If you were an academic, from pretty much anywhere, Albany was apparently the place to be one hundred years ago as the State Education Building was dedicated. Across the three days, there were six formal sessions, a major reception, open house at the Governor’s Mansion, attended by representatives from 120 higher education institutions throughout the country, and 10 from abroad. There was an academic procession filled with caps and gowns (appropriate, given that modern academic dress was invented right here in Albany). In fact, the invitation booklet noted that “The academic cap and gown will be welcomed at any time.” Rentals were available.
The domestic institutions represented included Harvard, Yale, Columbia, and every college you’ve heard of in New York, as well as far-flung institutions like the University of Texas, the University of Missouri, University of New Mexico. There was also the intriguingly named Eclectic Medical College of the City of New York. From abroad, Oxford, Edinburgh, the University of Cuzco and the Syrian Protestant College saw fit to send representatives to this grand ribbon-cutting.
In sending out the invitations, the Department sent an interesting caution: “The auditorium space will doubtless be inadequate for dedication week. That proper reservations may be made, kindly indicate in your acceptance the particular exercises which you will attend.”