Farmingdale State College: A History

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Fascinating history of the oldest public college on Long Island.

Located on 380 acres on the Nassau-Suffolk border, Farmingdale State College (FSC) is the oldest public college on Long Island. In this fascinating and lavishly illustrated history, Frank J. Cavaioli chronicles the school’s rich history from the time it was chartered in 1912 up to the present. He investigates the leadership of such important directors and presidents as Albert A. Johnson, Halsey B. Knapp, Charles W. Laffin Jr., and Frank A. Cipriani, and demonstrates how they motivated faculty to create progressive, innovative programs, and urged them to give service to the community. The school’s original mission was to provide training in agricultural science, but over time it has transformed into a comprehensive college focused on applied science and technology with a strong humanities and social science component. Now a campus of the State University of New York with nearly seven thousand students, the story of FSC is unique, one that mirrors the transformation and growth of the surrounding Long Island community.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“…Cavaioli … provides a historian’s and participant’s knowledge and perspective in this 100th anniversary history of Farmingdale State College … [he] credits the vital past role of many unsung faculty and a new generation of supportive local political and business leaders as the college once more reshapes its future.” — The Nassau County Historical Society Journal

“Cavaioli’s book presents the full sweep of the one-hundred-year history of Farmingdale State College in the context of early higher education in the region. His history of the college integrates the dramatic economic and social changes to which the college has adapted over the decades as the Long Island region has undergone transformation.” — W. Hubert Keen, President, Farmingdale State College

“Frank Cavaioli is the ideal person to write the history of FSC. The book incorporates the extensive research he has done in the college archives, his interviews with faculty and former students, and unpublished memoirs by college administrators. Cavaioli puts FSC’s history in the broader context of national and Long Island developments and the history of higher education, particularly the SUNY system.” — Natalie A. Naylor, Professor Emerita, Hofstra University

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781438443676
  • Publisher: State University of New York Press
  • Publication date: 8/1/2012
  • Series: Excelsior Editions
  • Pages: 320
  • Product dimensions: 8.20 (w) x 8.30 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Frank J. Cavaioli is Emeritus Professor of History and Politics at Farmingdale State College–SUNY. He is the author of twelve books, including Pompano Beach: A History.

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Table of Contents



1. Chartering the New York State School of Agriculture on Long Island

2. Laying the Foundation

3. Albert A. Johnson, 1913–1923

4. Halsey B. Knapp, 1923–1956

5. The World War II Era

6. The Industrial-Technical Division

7. The Charles W. Laffin Jr. Years, 1961–1976

8. Dr. Frank A. Cipriani Heralds the Future, 1978–2000

9. Transition and Transformation

10. Into the Twentieth-First Century


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