Robert M. Steele

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Robert M. Steele
Steele Robert M.jpg
Name Robert M. Steele
Chapter Kappa
California University of Pennsylvania
Date Inducted
Roll Number
Alumni Chapter/Assoc
Honorary Member
Birthdate 1882 - 12/7/1962

Robert McCurdy Steele (1882 - December 7, 1962) is an Alumni Member of Kappa Chapter at California University of Pennsylvania. He was the first President (1928-1952) of California State Teachers College (now known as California University of Pennsylvania .

Dr. Steere was born in Jefferson County, Pennsylvania in 1882. He earned his Bachelors degree at Bucknell University. Entering Columbia University, he there earned both Masters (1925) and Doctor of Philosophy (1936) degrees. In 1936, his alma mater, Bucknell honored him with an LL.D.

Dr. Steele was hired to run California University on June 1, 1928. He officially accepted the position on September 1, 1928, becoming the first president of California State Teachers College. In 1947, Dr. Steele was appointed by the Pennsylvania Governor to a commission that was created to study the needs of Pennsylvania's colleges and universities. Dr. Steele retired from the leadership of California on October 1, 1952.

Steele Hall

On October 17, 1953, the Robert McCurdy Steel Auditorium was dedicated. The building was renovated in 2007 and is now known as Steele Hall.

On December 7, 1962, Dr. Steele died in York, Pennsylvania.

Accomplishments at California State Teachers College during his tenure

  • Achievement of "Collegiate status" with the granting of 4-year degrees
  • First accreditation by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Universities
  • Initial membership in American Association of Teachers Colleges
  • Expansion of facilities from 16 to 35 acres including four major buildings (Noss, Herron, Coover and the Power Plant), each still in use today
  • Pioneering curriculums in:
    • Elementary & Secondary Education (4-Year Programs)
    • Industrial Arts (Technical Education)
    • Psychological Clinic (Special Education)
    • Speech and Reading Clinics
    • Nursing (Cadet Program)
  • Increased student run organizations from 19 to 38
  • Establishment of Student Activities Assn., Inc., now Student Association, Inc. (SAI)