Castleton University

  (Redirected from Castleton State College)

Castleton University is a public university in Castleton, Vermont. It has an enrollment of 2000 students and offers more than 30 undergraduate programs, as well as master's degrees in education and accounting. It is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education.

Castleton University
TypePublic Liberal Arts
Established1787; 234 years ago (1787)
Academic affiliations
Vermont State Colleges, NEASC
Endowment$7.86 million[1]
ChancellorSophie Zdatny
PresidentDr. Jonathan Spiro (Interim)
ProvostDr. Thomas Mauhs-Pugh
Academic staff
Administrative staff
Location, ,
United States

43°36′25″N 73°10′48″W / 43.607°N 73.180°W / 43.607; -73.180Coordinates: 43°36′25″N 73°10′48″W / 43.607°N 73.180°W / 43.607; -73.180
CampusRural college town
165 acres (67 ha)
ColorsCastleton green, dark gray and white[2]
AthleticsNCAA Division IIILittle East Conference


History at a glance
Rutland County Grammar School 1787–1828
Vermont Classical High School 1828–1830
Castleton Seminary 1830-1875
State Normal School at Castleton 1867-1920
Castleton Normal School 1921-1947
Castleton Teacher's College 1947-1962
Castleton State College 1962-2015
Castleton University 2015–present

Castleton University traces its history to the Rutland County Grammar School, chartered by the Vermont General Assembly on October 15, 1787.[3] The Grammar School was a regional school, preparing young men for college through instruction in traditional academic subjects such as Latin and Greek. The institution frequently changed its name during the 19th century. At various times it was known as Castleton Academy, Castleton Academy and Female Seminary, Vermont Classical High School, and Castleton Seminary.[4]

In 1823, instruction in "the solid branches of female education" began for "young Ladies and Misses". By the time of the Civil War, the majority of the students attending Castleton were young women.[5]

In 1829, a three-story brick building costing US$30,000 was constructed on a small hill south of the village. Principal Solomon Foot (1826–1829), who would go on to be President pro tempore of the U.S. Senate during the Civil War, was the driving force in this expansion of the school. The Seminary Building (eventually known as the Old Seminary Building) was the most impressive structure in the village, but expensive to maintain and often too large for the school's struggling enrollment.[6]

Castleton Medical College (1818–1862) was also located in the village. It graduated 1400 students, more than any other medical school in New England at the time. Although Castleton Medical College and Castleton Seminary were separate institutions, they often shared faculty. Today the former medical college building, known as the Old Chapel, is the oldest building on the campus.[7]

The first female principal was Harriet Newell Haskell (1862–1867). She had attended the Seminary as a child, took classes at Middlebury College without being permitted to matriculate, and then attended Mount Holyoke Female Seminary, which was not yet a college but offered a college-level curriculum for women. Although Haskell was in her 20s when she served as principal, the school flourished under her administration. With her departure to be principal of Monticello Ladies Seminary in Godfrey, Illinois, Castleton Seminary went into decline.[8]

The school began its transition to a college in 1867, when the State Normal School at Castleton was founded as one of three state normal schools chartered by Vermont.[9]

Normal schools educated students for teaching careers. For 30 years the Normal School property and grounds were privately owned by Abel E. Leavenworth and his son Philip. In 1912, the State of Vermont purchased the property.[10]

In the 1920s and 1930s, under the direction of Caroline Woodruff, the College experienced dramatic growth in students and its stature. 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". She 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 and only Vermonter to become president of the National Education Association.[11]

In 1947, the Normal School became Castleton Teachers College. With increased enrollment from men, intercollegiate athletics began in the 1950s.[3]

In 1962, the institution became Castleton State College when it joined other state-supported colleges in becoming a part of the Vermont State Colleges, a consortium of colleges governed by a common board of trustees, chancellor, and Council of Presidents, each college having its own president and deans.[12]

In 1979, the Board of Trustees proposed a name change to Southern Vermont State College; the proposal was never acted on.[13] On July 23, 2015, the Vermont State Colleges Board of Trustees voted unanimously to change the name of the institution to Castleton University.[14]

Nearby Rutland plays host to the Castleton Polling Institute, as well as a professional development center for educators and entrepreneurs. In September 2016, the university opened Foley Hall, a two-floor residence, in collaboration with Green Mountain Power and Efficiency Vermont that provides housing for students.[15] Castleton extended its reach into Bennington County in 2019, when it began a partnership with Southwestern Vermont Medical Center in Bennington to host its B.S. registered nurse program after the closure of Southern Vermont College that year. Castleton collaborates with Vermont Technical College in the nursing program, whose offices are housed in the Bjur Building (otherwise known as the Vermont Mill).[16]

Castleton Polling InstituteEdit

In 2012, Castleton began the Castleton Polling Institute with an initial investment of $100,000. The first poll was conducted from February 11 to February 22, 2012 and polled Vermont voters about the 2012 Presidential Primaries.[17][18] Since the first poll, the Polling Institute has conducted over 30 public opinion and public policy polls for state agencies, non-profits, and media organizations. The Institute's founding director, Rich Clark, is a professor of political science and had been working in academia and polling for 15 years before coming to Castleton in 2011 from the University of Georgia.[19]



