro MA location. Brother Assistant opposed this as is evident in the minutes of that meeting (see note sixteen).
With location settled, Brother Paul Ambrose set about seeking approval from the Board of Regents of the State of New York. He succeeded in obtaining a temporary charter in 1946 that stated the purpose of Marian College "the education of Brothers on the college level." It was usual for a temporary charter to last five years. In the Marian College situation, a permanent charter was obtained in only four. But this charter stated its purpose "education on the college level". Even at this early state Brother Paul Ambrose Fontaine had the vision of a far more comprehensive level.
Brother Paul spearheaded a program to build more permanent buildings, beginning with the red brick gymnasium which was later transformed to a dormitory. But his notable construction projects were the Seat of Wisdom Chapel (1953), the student brothers study hall and dining facilities (1956), the student brothers dormitory (1957), a small Adrian Lounge serving as a campus center for the first lay students to enroll at Marian College, and began construction of Donnelly Hall, a major academic building. He secured the approval of the Brothers' Provincial Council to accept lay students (he did not need approval of the Board of Regents since he had secured it at the time of the permanent charter. He established a lay advisory board comprised of community leaders of several faiths, one of whom later became a Trustee and benefactor and advisor to Marian/Marist presidents and headed the McCann Foundation. He was John J Gartland Jr.
In Fall 1958, Brother was elected an Assistant General for the Marist Brothers Congregation. But he had also been in discussion with officials at IBM who were interested in having its employees in Kingston and Poughkeepsie obtain access to college courses oriented to their employment.
Linus Richard Foy (1958 - 1979)
While still a Marist Brother, Linus Richard Foy was named President of Marian College in November 1958 at age 28. He had been teaching secondary school at St. Ann's Academy and Cardinal Hayes High School, both in New York City. He used the first few months to communicate with other presidents, many of whom were most gracious to lend advice to a tyro.
But he faced immediate problems and made influential decisions which cast a permanent characteristic on the fledging college.
- An evening division opened in Fall 1959, oriented towards IBM but accepting any qualified male students.
- Brother Paul's vision was a college of 600 lay students, all commuters. Officials at Marian convinced Foy that an entering class of 150 commuter students each year was not feasible. A resident class of a dozen students was recruited for Fall 1959 with residence at the Kings Court Hotel. When that proved dissatisfying to both college and hotel, they moved on campus to St. Mary's Dormitory, then to temporary rooms in Donnelly Hall, while the college secured HHFA funding for Sheahan Hall, Leo Hall, and then NYS Dormitory Authority funding for the Champagnat complex
- Establishment of athletic programs, first of which was collegiate crew. Funds were raised for the Martin boathouse.
- Transfer of ownership of the buildings and land from the Marist Brothers Corporation to a separate education corporation: Marist College. This was done in two stages, the first in 1961 and the last in 1969.
- Creation of a broader based Board of Trustees (1964) which might still include Brothers but by 1968 was composed of a majority of lay Trustees, male and female.
- Establishment of master degree programs
- Admission of women to evening and quickly all day programs in 1967
By the time Foy left the presidency in 1979 the student body numbered 2000.
Note 1 In the French educational system, brevet meant a letter of authorization to teach. Brevet is derived from the french bref or letter. The brevet was usually awarded upon successful completion of several examinations. In military jargon, brevet is a temporary increase in rank without an increase of salary. Oliver Hazard Payne was a brevet Brigadier General which meant he could use the title General; in practice he chose to retain his regular rank of Colonel.
Note 3 Canon Law also requires a time prior to Novitiate of six months called postulantcy. The Brothers' practice was to require two years Novitiate, the first year being postulancy and the second year the official Novitiate year. This paralleled the rhythm of the school year.
Note 4 When Brothers' apostolate extends into another country, efforts are made to recruit candidates from that country. The Brothers in the United States experienced little success in this respect because teen age candidates were sent into French speaking Canada near the city of Quebec for their secondary school and novitiate. The authorities recognized that it was imperative to establish a recruiting and training system which served the United States separately. Since Brothers coming to Canada often landed at New York City first, a natural location for a central house would be along the Hudson River, with the railroad stretching from New York City to Montreal.
