Eastern Connecticut State University (Eastern) is a public, coeducational liberal arts university and a member of the Council of Public Liberal Arts Colleges. Founded in 1889, it is the second-oldest campus in the Connecticut State University System and third-oldest public university in the state. Eastern is located on Windham Street (Campus Map) in Willimantic, Connecticut, on 182 acres (0.74 km2) 30 minutes from Hartford, lying midway between New York City and Boston. Although the majority of courses are held on the main campus, select classes take place at Manchester Community College, Capital Community College, and a satellite center in Groton.
Eastern Connecticut State University is a member of the Connecticut State Colleges and Universities, with governance provided by the Board of Regents for Higher Education. For further information, visit http://www.ct.edu/.
Eastern Connecticut State University is ranked in the top 30 public regional universities in the north in the 2012 edition of the U.S. News and World Report List of Best Colleges. It is also ranked as one of the best colleges in the Northeast, according to the Princeton Review. Eastern is one of 218 institutions that the Princeton Review recommends as the "Best in the Northeast."
The president of Eastern is Dr. Elsa Nuñez.
Eastern was founded in 1889 as the Willimantic State Normal School, an institution whose sole purpose was to train teachers. Thirteen female students attended classes on the third floor of the Willimantic Savings Institute during its first year; the first male student was not enrolled until four years later in 1893.
In 1890, the Town of Windham deeded 6 acres (24,000 m2) of land to the State of Connecticut. The state decided to use it as the new home for the Willimantic State Normal School, which was quickly outgrowing its space. Construction of a new, larger facility was completed in 1895. In September 1921, the school opened its first dormitory, Burr Hall, which is still in use today. In 1937, the Willimantic State Normal School, which had begun offering a four-year curriculum and granting Bachelor of Arts degrees, became Willimantic State Teachers College.
Shafer Hall, dedicated in November 1946, was built to replace the original Normal School building, which had been lost to fire in 1943. The college established its first graduate program (in education) in 1958. By 1967, the school had widened its focus and was renamed Eastern Connecticut State College to reflect its expanded curricula. In 1983, the school officially became Eastern Connecticut State University in recognition of its greater mission, as it offered an ever-expanding variety of undergraduate and graduate programs.
Majors include Accounting; Biochemistry; Biology (B.A. and B.S.); Business Administration; Business Information Systems; Communication; Computer Science; Early Childhood Education (N-3); Economics; Elementary Education (K-6); English; Environmental Earth Science; General Studies (B.G.S.); History; History and Social Sciences; Individualized Major (B.A. and B.S.); Labor Relations and Human Resource Management; Mathematics (B.A. and B.S.); Music; Physical Education (K-12 Teacher Certification); Political Science; Psychology; Secondary Education Certification (7-12); Social Work; Sociology; Spanish; Sport and Leisure Management; Theatre; Visual Art; Women’s and Gender Studies.
Academically, the university is organized into three schools, the School of Arts and Sciences, the School of Education and Professional Studies, and the School of Continuing Education. Graduate study programs offered through the School of Education and Professional Studies and include Education, Teacher Certification and Organizational Management. The state of Connecticut has changed the grade certifications for teachers; early childhood will be certified to teach Kindergarten. The elementary program will soon be 1st-6th grade only.
Institute for Sustainable Energy
The Institute for Sustainable Energy was opened in 2001 and focuses on sustainable energy education, serving as a source for sustainable energy information, assistance in sustainable energy policy making, and assistance in implementing sustainable energy solutions. The institute is located at 182 High Street. The current director is William Leahy.
Eastern Connecticut State University has a longstanding commitment to energy conservation and sustainability that dates back nearly two decades. In 2012 Eastern had a stationary phosphoric acid fuel cell, known as the PureCell System Model 400, installed on the west side of its Science Building. Eastern will use 100 percent of the energy produced by the fuel cell system to provide a majority of the power required for the Science Building, while maximizing the use of the heat output available. Under a 10-year Energy Services Agreement (ESA) with ClearEdge Power, the installation was made possible by a federal American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) grant through CEFIA.
87 percent of first-year students, and 60 percent of all full-time undergraduates live in college housing. The campus is separated into first-year halls and upperclassman halls. All students with sophomore status and higher are eligible to live in upperclassman halls. There are six first-year halls, five upperclassman halls and two sets of apartments.
Eastern offers more than 70 student organizations in which students can participate, including athletic, political, cultural, artistic and communication clubs. The Campus Activity Board sponsors many of the events on campus, including movies, concerts, comedians, and trips. The campus newspaper is The Campus Lantern and the campus newscast is News 22. The Student Government Association is the liaison between the student body and university administration and each residence hall has a student council that plans events and trips for hall residents.
Eastern teams are known as the "Warriors" and are represented by a logo decpicting a shield superior to two crossed swords. The university is a member of the NCAA Division III, the Little East Conference and the Eastern College Athletic Conference. Men's varsity sports include baseball, basketball, cross country, lacrosse, soccer, and indoor and outdoor track and field. Women's varsity sports include basketball, cross country, field hockey, lacrosse, soccer, softball, swimming, indoor and outdoor track and field, and volleyball.
Intramural sports include men’s and women's tennis league, co-ed indoor and outdoor soccer, co-ed dodgeball, men’s and women's flag football, men’s and women's volleyball, co-ed softball, ultimate frisbee league, men’s and women's basketball league, co-ed floor hockey, wiffle ball tournament, golf. Club sports inlclude competitive cheerleading, fencing club, football club, ice hockey club and rugby club.
The men's baseball team won the NCAA Division III National Championship four times (‘82, ‘90, ‘98, ‘02). The women's softball team won national championships five times (‘81 - AIAW; ‘82, ‘85, ‘86, and ‘90 - NCAA).
Eastern's campus, which is spread over 182 acres (0.74 km2), is divided into three areas: South Campus, North Campus, and the University Sports Complex. South Campus is the historic part of the University and includes buildings such as Burr Hall, the school’s first dormitory, which dates back to 1921. North Campus, the more modern part of the University, is home to the library, planetarium and student center.
The university has undergone a number of construction projects in recent years. Past projects have included the construction of a new administration building, a new library, five new residence halls, the conversion of Burr Hall from a women-only residence hall to a co-ed residence, renovation and expansion of the Student Center, the construction of a state-of-the-art Science Building, and the Child and Family Development Center. A new public safety building opened in August 2009. A new parking garage was built next to the other parking garage in the north part of campus, having opened in January 2011 and artificial turf was installed on the soccer/field hockey/lacrosse field during the summer of 2009. A new main entrance to the University was constructed in summer 2011 and a new softball field opened in March 2012. Projects being planned for the future include a fine arts building and the second phase of the track project which includes installing bleachers and lighting. One of the major driving forces behind Eastern's construction projects is to make more green space for students.