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Castleton State College is a public liberal arts college located in Castleton in the U.S. state of Vermont. Castleton has an enrollment of 2000 students and offers more than 30 undergraduate programs as well as master’s degrees in education. The college is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges.
Castleton College VT Campus
Built in 1821, Old Chapel (Castleton Medical College Building) is the oldest building on the Castleton campus.
The campus is bordered by Mechanic Street to the west, Glenbrook Drive to the East and is bisected by South Street. Seminary Street leads to the President's House after going past Wright House (Admissions), the Casella Fine Arts Center, Levenworth Hall and the Georgian Revival Woodruff Hall. Castleton incorporates a building known as the Old Seminary or Old Chapel (Castleton Medical College Building), which was once the home of an unrelated medical college that operated from 1818 to 1862 and attracted students from around the world. In the past decade the College underwent a series of major renovations.
A new residence hall fitness center was built in 2004. Dorms and an expansion to the science center was completed in 2007. The $27 million Castleton Student Initiative project was completed in the fall of 2009. It includes a new Campus Center, addition to the Spartan Athletic Complex, multipurpose Spartan Stadium, and an addition to Leavenworth Hall that houses the Communication Department.
The original campus was centered around the Old Seminary Building, which was built in the 1820s and burned in 1924. It was replaced Woodruff Hall. The Old Chapel was moved from Main Street to a location next to the Seminary/Woodruff Hall in the 1860s; this building served as the original headquarters of the college. (The chapel was moved to its current location on Seminary Drive in 1968.) In 1926, these buildings were joined by the Georgial Revival Leavenworth Hall (burned 1971), the school's first building devoted almost entirely to dormitory space. In 1951, this building was joined by another Georgian Revival structure, Ellis Hall, and at about the same time a science building was constructed (additions in the 1960s and 2000s, now part of the Jeffords Science Center). Subsequent buildings constructed include Glenbrook Gymnasium (c. 1957, with additions in the 1980s and 2000s), the Coolidge Library (1965, addition in 1980), Huden Dining Hall (1965), the Fine Arts Center (1968), new Leavenworth Hall (1974), Stafford Hall (1990s), and the Campus Center (1977, renovated in 2009). Subsequent dormitories, or "residence halls," include Haskell and Adams Halls (1965), Morrill and Wheeler Halls (1968), Babcock Hall, Castleton Hall (2005), and North, South, and Audette Houses (2006).
Additionally, the college incorporates several former residences into its campus, including the Victorial Stick Style admissions building (Wright House), a circa-1840s Gothic Revival style public safety building, a 19th-century Greek Revival art studio, and a circa-1890s building housing a cafe and administrative offices (Morrill House).
The College's campus, portions of which are built in the Georgian Revival style, was featured in the sci-fi movie Time Chasers, which was spoofed in a classic episode of Mystery Science Theater 3000. The main character in this movie wears a Castleton tee-shirt through much of the film. More recently, and perhaps due to the cult popularity of the film and its MST3K treatment, the university bookstore has reissued the 1980s style shirts seen in the film.
Castleton State College VT Sports & Athletics
The Castleton State Spartans compete in 20 NCAA Division III Varsity sports in the North Atlantic Conference and the Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC). The Men and Women Varsity Ski Teams compete in the United States Collegiate Ski Association (USCSA). Castleton was also the 1963 NAIA Division III Men's soccer National Champions. From 1983-1986, current Orlando Magic head coach Stan Van Gundy coached Men's Basketball at Castleton.
Castleton started a football team for the 2009 season as a member of the newly formed Eastern Collegiate Football Conference. As the University of Vermont has not had a varsity football team since 1974 (which makes Vermont one of only two states in the union - Alaska being the other - where the state university does not field a football team), Castleton is now the only public institution in Vermont offering the sport. The Castleton State College Spartans hockey team competes at the Spartan Arena in the Diamond Run Mall in Rutland, Vermont.
Castleton State College History
Castleton State College traces its history to the Rutland County Grammar School, chartered by the Vermont General Assembly on October 15, 1787. The Grammar School, likely the most advanced educational institution in Vermont at the time, taught Greek and Latin and helped to fulfill the Vermont Constitution's requirement of universal free education for Vermont's citizens.
The school began its transition to a college in 1867, when the State Normal School was founded in Castleton. The Normal School, a term based on the French école normale supérieure, educated students for teaching careers. For 30 years the Normal School was privately owned by Abel E. Leavenworth and his son Philip. In 1912, the State of Vermont purchased the property. In 1947, the Normal School became Castleton Teachers College.
In 1920, the school's charter lapsed. The college reopened in 1921 under a new charter issued by the state legislature.
The College saw dramatic growth in students and its stature in the 1920s and 1930s under the direction of Caroline Woodruff. Woodruff modernized the school's curriculum, incorporating the theories of Vermont educator-philosopher John Dewey, especially his precepts of "learning by doing" and "learning by teaching." Caroline Woodruff hired staff with advanced degrees and broadened her students' exposure to the world by bringing people such as Helen Keller, Robert Frost, and Norman Rockwell to Castleton. Woodruff was the first woman and first Vermonter to become president of the National Education Association. With increased enrollment from men, intercollegiate athletics began in the 1950s. In 1962 Castleton joined other state supported colleges in becoming a part of the Vermont State Colleges, a consortium of five colleges governed by a common board of trustees, chancellor and Council of Presidents, each college with its own president and deans.