Our Timeline

Jump to a decade: 1960, 1970, 1980, 1990, 2000


  1954 - Livingston Houston, President of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI), and H. Mansfield Horner, President of United Aircraft Corporation, meet as vacation neighbors. They soon join forces to create a new graduate-level educational institution to help remedy a critical shortage of engineers and technical professionals in Connecticut.
  Warren C. Stoker

Warren C. Stoker,
Ph.D., President

1955 - The Hartford Graduate Center of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute opens on September 19 for the Fall term at the former G. Fox/FoxMart store in South Windsor.


1956 - The dedication ceremony for the South Windsor campus is held on February 11. - Also in February, the first Engineering Design Certificate Program begins.
  1957 - The first graduating class of ten participates in commencement exercises at Rensselaer in Troy, New York.
  1958 - A 4,000 square foot addition for a new lounge and cafeteria is dedicated in May.
  1959 - The first commencement exercises are held at The Hartford Graduate Center. Miss Rose Worobel, who has earned an M.S. degree, is the first woman to graduate from the Center. The first non-degree, non-credit, “special program” is offered in September, the Management Development Program.


1961 - The original Board of Advisors since the opening in 1955 is renamed the Board of Trustees for RPI of Connecticut, Inc., in October.
  1967 - Continuing accreditation is granted in 1967 by the Connecticut State Department of Education after the initial accreditation in 1955 and the interim accreditations. Regional accreditation by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges is achieved concurrently.
  1968 - On April 3, the purchase of the Windsor Street site in Hartford is finalized. A groundbreaking ceremony for the construction of the new downtown Hartford campus takes place in October.


1971 - The new Hartford Graduate Center campus of RPI of Connecticut is formally dedicated on April 2. The facility becomes operational for the Fall term in September. - First meeting of the RPI of Connecticut Student-Alumni Association is held on December 14.
  1972 - The first formal graduation ceremony is held at the Hartford campus in June.
  1974 - RPI of Connecticut is reorganized on January 7, following a plan for a Board of Trustees and President of the institution.
  Homer Babbidge

Homer D. Babbidge, Jr., Ph.D., President

1975 - In January, arrangements are completed with the Naturalization Service of the U.S. Department of Justice to permit The Hartford Graduate Center to accept international students.
  1977 - HGC begins serving students and corporations in southeastern Connecticut at a location in Groton in March. Many of the students come from General Dynamics Electric Boat.
  1979 - A glass enclosed entryway and connector between the Tower Building and the Seminar Hall Building is dedicated on June 3.


1980 - The Executive Master’s Program leading to an M.S. in Management in a one-year period is offered for the first time. The first class begins on September 15.
  1981 - A new one-story, 6,000-square-foot addition is built over the plaza area in front of the Tower Building.
  1983 - Personal computers (PCs) are introduced for student use. The number of PCs available for both faculty and students increases rapidly over the next two years.
  Robert Cole

Robert L. Cole, President

1985 - The first Computer Science Conference is held on April 27.
  Matthew Cullen

Matthew J. Cullen, Jr., President

1986 - In January, The Hartford Graduate Center organizes an Alumni Association for its graduates.
  1987 - The first Outstanding Student Awards are presented at commencement exercises on June 7.
  1988 - On June 21, HGC formally becomes the first licensee in the northeast for the Leadership Development Program (LDP) of the Center for Creative Leadership (CCL).


Worth Loomis

Worth Loomis, President

1990 - In the fall, HGC, as the only representative from the educational community, joins with twenty-seven business leaders in the founding of the Connecticut Quality Council (CQC).
  1991 - The first Weekend M.B.A. program is offered beginning in the fall.
  1992 - In the fall, HGC initiates the delivery of courses via distance education technology when classes in Hartford are first transmitted to the Groton site.
  Ann Stuart

Ann Stuart, Ph.D., President

1997 - In January, The Hartford Graduate Center reintegrates with Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy and becomes a branch campus known as Rensselaer at Hartford.
  1998 - Dual master’s degrees are offered for the first time at Rensselaer at Hartford.
  Shirley Ann Jackson

Shirley Ann Jackson, Ph.D., President, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

1999 - During the summer, Rensselaer at Hartford upgrades several classrooms with new technology for distance education origination and computer-based multimedia instruction.


2001 - On April 19, students from Rensselaer at Hartford are honored for the first time during College Academic Day at the Connecticut State Capitol.
  2002 - The Rensselaer at Hartford Alumni Association combines with the Hartford Chapter of the Rensselaer Alumni Association (RAA) to become one RAA chapter.
  2004 - Rensselaer at Hartford introduces Web-based registration for the fall term.
  2006 - Alumni Hall of Fame and Alumni in Space Commemorative Displays are dedicated on June 2.

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Updated: 2016-05-16, 15:30