Western Connecticut State University

Western Connecticut State University
Established 1903
Type Public State university
President James Schmotter
Admin. staff 876 (223 full-time faculty, 308 part-time faculty)
Undergraduates 5,907
Postgraduates 94
Location Danbury, CT, USA
Campus Urban, 398 acres (1.61 km2) on two campuses
Colors Dark Blue     
Metallic Copper     
Athletics NCAA Division III
Sports 14 Varsity Teams [1]
Nickname Colonials
Mascot Colin Colonial
Affiliations LEC
Website www.wcsu.edu
Western Connecticut State University.svg

Western Connecticut State University (Western, WestConn, or WCSU) is a public university in Danbury, Connecticut. Founded in 1903, WestConn has an arts and sciences curriculum, a business school, and several professional programs including elementary and secondary education, nursing, music performance, and social work. It is also home to The Jane Goodall Center for Excellence in Environmental Studies.



WestConn started as a teachers' college, training the primary and secondary school educators for Connecticut's Fairfield County and surrounding areas. The school's name has changed over the years as it has focused on additional areas of study. First named the Danbury Normal School, in the 1950s it was called the Danbury State Teachers College. It was renamed as Danbury State College in 1959, then Western Connecticut State College in 1967, and finally, in 1983, Western Connecticut State University.[2]



  • Ancell School of Business
  • School of Arts and Sciences
  • School of Visual and Performing Arts
  • School of Professional Studies
  • Division of Graduate Studies


Western Connecticut has two campuses (Midtown and West Side) located three miles apart connected by a campus shuttle service.

The Midtown Campus is the original campus, located near Downtown Danbury. It is home to the School of Arts and Sciences, School of Professional Studies, and most of the school administration. Housing on this campus include; Fairfield Hall, Litchfield Hall, and Newbury Hall. The Midtown Student center is located on this campus.

The West Side Campus is located on land purchased in the 1970s on the outskirts of Danbury. This 439-acre (1.78 km2) lot is home to the Ancell School of Business, a nature center, amphitheater, and three residence halls. The West Side also houses the athletic facilities, including the O'Neill Center. On January 23, 2007 the new West Side Campus Center was officially opened. This new facility serves as a student center, meeting, and banquet facility for the West Side Campus.

A major improvement program was started in the mid-1990s to beautify the campus. Several parking lots became green space, and improvements were made to the landscaping. While a significant improvement, the full extent of this beautification is not immediately apparent and will take several years to reach full maturity.

The "WestConn at Waterbury" program is located on the campus of Naugatuck Valley Community College. The program offers undergraduate courses and the Master of Health Administration (M.H.A.).


Midtown Campus

  • University Hall (Administrative Offices)
  • White Hall (Classrooms & Faculty Offices)
  • Warner Hall (Classrooms & Faculty Offices)
  • Ruth A. Haas Library
  • Berkshire Hall (Classrooms, Theatre & Faculty Offices)
  • Science Building (Classrooms, Laboratories & Faculty Offices)
  • Old Main (Registrar, Fin. Aid, Cashier & Offices)
  • Higgins Hall (Classrooms & Faculty Offices)
  • Fairfield Hall (Residence Hall)
  • Newbury Hall (Residence Hall)
  • Litchfield Hall (Residence Hall)
  • Student Center
  • Alumni Hall (Child Care)

WestSide Campus

  • Classroom Building (Classrooms, Robert Young Library & Faculty Offices)
  • Campus Center (Student Center & Multi-use facility)
  • O'Neill Center (Feldman Arena, Sports Facilities)
  • Football Stadium
  • Rugby Field
  • Football Practice Field
  • Softball Field
  • Baseball Stadium
  • Tennis Facilities
  • Pinney Hall (Residence Hall)
  • Centennial Hall (Residence Hall)
  • Grasso Hall (Residence Hall)
  • Observatory
  • Ives Concert Park

Student body

As of the Fall of 2006, WestConn has approximately 4,905 full-time undergraduates and 1,584 graduate or part-time students.[3]

4,793 students (including 962 transfer applicants) applied to the University. 2,825 (including 644 transfers) were accepted. Of those 1,262 enrolled in the Fall semester.

Most of the students at WestConn come from the Tri State Area of Connecticut, New York and New Jersey. Nearly all commuter students come from western Connecticut, Putnam, Dutchess and Westchester Counties in New York.

According to the University, students claiming Connecticut residency come from 99 of the state's 169 municipalities.

Women comprise 49.5% of the entering class (423 of 855), and members of traditionally underrepresented groups comprise 14.7% of the entering class (123 of 839).

The Student to Faculty ratio for the 2006-2007 academic year is 15.4 to 1 (Total Student FTE divided by Total Faculty FTE).

Student life

Student Government Association

The Student Government Association (SGA) is the voice of the students, as well as the sole governing body over the Student Activity Fund and student organizations at the university, . The SGA has 3 branches of government: the Legislative Branch, an Executive Branch and the Judicial Branch, elected by the Student Body.

The Current President of the Student Government Association is Kevin Freyer. The current Vice Presidents are Sheldon Poole, Mark Smith, and Mike Fraser. Bernard Kokinchak is the Student Trustee. Their offices are located in the Midtown Student Center.

SGA Legal Clinic

Western Connecticut State University is one of the few schools in the US to have a fully funded center to provide legal counseling to students. Funded by the Student Government Association, the center provides students with initial legal counseling and advice. The clinic does not represent students in court but may make referrals for such purposes.

