R E M E M B E R I N G   C N R  

Did You Know….this about CNR?

CNR Horse         CNR Lion
  • When Simeon Leland’s “Castleview” estate was broken up in the early 1880’s by the developers of Residence Park, some of the iron statuary which decorated estate was sold to John Starin who was building a large resort on Glen Island. A lion and pony statue from “Castleview” remain today on Glen Island.

  • When the local Trinity public school was destroyed by fire in 1882, the vacant Leland Castle was rented temporarily for classes. A former pupil of Trinity recalled seeing large wall paintings of the Civil War naval battle between the Monitor and the Merrimac in a Castle classroom.

  • The fine period furniture in Leland Castle was the gift of Joe Carlo, custodian of the Sports Building for almost 20 years. When Joe retired in 1975, he and his wife continued to collect, refinish, and reupholster many Victorian style furnishings which had gone out of style. In 1981, more than 100 pieces of furniture and period lamps arrived at the newly renovated Castle---a legacy of love to the College which had appreciated him and his many gifts of care-taking of the Sports Building and interest in supporting CNR sportswome.

  • June 9, 1939 marks the date of CNR’s first Alumnae College, organized by Mary Shaughnessy ’19 (who became Mother Celeste). The weekend included a guest lecturer, “classroom” sessions with professors, a Saturday evening dinner with entertainment, Sunday mass, and lots of time for reminiscences. One reunioner came all the way from California!

  • Mother Xavier Fitzgerald, the brilliant mastermind of CNR’s pioneer curriculum and first Registrar, was an Irish immigrant who waited on tables and worked as a nanny for 15 years until she could finish high school and get her teacher’s certificate. She met the Ursulines in 1895 when she came to study for New York City teachers’ credentials at their Extension (Normal) School. After graduating from CNR, she went to Columbia for her masters. From her little office in Chidwick “Xave” was economics & sociology professor, Registrar, confidante of students and faculty alike—and bell-ringer between classes.

  • The 1904 financial affairs of the new College were put in a composition book listing receipts and expenses. The advertisement of the College in The New York Times cost $42.75, and the ad in the Catholic News was $5.00; a blackboard eraser cost .5¢; and the mortgage interest payment on the Castle was $3,897.67. Receipts for September 1904 amounted to $3,955.24 and expenses were $2,317.97, which included the elementary & high school, new College, and convent.

  • As CNR has grown in numbers and Schools, its diversity has increased from a few students from Latin America and Europe in its earliest years to a very diverse student population of today. Beginning in the late 1940’s, African American and Asian women were enrolled and graduated. Ursuline international scholarships brought young women to CNR from Africa, Asia, Mexico, and South and Central America through the late 1960’s. In 1968, the Martin Luther King Scholarship program for New Rochelle African American women added needed diversity to the School of Arts and Sciences. Though founded as a Catholic college, from its inception, students of any religion were accepted by CNR. From its foundation, CNR had a diverse faculty of men and women from a variety of universities in the U.S. and abroad and also from a variety of religious traditions.

  • The first class ring was designed by the Class of 1912 with two thistles engraved on a gold signet. Class ring designs varied in the early years until 1923 when a model based on the West Point ring was selected. This model with slight variation in size & gold karats remained standardized until 1966 when the Class of 1968 voted to change the design. More recently, students have more options about their ring choice. The formal Ring Ceremony for the School of Arts and Sciences (and later, School of Nursing) students began in 1944. The College ring continues to serve as a tangible link of relationship between the wearer and CNR.

  • During World War I, CNR students actively participated in a Red Cross unit on Campus—knitting, making surgical dressings, raising money with a concert, raffles, and basketball games—raising $3,000 for the war effort. Alumnae responded by volunteering as secretaries for the Red Cross, entertaining the troops, and raising funds for an ambulance. The 1918 yearbook, Annales, had a military theme and records that when the message came that the armistice had been signed, the students went to the Chapel to give thanks. “Never was there a more beautiful sight in the chapel than the girls in caps and gowns singing with all their hearts ‘Holy God we Praise Thy Name’ and ‘The Star Spangled Banner’.”

  • World War II at CNR brought many changes to campus. Professors were drafted—and kept in touch with the students about conditions they encountered overseas. Rationing of all types affected student life. There were blackouts in the dormitories and air raid drills. Students began waitressing in the dining room, and classes were cancelled for two weeks in the winter of 1943 because of a fuel shortage. Dates wore military uniforms to proms. There were special physical fitness classes, as well as First Aid, Home Nursing, and Automobile Repair (non-credit) courses were offered. Students collected $400,000 to buy War Bonds. Clubs like the Peace Group and the Debating Society discussed the issues and causes of war. With fathers, brothers and boyfriends in service, the mood on campus became more serious and prayer-filled. The 1945 yearbook was entitled PAX—Peace instead of Annales.

  • Sports for women were an innovation in 1904, but a required part of the College curriculum from the beginning. Basketball, fencing, gymnastics, track & field competition, and tennis were taught to the 1908 students who wore voluminous pleated bloomers, over blouses, black stockings and high-laced sneakers. As the College grew, interclass sports reached a fevered pitch with the Annual “Meet.” In later years, with the Sports Building pool (1932), the annual four class “Swimphony” with water and land ballet competition brought talents and class spirit together.

O F F I C E  O F  C O M M U N I C A T I O N S
29 Castle Place, New Rochelle, NY 10805



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