Note 5 The juniorate was called Saint Ann's Hermitage, and included a final year at the Novitiate during the Postulant year. The first three years were organized separately. The division servicing young men from families who spoke French in the home was set up in Tyngsboro MA; the division servicing young men from English speaking families was set up at Poughkeepsie.
Note 6 In the first four decades of the twentieth century, it was normal for those preparing to be teachers to attend teachers colleges sometimes called normal schools. The teachers colleges closest t Poughkeepsie were at New Paltz and Albany. the state had established over two dozen such colleges with principal mission training of elementary and secondary school teachers.
During Nelson Rockefeller's time as Governor, New York State decided to institute a public higher education system modeled on that of California. In California two institutions were considered academically superior, UCLA in Los Angeles and University of California in Berkeley. Admission to these institutions was highly competitive. The second range of colleges allowed graduates of community colleges to enroll for bachelor degrees. Any high school graduate had the right to attend a community college.
For geographic and political reasons, New York selected four institutions to be considered top rank: Albany in the city of Albany, Stoney Brook on Long Island, Binghamton on the southern tier, and Buffalo at the west. To match the regular university model of California quickly, the state converted the teacher colleges to regular liberal arts institutions, and built many others to distribute them geographically. New Paltz was such a teacher college which converted to liberal arts in the early 1960's. Every county had the right to establish a two year community college, funded partially by the state, partially by the county, and partially by modest tuition fees. Dutchess Community College was established in the late 1950s.
Note 7 There were exceptional routes to teaching than the stereotype route described here. A good example would be my Foy family. Of the nine siblings who emigrated from Ireland from 1900 ff, none acquired bachelors degrees. Their children did not receive degrees until the GI Bill after World War II provided the opportunity. But one member of the family, Mary Foy Mullin, a widow with three children was the exception. Her oldest daughter, Josephine Mullin (1902 - 2002) graduated from a teachers college at age 19 and taught for many years in the New York City school system. Later she spent two years in Pakistan teaching teachers how to teach reading. The second daughter, Margaret Mullin (1910 -2001) attended Hunter College, which then was very competitive, graduating with teaching certificate and bachelors degree again at age 19. She was not hired because the authorities told her that holders of bachelors degrees must be 21 years old. She spent a year at Columbia University earning a masters degree in mathematics. then reapplied to teach; she pointed out that the age restriction applied only to bachelor degrees. So at age 20 she began teaching at Walton High School in the Bronx. The youngest daughter, Mary Frances (1912--1992) worked her way towards a doctorate at Bryn Mawr on scholarship. She married before completing her thesis and did not teach. Instead she raised six children. Her husband George Gillen had a law degree and a doctorate in history and taught at a high school for boys in the Bronx NY until his retirement.
Note 8 The blueprints were from designs by architects James W. O'Connor and James F. Delany with offices at 162 East 37th Street in New York City. (This is only one block away from the residence of Brothers who taught at Saint Agnes High School - 156 East 38th Street.) A Brother who was stationed in Esopus but whose name is not recorded, found the blueprints among designs related to the Esopus property; he realized they were designed for the Poughkeepsie property and gave them to the Marist College Archives in Fall 2012.
Note 9 Excerpt of minutes of the Provincial Council meeting held April 2, 1938 page 104 & 105 Item #3. Another report to Grugliasco (ed note the Central Headquarters of the Brothers near Turin, Italy) Requests permission for the transfer of our scholasticate to Sandy Point, Maryland, eighteen miles from the Catholic University in Washington DC on a 100 acre piece of land with very substantial buildings which could take care of some 100 students with little or no alterations. The price asked is $10,000, but we could rent the place for two years with option to buy after that time.
Meeting held August 23, 1939 page 133 There is offered for sale at a distance of about a mile from the Catholic University in Washington D.C. a property belonging to the Sisters & Servants of Mary of Omaha, Nebraska; a 17 acre property, comprising a 10 room building with private chapel. The property is situated partly in Maryland and partly in the Federal District.