The legal clinic seeks to educate students about their rights and responsibilities through the sharing of information and legal resources, various informational programs and presentations, as well as individualized student counseling. Attorneys counsel and advise students on general legal concerns, consumer complaints, debts and bankruptcy, family law, landlord-tenant issues, wills and probate matters, litigation, criminal matters, administration agency matters (Veterans Administration, e.g.), and small claims.

Established in 1998 the advisor to the legal clinic has been Dr. Harold B. Schramm, Professor of English and Justice and Law Administration.

College radio station WXCI

The college radio station, WXCI, 91.7 FM, broadcasts to Connecticut and New York at 3,000 watts. It also streams its broadcasts on the Web at WXCI.org. The radio transmitter is on the west side campus, while the studio is in the main campus student center.

The Echo - WCSU Student Newspaper

The Echo is a student-run newspaper, founded in 1955, and subsidized by the student's activity fees. The Echo is published weekly in tabloid format, though in the past it has been published in broadsheet format. The Echo launched a new website in 2010, The Echo.

The Echo has an Editorial Board that makes strategic and operational decisions on behalf of the newspaper.


The Colonials logo.

WestConn is a member of the NCAA Division III and the Eastern College Athletic Conference and fields teams in baseball, basketball, lacrosse, football, soccer, softball, swimming, tennis, and volleyball.

WestConn also fields several nationally competitive club sports on campus including Men's Rugby, Women's Rugby, Dance Team, Cheerleading, and Men's Hockey.


Varsity Sports

  • Field Hockey: Westside Athletic Complex
  • Baseball: Athletic fields baseball stadium
  • Basketball: Feldman Arena at the O'Neill Center
  • Football: Westside Athletic Complex (football stadium, aka WAC)
  • Lacrosse(2008 LEC Mens Lax Champs): Westside Athletic Complex
  • Women's Lacrosse: Westside Athletic Complex
  • Soccer: Westside Athletic Complex
  • Softball: Athletic fields softball field
  • Swimming: O'Neill Center
  • Tennis: O'Neil Center outdoor tennis courts
  • Volleyball: Feldman Arena at the O'Neill Center

Non-varsity Sports

  • Hockey: Danbury Ice Arena
  • Rugby: Athletic practice fields - The Men's Rugby Club was Northeast Div. 2 Champions in 2005 led by seniors Justin Hurgin & Donald Bullock Jr.

Greek life

WestConn's Greek community, first established in 1966 by local Chi Epsilon Sigma Fraternity, is now made up of three fraternities: Sigma Chi, Tau Kappa Epsilon, Zeta Beta Tau; and four sororities: Alpha Delta Pi, Delta Gamma Phi, Kappa Chi Alpha, Sigma Delta Tau

As of February 2011, none of the Greek fraternities and sororities have an established on-campus house.

Debate Society

The Roger Sherman Debate Society participates in tournaments sanctioned by the Cross Examination Debate Association. The team competes in the North East Conference. Western is the only university in Connecticut that offers a policy debate team.[citation needed]

Notable alumni

Noteworthy Faculty

The following faculty are noteworthy for their published works or field work or both.

Astronomical Facilities

WestConn houses two observatories, one public and one for undergraduate and graduate students and faculty. The Midtown observatory is located on the top of The Science Building. It is used for both students and on public viewing nights. The telescope has a 6-inch refractor and an 8-inch Schmidt-Cassegrain telescope. There is also a planetarium for teaching and public star shows.

The West Side campus houses a large-format thermoelectrically cooled CCD camera and is specifically used for astrophysical studies.[5]

Library archive collections

The Archives and Special Collections Library at WestConn is the archival repository for the historical records of the university and is a significant repository for collections relating to the history of the Danbury and greater western Connecticut area.[6]

The mission of the Archives is to collect and make accessible the WCSU administrative records, faculty papers, university publications, theses, visual materials, and other media created by the University. It also includes non-WCSU affiliated personal papers, local government and organizational records, visual materials, maps, journals and other media that document the history of this region. The archival holdings amount to approximately 750 linear feet.[7]

The WCSU Archives' collection is searchable through the use of the CAO (Connecticut Archives Online) or through CONSULS.

Other schools in the Connecticut State University system

Its three sister schools are Eastern, Central, and Southern Connecticut State University.

External links


  1. ^ http://www.ncaa.com/schools/770_Western_Conn_St.html
  2. ^ "http://www2.westminster-mo.edu/wc_users/homepages/staff/brownr/ConnecticutCC.htm". http://www2.westminster-mo.edu/wc_users/homepages/staff/brownr/ConnecticutCC.htm. Retrieved 2006-08-03. 
  3. ^ WCSU - WestConn Facts & Figures
  4. ^ Azerrad, Michael. Our Band Could Be Your Life. New York: Little, Brown, 2001
  5. ^ "http://www.wcsu.edu/physics/astfacilities.asp". http://www.wcsu.edu/physics/astfacilities.asp. Retrieved 2007-10-01. 
  6. ^ Janick, Herbert. A people's university : the centennial history of Western Connecticut State University, 1903-2003. Danbury, Conn. : The University, 2002.
  7. ^ WCSU Archives and Special Collections

Coordinates: 41°24′00″N 73°26′37″W / 41.399954°N 73.443584°W / 41.399954; -73.443584

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