Iona College Timeline
In celebration of 75 years of Iona College, this timeline highlights many milestones and events throughout the College's history. See a shorter illustrated timeline starting on p. 24 of Iona College Magazine
, Summer 2015 issue
– Iona celebrates the 75th anniversary since its founding on September 19, 1940; College hosts ground-breaking for new six-story residence hall opposite the main gate on North Avenue and ribbon-cutting for renovated science labs.
– First Iona woman, Kate Avery ’16, wins NCAA national championship in cross country; Iona alumnus wins Fulbright Scholarship.
– The Institute for Thomas Paine Studies – the first and only program of its kind at an academic institution – is established at Iona.
– Joseph E. Nyre, Ph.D.
, appointed Iona’s eighth president.
– Visions of Excellence: The Campaign for Ryan Library ends with $14.7 million raised.
– Hynes Athletics Center opens.
– Robert V. LaPenta Student Union opens.
– Vision Into Reality campaign ends with more than $82 million raised for campus transformations.
– Two residence halls, Conese and South, open on North Avenue.
– Iona becomes one of the first colleges to offer wireless Internet service.
– Iona Arts Center opens.
– Br. James A. Liguori, Ed.D., ’65
becomes seventh president of Iona.
– Iona acquires Elizabeth Seton College in Yonkers.
– Ground-breaking for Loftus Hall, Iona’s second residence hall takes place.
– College purchases St. Mary’s Church property on Mayflower Avenue and renovates it into the Arrigoni Center.
– Governor Mario Cuomo gives Iona’s Commencement address as his daughter, Maria, graduates; Murphy Center opens.
– Iona receives National Endowment for Humanities grant to develop foreign language study and study abroad program.
– Rockland Campus opens, offering master’s degrees in education and business.
– College receives first invitation to men’s NCAA basketball tournament, under coach Jim Valvano.
– Graduate courses first offered in Rockland County.
– First four-year coeducational class graduates from Iona College.
– First residence hall, Rice Hall, opens for students.
– Br. John G. Driscoll, Ph.D.
, becomes president and holds that position for the next 24 years.
– Approximately 200 female students register in the freshman class; Iona Rally for Peace draws 3,000 attendees.
– Uhuru, a black student organization, and the Free Action Committee invite Black Panther Party founder Eldridge Cleaver to speak on campus.
– Curriculum is revised to allow greater freedom of choice in electives; students and faculty against Vietnam War protest Dow Chemical recruiters on campus.
– Br. Joseph McKenna, Ph.D.
, becomes president
; first female students attend Iona in summer sessions and cross-register from the College of New Rochelle.
– College inaugurates its first MBA degree.
– College establishes first graduate program in Pastoral Counseling.
– Barbara Quint in the Finance Department becomes first female faculty member outside the library — the first female librarian, Doris (Lillian) Viacava, joined Iona in the 1950s.
– College opens two new wings of library, and McSpedon Hall administration and faculty building; St. Columba statue, a gift from the Class of 1960, is constructed of County Kilkenny limestone.
– Br. Richard B. Power, Ph.D.
, chosen as president; enrollment exceeds 2,000.
– Br. William H. Barnes, Ph.D.
, becomes president.
– Iona receives Middle States accreditation.
– Iona’s first live radio program airs weekly on WGNR, now WVOX.
– Cardinal Spellman dedicates Iona’s new library.
– Iona receives its “absolute charter” from the state, after a three-year extension due to a wartime drop in enrollment and finances.
– Br. Arthur A. Loftus, Ph.D.,
becomes president; enrollment balloons to 1,020 – 800 of whom are veterans; and the first business program, an accounting specialization, begins.
– Iona opens as a liberal arts college with 93 students in a single building, subsequently named Cornelia Hall after the College’s first president, Br. William B. Cornelia, Ph.D., on an 18-acre campus purchased for $85,000.
– Christian Brothers settle in New Rochelle, founding the Iona School, with Br. Joseph Doorley
– Wealthy merchant Edmund Rice of County Kilkenny founds the Congregation of Christian Brothers in Waterford, Ireland, to provide an education for poor Catholic boys.