Note 10 Excerpt of minutes of the Provincial Council meeting held September 30, 1939 page 134 & 135 item #3 If Rev. Brother Assistant General's reaction to the idea is favorable, we shall petition the General Administration for permission now to build our Provincial House when the following conditions are filled: a) The Chapel Fund reaches $100,000 b) one-third of the caisse commune reaches at least $20,000 c) We are allowed to keep all of our caisse commune for five years beginning when b) is fulfilled. Permission to build for $250,000 up to $300,000 if cash allows it. This would be a cash proposition, pay as you go project. There would be no borrowing.
The motive that prompts us to obtain such a permission now is the fact that our Very Rev. Bro. Superior General is perfectly aware of our situation, having been here in 1927, and has often manifested the wish that we replace without delay our flimsy wooden houses serving the purpose of a provincial house by a fireproof structure The Very Reverend is getting old, and in case of an early demise we would miss a powerful advocate to carry our plans through.
Excerpt of minutes of the Provincial Council meeting held November 25, 1939 page 136 #2 After having received a favorable opinion from both the Very Rev. Bro Superior General, and Rev. Bro. Assistant General, we decide to petition the General Counsel for permission to keep the 1/3 of the common fund for the year 1939-1940, and start work on the proposed Provincial House in a small way.
Excerpt of minutes of the Provincial Council meeting held May 11, 1940 page 140 #3. Through the influence of Mr. O'Connell of New York City it was stated that we could secure a compressor to be used on the location where the new Provincial House is to be erected. The cost, about $400, is considered as a great possible saving during the excavation work This compressor was still in use when the Brothers built the red gymnasium close to Greystone (now the Marian Dormitory) in 1947-1951.
Note 11 Excerpt of minutes of the Provincial Council meeting of August 24, 1941 page 13 Item #2 What began as an informal discussion about providing dormitory space for the novitiate developed into a definite program as follows.
a) To build a dormitory with a basement approximately 60 ft x 30ft, this dormitory to be built of wood and well insulated. A small furnace in the basement would take care of the radiators to be installed.
b) The cost, estimated to be around $5,000, will be borne by the Provincial House, and in case of a deficit at the end of the year the matter is to be adjusted by the Provincial Council.
This building was constructed adjacent to the Novitiate in the former Bech house and was named St. Mary's Dormitory. The Council minutes of June 5, 1942 indicate the final price of the building:
#6 In the Provincial Council meeting of August 24, 1941, it was decided to build an extension to our Novitiate in order to accommodate the increase in applications. The estimated cost of $5,000 was to be borne by the Community at the Hermitage. if unable to do this their deficit was to be covered by the Province. Brother Provincial Econome will be requested to reimburse Brother Ernest, Treasurer, with $4393.56 to cover the deficit entailed by this project
Note 12 Meeting held January 31, 1942 page 22 & 23 Item #1 the increase in size of the various communities residing at the Mother House in Poughkeepsie, necessitates immediate transformation of the Chapel in order to accommodate all our young men in training. In addition the sleeping quarters of the scholasticate must be enlarged to care for the increased number of Scholastics ... The present set-up of living in different buildings scattered throughout the property has outlived its temporary usefulness. It has been the intention of Brother Provincial to discuss these problems with Reverend Brother Assistant previous to the latter's departure for Canada. However, the sudden death of Brother Assistant leaves the situation unsolved. The following, therefore, has been unanimously agreed upon:
a) Enlarge the present seating capacity of the Chapel by proper alterations
b) Build an extension to the Scholasticate dormitory arranging for gymnasium facilities at the same time
c) Raze the actual bungalows, retaining material that may be of use in the new construction.
d) Brother Provincial will draw up plans of possible alterations in the Chapel; also sketches of the extension to be added to the scholasticate. These will be discussed and gone over with Brother Director General and Master of Novices who happen to be on place to offer advice.
e) Brother Provincial and his advisers will decide whether of not it is desirable to secure the services of outside help, or at least a capable foreman.
