Dr. Harvey A. Andruss 1939-1969

Dr. Andruss in 1969

Harvey A. Andruss was born February 19, 1902 in Fort Worth, TX, and received an undergraduate degree from the University of Oklahoma in 1924 and an MBA from Northwestern University in 1926. In 1930 he was hired as the first director of the Department of Business Education and then Dean of Instruction at Bloomsburg State Teachers College (BSTC).  He remained in that position for two years before becoming acting President in 1939 following the resignation of Francis B. Haas. On January 15, 1941 Andruss was formally named President of the College. When enrollment dropped sharply during World War II he had Bloomsburg designated as a Civilian Pilot Training Center, which led to hundreds of naval recruits being trained here and kept the school open. In 1945 Andruss was sent to Shrivenham, England to help organize universities for GIs during the war.

After his return in 1946 he began planning for the programs and facilities that the college needed in order to grow in the post-war years. Because of the large numbers of veterans returning to school at this time an agreement was made for liberal arts students at Penn State to study at BSTC. Dr. Andruss had his own association with Penn State, which resulted in his being awarded a PhD in Education from there in 1949.

The physical size of the campus began to grow once again by the mid-1950s, beginning with the opening on April 23, 1957 of the College Commons and two years later by a new men's dormitory. In 1960 the first new classroom building in over 20 years, Sutliff Hall, was dedicated in honor of Dean Emeritus William Boyd Sutliff.  Also in 1960 "Teachers" was removed from the school's title making it Bloomsburg State College, and the same year it was given approval to offer graduate studies and grant master degrees. By 1962 the college had been given permission from the State Council of Education to offer Bachelor's Degrees in humanities, natural science, and social sciences. The following year Dr. Andruss was granted a semester leave and upon his return more changes at BSC began to occur. In 1967 the new library was dedicated to him because of his years of work in championing its importance as the heart of the college. During his last two years more expansion was accomplished as Haas Auditorium and Hartline Science Center were dedicated and the Elwell Hall dormitory completed.

On January 22, 1969, after thirty years, Dr. Andruss announced his retirement and was designated President Emeritus. It was the end of an era for a College that would continue to grow and prosper even after his tenure as president was over. In 1974 he was named Honorary Chairman of Alumni Funds Campaign, and continued to live in Bloomsburg until his death on February 9, 1984.  His memory at Bloomsburg University continues to live on in the new Harvey A. Andruss Library, which was dedicated in September, 1998.

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