Lehman Memories – Associate Professor of English Emerita Eileen Allman, Hunter 1961

I remember that if you were caught wearing slacks, and it was warm—21 degrees (Celsius)—the deans would know what the temperature was. The deans came in, and they found out exactly what the temperature was, and then the word was out. The women wearing slacks were escorted to the gate and told to leave and come back when they were properly attired. But we never thought we had the right to complain about it. That was the rule. In fact, someone who came in slacks when it was cold was a troublemaker. There was no doubt about it.

— Associate Professor of English Emerita Eileen Allman, Hunter ’61

From a series of oral histories completed in the 1980s
by Professor Gary Schwartz and Eileen Ourvan of the Lehman Scholars Program

Lehman Memories – Ruth Belopolsky Marquis, Hunter 1939

The one event that stays in my mind is what we all used to call “the day the boiler burst.” In those days there was a tunnel underneath the buildings connecting four of them. I think they housed the heating and the water and things like that, but we also used it as a place to walk between buildings when it was inclement weather. One day the boiler burst, and we were all dismissed because of it. It must have been in mid-winter. The reason it was so funny was that Mutiny on the Bounty with Clark Gable and Charles Laughton had just opened at the Capital [movie theatre] downtown on Broadway, and when I arrived there, I discovered that virtually the entire student body of the Bronx campus was sitting all around me!

— Ruth Belopolsky Marquis, Hunter 1939

From a series of oral histories completed in the 1980s
by Professor Gary Schwartz and Eileen Ourvan of the Lehman Scholars Program

Lehman Memories – Professor Ruth Segal Kiesler, Hunter 1932

I was closer to students at that time when I first started to teach because they were close to my age. I was quite young, and I couldn’t see associating too much with the faculty. I spent most of my time with the students. In the 1930s they had roller-skating outdoors. Between the Student Building and the Gym building, there was a big area, and at one time it was arranged in sort of a circular driveway with a grassy mall-like area in between. I think that’s where they have the flagpoles. There were a few years there where students and faculty would come out in the evening and they’d have roller-skating parties. Many people liked to be in the Bronx, but at that time they were only teaching the first years up at the Bronx. When they became juniors, they had to go downtown.

— Professor Ruth Segal Kiesler, Hunter ’32

From a series of oral histories completed in the 1980s
by Professor Gary Schwartz and Eileen Ourvan of the Lehman Scholars Program

Lehman Memories – Lehman Professor Emerita of History Ruth Zerner, Hunter 1956

I attended Hunter-in-the-Bronx from 1952 to 1956 and received my B.A. in history. My class—the Class of 1956—was only the second in the school’s history to be coed. When I was a student, many of us had part-time jobs. No one worked full-time like you find today, but many of us had part-time work. So between school and studying and work we were very busy. But dedicated.

We didn’t have sororities then, we had something called House Plans—like clubs. And it was a beautiful campus. Those Gothic-style buildings were very distinctive. I loved playing on the clay tennis courts, which anyone could use when gym classes weren’t being held. At that time there was another original building, Student Hall—now the Music Building, that was totally dedicated to the students. There was a large cafeteria for us. Outside Student Hall was the oval with the big flagpoles—this was before they dug up the earth and made it into the quad.

The campus was a lot greener than it is now because there were fewer buildings. There was the South Lawn, now Carman Hall, which was the site of the Spring Fair every year. There was the large North Lawn, too, along Bedford Park Boulevard. It really was the most beautiful campus in all of CUNY, especially in the fall and spring. But in the winter, I remember the wind would blow across the reservoir so fiercely, most of the students would use the underground passes connecting Gillet and Davis Halls because it was so cold.

— Lehman Professor Emerita of History Ruth Zerner, Hunter 1956

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