Castleton Spartans
UniversityCastleton University
ConferenceLittle East Conference
NCAADivision III
Athletic directorDeanna Tyson
LocationCastleton, Vermont
Varsity teams23 (11 men's, 12 women's)
Football stadiumSpartan Stadium (also soccer and lacrosse)
ArenaSpartan Arena (ice hockey)
Glenbrook Gymnasium (basketball and wrestling)
ColorsCastleton green, dark gray, and white

The Castleton Spartans compete in 20 NCAA Division III varsity sports in the Little East Conference and the Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC). Castleton was also the 1963 NAIA Division III Men's Soccer National Champions. From 1983-1986, Stan Van Gundy (later head coach of the Orlando Magic and the Detroit Pistons) 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.

Castleton's men's soccer team were declared 1963 NAIA co-champions (along with Earlham College of Indiana) after the championship and consolation games at Frostburg State University in Maryland were cancelled due to snow.[20]

The men's and women's Castleton Spartans hockey teams compete at the Spartan Arena in the site of the former Diamond Run Mall in Rutland.[21]

The Castleton Spartans football team represents the school in NCAA Division III. The team has been coached by Tony Volpone since 2014. Volpone replaced Marc Klatt, who resigned in December 2013.[22] It has been part of the Eastern Collegiate Football Conference since its inaugural season in 2009.[23]

Notable alumniEdit

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ As of December 31, 2015. "2015 Performance Indicators Executive Summary" (PDF). VSC. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2016-10-10.
  2. ^ "Colors". Castleton University. Retrieved 2016-09-26.
  3. ^ a b "A Brief History of Castleton". Castleton State College. 2010. Retrieved 2017-04-25.
  4. ^ Peffer, pp. 317–318.
  5. ^ Peffer, pp. 20, 42.
  6. ^ Peffer, pp. 21-25.
  7. ^ Waite, Frederick Clayton. The First Medical College in Vermont: Castleton 1818–1862. Vermont Historical Society (1949).
  8. ^ Peffer, pp. 36-45.
  9. ^ "About the College - Castleton State College - Acalog ACMS™". Retrieved 2017-09-11.
  10. ^ John Duffy; Samuel H; Ralph Orth, eds. (2003). The Vermont Encyclopedia. Burlington, Vt.: University Press of New England. p. 78. ISBN 9781584650867.
  11. ^ "Undergraduate Catalog 2011–12" (PDF). Castleton State College. 2011. p. 5. Retrieved 2017-04-25.
  12. ^ Vermont State Colleges Manual of Policies and Procedures, Section A: Statute and By-Laws. Vermont State Colleges (2003). pgs. 4, 21.
  13. ^ Peffer, pp. 238-239.
  14. ^ Crawford, Logan (July 23, 2015). "CSC becomes Castleton University". WCAX. Burlington, Vt. Archived from the original on July 24, 2015. Retrieved 2015-07-24.
  15. ^ "Foley Hall Opens in Downtown Rutland". Castleton Magazine. Castleton University. 2016. Retrieved January 7, 2017.
  16. ^ Therrien, Jim (May 7, 2019). "Castleton University establishing site in Bennington". Bennington Banner. Retrieved March 27, 2020.
  17. ^ Heintz, Paul (March 12, 2014). "Will a New Polling Institute Put Castleton State College on the Map?". Seven Days. Burlington, Vt. Retrieved March 12, 2014.
  18. ^ "Vermont Voters & the 2012 Presidential Primaries". Castleton State College. 2012. Retrieved Feb 22, 2016.
  19. ^ Wolk, Dave (May 29, 2012). "Vermonters Say …". New England Journal of Higher Education. Retrieved Feb 24, 2016.
  20. ^ "Men's Soccer Championship Records" (PDF). National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics. Retrieved September 21, 2014.
  21. ^ "About the Diamond Run Mall". Diamond Run Mall. 2015. Archived from the original on March 3, 2016. Retrieved Feb 23, 2016.
  22. ^ "Volpone hired as football coach at Castleton". Burlington Free Press. Burlington, Vt. March 10, 2014. Retrieved March 10, 2014.
  23. ^ "Castleton Hoping for Continued Success in Year Three". Eastern Collegiate Football Conference. 2011. Retrieved 2012-02-06.
  24. ^ Carleton, Hiram (1903). Genealogical and Family History of the State of Vermont. II. New York, NY: Lewis Publishing Company. p. 105 – via Internet Archive.
  25. ^ "Brattleboro Judge Dead at Age of 70". The Boston Globe. Boston, MA. October 23, 1937. p. 6 – via
  26. ^ Secretary of the Vermont Senate (2017). "Biography, Kevin J. Mullin". Vermont State Senators, 2017-2018. Montpelier, VT: Vermont General Assembly.

Further readingEdit

Peffer, Tony, ed. (2012). Big Heart: The Journey to Castleton's Two Hundred and Twenty-Fifth Birthday. Castleton, Vt.: Castleton State College.

External linksEdit