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Can This Be Cogswell?

Cogswell Hall

Decades of dreaming and several semesters of separation from the building ended in January when faculty and students moved back into Cogswell Hall.

Dispersed to various locations across campus, they now found themselves in a totally renovated and enlarged structure. It was Cogswell, all right, but it certainly didn’t seem like Cogswell.

When it was built in 1959 and named in honor of Hamlin Cogswell, the building was designed for two hundred undergraduates and a faculty of twenty. Today, there are 343 undergraduate music students, fifteen graduate students, and thirty-four faculty members.

Completely renovated and rearranged, the building has also expanded northward and westward. It has presence, whether viewed from the recently widened Oakland Avenue or from South Eleventh Street.

Gifts from alumni figured in the renovation. Among them were the following:

The Gwendolyn Lewis ’53 and James Botti ’55 Music Practice Room was made possible through the generosity of Shirley Ullom Filcik ’53, who wanted to honor the wedding anniversary of her college roommate and her husband, both of whom studied music at IUP.

The Jay L. Althouse ’73, M’75 Rehearsal Room is named in honor of the alumnus, a musical composer, arranger, editor, and author.

The Joan Frey Boytim ’55, M’64 Vocal Studio is named for the alumna, who also made her donation in memory of longtime faculty member Gladys Dunkelberger.

Cogswell Hall

A series of pavilions marching up the hill along Oakland Avenue houses four rehearsal spaces, dedicated to the choral, jazz, and percussion ensembles and to the 200-member IUP Marching Band. The number of individual-student practice rooms has gone from fourteen in the “old” Cogswell to forty-nine in the “new.”

“Everything we do here is dedicated to the teacher/student relationship,” College of Fine Arts dean Michael Hood told the Indiana Gazette. “We chose to emphasize pedagogy over public performance.” 

Music library

Music librarian Carl Rahkonen and library technician Teri McFerron in the Orendorff Music Library. The library uses space formerly occupied by an auditorium.

Rehearsal hall

On the day Cogswell formally “reopened,” former band director Daniel Di Cicco ’54 took a ceremonial turn as conductor in one of five spacious rehearsal halls. The IUP Marching Band, for the first time in recent memory, can now practice together in one facility.


Brass Methods class

Olive Fornear ’33, right, a faculty member at the university for sixteen years until her retirement, shares thoughts with students in the piano laboratory. At far left is current faculty member Judith Radell.