About Marist College
Marist History: 1979-1994
With the naming of Dr. Dennis J. Murray in 1979 to the presidency, Marist College entered the 1980s as a vital coeducational liberal arts institution holding fast to the timeless values of its rich heritage while embracing advanced technology in the service of education. Another period of significant growth and development began and continues to this day.
To accommodate its rapidly growing student population, Marist built its first set of townhouses for upper-class students in 1982 and named them in honor of President Foy in 2003. Also in 1982, the former gymnasium was renovated to create a new residence called Marian Hall. Gartland Commons, a garden apartment complex for upper-class students overlooking the Hudson River at the north end of campus, was named for life trustee and benefactor John J. Gartland, Jr., and completed in 1985.
In 1984, Marist received $2.5 million in equipment and almost $2 million in software from the IBM Corporation to expand academic and administrative uses of computers on campus. Marist and IBM initiated a joint study in 1988 that has placed Marist among the most technologically advanced liberal arts colleges in the country. The study has given IBM an opportunity to test concepts and applications that IBM believes will be of value in business, education, and other fields. The joint study enabled Marist to put advanced computer and telecommunications technology to work in support of instructional, research, and administrative goals. Marist students actively take part in these research projects, giving them work experience and preparing them for the high-tech work force upon their graduation from Marist.
The Lowell Thomas Communications Center opened in 1987, allowing students to combine the disciplines of communications, math, and computer science in a state-of-the-art environment. The center is named for the legendary broadcast pioneer and explorer and Dutchess County neighbor who received an honorary doctorate from Marist in 1981. Displays of artifacts from the life and times of Lowell Thomas are on display, including rare photographs and mementos of a trip to Tibet made by Lowell Thomas and his son, Lowell, Jr., in 1949.
The opening of the Margaret M. and Charles H. Dyson Center in 1990 provided a home for the School of Management and the School of Social and Behavioral Sciences, as well as the School of Professional Programs and Graduate & Adult Enrollment.
In 1994, construction was completed on a $27 million project to create a new Student Center with an expansive bookstore, new dining facilities, and a Cabaret. The building also houses a dramatic rotunda and the Admissions Office. A mid-rise residence hall housing 382 students in suites, and new offices for Student Affairs and Student Government, were also included in the project. A new set of townhouses for 144 students opened that same year.