Class of 1956

Class of 1956

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Class of 1956...


       The fall of ’56 began with the first ever College-wide election of four student members to the Student Faculty Committee on Student Activities. The primary function of the SFFC was to decide the amount of money allotted to each campus organization. In 1956, the committee received twenty-percent of student fees, which amounted to approximately fourteen thousand dollars for distribution. Being that this was a considerable amount of money, it was imperative that strong, capable student-leaders were selected for the available positions. At the election, students voted on candidates who were qualified, in the sense that they had already taken on leadership roles at the college or had previously participated in Student Council. Ultimately, the candidates who received the highest number of votes were Joel Resnick, Louise Shacknow, Joe Demaios, and Henry Grossman.  Another leadership position was filled when Eli Sadownick, an upper junior, was elected the editor-and-chief of the school’s newspaper, The Campus.  Aside from these developments in student life, other new and exciting changes were taking place on campus. The school declared that a sub-critical atomic reactor would be arriving at City College during the fall semester. This reactor was held in the basement of Lewisohn Stadium, where it was used for students’ training and laboratory demonstration in courses in the School of Technology and the College of Liberal Arts and Science. Science and City College intertwined once again, during the winter of ’56, when it was announced that Jonas Salk, a noted CCNY alumnus and developer of the first polio vaccine, would be putting a voluntary anti-polio inoculation program into operation. The series of three injections were to be administered to students, faculty, and staff of the college by a medical staff, under the direction of the college’s chief physician, Dr. Abner Stern. City College was the only college to offer free Salk vaccine inoculations for those who were under twenty years of age.  Students over the age of twenty, along with faculty, were charged three dollars for the series, to cover the cost of the vaccine. At a time when polio was a major concern for Americans, City College students and staff were able to feel pride knowing that the first ever vaccine known to prevent the disease was discovered by someone who had once walked the same college halls and had possibly studied in some of the same classrooms.

1956 was a year in which the athletic department experienced a great deal of victory over its rival teams in various different sports. The college’s soccer team entered the season with its fourth consecutive Metropolitan League Championship. Coach Harry Karlin led the team to a big win over Long Island University, with a final score of 6-1, during the first game of the year.  The City College Beavers proceeded to win nine consecutive soccer games during the season and advanced to the Eastern Collegiate Championships, where they made it to the semi-finals. The fall of ’56 also brought some exciting news to the basketball team. President Gallagher announced that the team would return to Madison Square Garden after playing on campus since 1951. Much like the soccer team, the basketball team experienced a thrilling season opener, winning the game 82-74 over Hunter College. The team was consistently victorious during the season when they eventually got to the point of defeating Hunter 90-71, putting them in first place for the Municipal College round robin trophy race, with a 3-1 record. The Beavers eventually accepted an invitation to play in the National Collegiate Athletic Association basketball tournament.  The team faced the ending of their season at the first round of the tournament but it was clear that they had put in a great deal of hard work and effort to make it to that point.

Student clubs, fraternities, and sororities were booming with activity throughout all of 1956. The Inter-fraternity Council held their “Fraternity Olympics” in March. The “Olympics” was a month-long series of intra-mural athletic competitions among the fraternities on campus.  These fraternities participated in swimming, touch-tackle football, handball, and track and field. The events concluded with an inter-fraternity sing-down and beer party. On the other hand, the Chi Lambda Service Sorority was worrying less about enjoying themselves and more about taking care of others. The girls took to aiding in the support of Chang Dai Ahn, a ten-month old boy who lived in Seoul, Korea. At the time, the required donation to sponsor a child through the Save The Children Foundation, Inc. was only five dollars per month. The sorority was so invested in the well-being on this child, however, and many of the sisters opted to donate even more. The girls started a correspondence with the family to learn of the baby’s progress. This was a wonderful example of how City College students were dabbling into the world of philanthropy.


Many of these class notes are excerpted from the 1956 issues of The Campus.


Discussion Forum


* Class of 1956 Reunion Committee*Mr. Joseph L. Berniger - BUSINESS  Mrs. Dorothy Bomser - HISTORY  Dr. Gerald S. Brenner PhD - CHEMISTRY  Linda Brenner*Dr. Murton Brown - CHEMISTRY  Gertrude Brown …Continue

Started by Cly Fowkes Nov 3, 2015.

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