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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