Explore the 139 year history of Wagner College in an exhibition of ancient photographs at the Grymes Hill Campus

STATEN ISLAND, NY — If you’ve always been an admirer of the beauty, culture, and architecture of Wagner College — the grandeur of the Main Hall, the beautiful grounds, the spectacular view of the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge or even one of its musical theatrical performances — you’ll be intrigued by the new exhibition on the Grymes campus Hill which opens on Friday, December 2 from 16.00 to 18.00

The college’s 139 years of history will be explored in the exhibition “Branches Growing from Apple Trees” staged at the Horrmann Library’s Spotlight Gallery, where eight students from various backgrounds and majors, including nursing, theatre, chemistry, and psychology, will be at the hand to discuss college’s past.

The exhibition includes works relating to the history of Staten Island, as well as how the college’s past shaped its future.

Admission is free, and hors d’oeuvres, including German pretzels, harking back to college origins, will be served.


Founded in 1883 as a Lutheran seminary prep school in Rochester, NY, Wagner moved to Staten Island at the end of World War I, where it began to develop into a liberal arts college.

The exhibition opening on December 2 reproduces the founder’s apple tree and juxtaposes it with original artifacts, including early Wagner report cards in German and Latin.

A memorial to the Wagner alumni who disappeared on 9/11 is also featured, along with a number of episodes in college history that were covered on the Staten Island Advance lawn after the relocation.

Wagner College President, Angelo Araimo noted: “Wagner’s history is rich with stories that show that our college is part of—not separate from—our community, our nation, and the world. Through this NetVUE project, our students have discovered lessons that give them not only a better understanding of our shared past, but also a clearer vision for their own calling as future alumni leaders.”


The exhibit was researched by current students using the Wagner College archives, leading to a series of discoveries and the exhibit highlights some of them as told through the eyes of students.

One student particularly highlighted letters written by World War II service members to faculty and friends on Staten Island and the impact the GI Bill had on so many young adults.

Wagner University

A woman during World War II above the Main Hall at Wagner College, where she is trying to find an airplane. (Source / Wagner College)Staten Island Progress

Other students choose to profile various disciplines, such as psychology, physical sciences and theatre, the growth and development of buildings and sports, and the growing religious diversity of the student body and faculty.

Wagner College professors Felicia Ruff and Lori Weintrob, with help from Wagner art history professor Sarah Scott, Wagner archivist Lisa Holland, and historian Wagner Lee Manchester, obtained a $40,000 grant to spend two years exploring and finding new ways to present college history and its potential impact. on student career choices.

This project was funded with support from the NetVUE Grant for Reframing Institutional Saga and the Lilly Endowment.

The exhibition shares major turning points in Wagner’s history, from Wagner’s first enrollment of female students to the 1970 occupation of Cunard Hall by African American students who called on allies to support their cause.

And while the exhibition highlights the achievements of universities, it also points to areas for continued growth and renewed commitment.

In 2014, Wagner College awarded civil rights activist Julian Bond an honorary doctorate.

In his remarks to the graduates he said, “Each one, reach one, until all become productive citizens of the world. One day someone will ask you, ‘What did you do with your education?’ Make sure you have an answer.”

Bond first visits Wagner during the Civil Rights era.

The exhibition was inspired by these words: “We hope, with hindsight, that we can also look to the future,” say professors Ruff and Weintrob together, “to make Wagner a place of opportunity and connection.”

The fair is open the weekend of December 2 and December 9 from noon to 18:00 After December 14 it is open Monday to Friday from 09:00 to 17:00 It will close the week after Christmas, but reopen after that until January . 15.

Similar Posts