Bennington College

President Edward J. Bloustein, 1965 –1971

President Edward J. Bloustein, 1965 –1971


President Edward J. Bloustein was the fifth President of Bennington College, serving from 1965 through 1971. He was born in 1925 in New York City. Bloustein served in the U.S. Army from 1943-1946. He received his B.A. at New York University in 1948. Upon receiving a Fulbright scholarship, Bloustein attended Wadham College of Oxford University, and earned a Bachelor of Philosophy degree in 1950. Later, Bloustein earned his Ph.D. in philosophy from Cornell University in 1954. He then entered Cornell Law School, earning a L.L.B. degree in 1959. Before he was appointed president of Bennington College, Bloustein worked in government, law, and served as a professor at the New York University School of Law. After resigning from the Bennington College presidency in 1971, he served as President of Rutgers University until his death in 1989. Dean of Faculty Dr. Donald R. Brown served as Acting President during the 1971-1972 academic year. Historical landmarks of Dr. Bloustein’s presidency include a student revolt over parietal rules (1968), the college’s transition to becoming a fully coeducational institution (1969), and a college-wide strike in response to the escalating war in Vietnam and Cambodia (1970). The expansion of the physical plant of the college was also accelerated during Dr. Bloustein’s presidency. A number of campus buildings were constructed, including the Fels, Noyes, and Sawtell student houses (1968), Dickinson Science Building (1970), Tishman Lecture Hall (1970), and the first elements of the Visual and Performing Arts Center – the Usdan Gallery and the Kiln (1972). In addition, the college purchased three houses in North Bennington – Ludlow (1965), Welling Town House (1969), and Hill House (1970) – and converted them to student use. The Commons was also renovated, with the addition of a new dining and kitchen wing (1970).

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