Central Connecticut State University used to be Central Connecticut State College. Long before that, it was a State Teachers College and before that, it was a Normal School. Whaaaaaat? Yeah, I had to look that up. Of course I went to Wikipedia and when I did, I found my favorite warning sign ever.
Any long-time reader of this blog knows that I love excessive detail! Judging from the looks I get when I’m explaining things, I guess most people don’t enjoy details in excess. Well, you non-detail lovers are in luck today. I have pictures of doors from CCSU, but I don’t have many details about these doors.
In case you are wondering, a “Normal” school was established to train teachers. The idea, according to the excessively detailed article, was to “establish teaching standards or norms” and thus the name. It had nothing to do with a requirement for the students to be normal people.
Yes, that was my first guess.
Anyway, these days, CCSU is anything but normal. By that, I mean that CCSU students are majoring in all kinds of subject areas and with all kinds of career aspirations beyond teaching. Don’t get me wrong, teaching is a fine career aspiration. The fact that there are so many different careers that college students can aspire to is one of the reasons we often find ourselves with a shortage of teachers, especially in subjects like math and science.
The doors at the top are the doors I like the best, but the doors below are the reason I was on campus. Those are the doors to Robert C. Vance Academic Center, not to be confused with Robert Vance Hall. It’s easy to confuse the names, because both buildings are named after the same Robert C. Vance.
How does one guy get two buildings named after him on the same college campus? Money, you say? Well, yeah, money. But in this case, it’s a little more than just money. According to my favorite source, in 1967 the Trustees for State Colleges were going to name a new industrial education building after Robert Vance. Somewhere along the line, the industrial education building plans got put on hold or combined with some other building and there wasn’t a place to put Robert’s name. In what seems like a consolation prize, they named a dormitory after him (Vance Hall). Years later, after more money changed hands, they named a premier academic building after him (Robert C. Vance Academic Center).
These are both important to me.
The industrial education building that never was, would have been the kind of place where some of my shop teachers were educated. Shop, particularly wood shop was my favorite class in junior high and high school. My second post on this blog was about shop class. Take a look if you like, I’m still proud of that one.
Robert C. Vance Academic Center is where the Management Information Systems (MIS) classes are held. For the last five spring semesters, I have been part of a group of business geeks who mentor students in one of these classes. In addition, on a now-and-then basis, I appear as a guest lecturer to bring a bit of real-world experience to the classroom. At least that’s what I’m supposed to do.
Earlier this week, I presented the real world of Information Technology Strategy to a graduate school class in Technology Strategy. I’ll save my feelings and observations on that experience for another day. Suffice it to say, I was very happy to walk through those doors.
This post is part of Norm Frampton’s interesting and exciting Thursday Doors series. You can join us any/every week. Get a door and sign-up. Don’t forget to sign-up (I forgot last week).