Note 13 Meeting of February 21, 1942 pages 24 to 27 Item #1 Bro. Provincial sent to each councilor for personal study a detailed copy of plans for the construction of an addition to the present scholasticate building. This procedure had been agreed upon at our last meeting. Accompanying these sketches for the extension of the scholasticate sleeping quarters was a tentative estimate of the cost of the project, including a low figure on labor. It was understood that it would be necessary to secure outside labor. Roughly, the expense would amount to $45,000. Incidentally this figure does not include the cost of alterations necessary to enlarge the seating capacity of the Chapel.
General consensus of opinion leaned to the side that the undertaking was not worth the amount of money involved. It would be just a continuation of the building policy in Poughkeepsie, of erecting structures of light destructible material and let the future look after itself. It seems exasperating that for the past twenty-five years we have been forced to a "hammer and nail" process of building to accommodate the growing needs of St. Ann's Hermitage. The Council is unanimous in opinion that we give serious consideration to moving one of our training groups from the Hermitage thus easing the congestion of the present living quarters.
Raymond Riordan School, on the west shore of the Hudson River across from Poughkeepsie at a distance of seven miles from the Hermitage. Within its boundaries is a lake three-quarters of a mile long and half a mile wide. Situated not far from the lake is the main building, substantial in construction and containing: reception rooms, living rooms that could be made available for dormitory purposes, classrooms or private living rooms. Close to the shore of the lake is a very spacious gymnasium approximately one hundred and forty five feet, adjoining which is another large hall about half the size of the gymnasium. Scattered within a radius of one hundred feet of the main building are ten to twelve well built and well equipped cottages. Stored away in a small boathouse are ten rowboats and eight canoes, all in good condition. The asking price for the above property is $55,000, of which $29,000 consists of a mortgage on the property.
Note 15 Meeting of Friday June 5, 1942 page 37 & 38 Bro. Provincial Bro. Henry Charles, Bro. Louis Omer and Brother Anicetus visited the Whitney-Payne estate on the west shore of the Hudson river about five miles north of Highland. Mr. Reynolds, an agent in close connection with the Chancery Office, informed Brother Provincial that the property was for sale and the deeds held by the Board of Trustees of the Episcopal Diocese of New York Satisfied with the location and the arrangements in the buildings, Brother Provincial decided to have the two other councilors inspect the place. Brother Joseph Damian and Brother Linus William in company with the Provincial, Director General, Brother Andrew Treasurer of Mt. St. Michael, and Mr. Hanley, a building inspector for the City of New York, visited the place. A very thorough investigation revealed that the buildings are in good condition. All are fireproof, being of stone construction. The roof of the main building is built of Spanish red tile, while those of the other buildings are finished in flat slate. The grounds are very spacious. Though not properly kept at present, they have not at all been neglected. All those who visited the location are of the opinion that in it are the most substantial buildings we've come across so far, and quite in keeping with our needs. The members of the Council are unanimous in favor of acquiring the property with the restriction the purchase be kept around the $50,000 mark.
#1 through a detailed report submitted by Bro. Paul Ambrose about a month previous to this meeting, every member present had been fully informed of the problem we faced.
The pivotal point of the whole discussion seemed to revolve around the problem of location for the scholasticate. It was felt by the members of the Council that location in Poughkeepsie was not suitable for the following reasons:
1. accommodations offered by the buildings were entirely inadequate for a four year college course.
2. a four year scholasticate in Poughkeepsie would mean keeping our young men in training at this place for a period of six years.
3. rigidity of New York State Education Department in granting charters to small colleges
4. The possibility of moving to Massachusetts gives a feeling of assurance that a college charter could easily be obtained in that state.
Brother Assistant quickly took up the issue of location. He could not, he said, give his approval to the plan of the Provincial Council to move the Scholasticate to Tyngsboro, Mass. for the following reasons:
1. It has been the experience of the higher superiors and the expressed with of his predecessors to try to maintain two Juniorates in order to furnish necessary candidates for the Novitiate.
2. the appointments of the Juniorate building at Tyngsboro were to his mind very unsatisfactory to lodge eighty men and inadequate to set up a library, laboratories, lecture rooms. etc.
He strongly urged that we keep to the original plan to erect a Provincial House in Poughkeepsie.