The Arbuckle Years, 1992-2002
“The University enjoyed spectacular improvements in the physical plant. More than $60 million dollars of capital construction projects were completed in Arbuckle’s tenure…”
Dr. Robert D. Arbuckle became the University’s fourth president on August 1, 1992. Before his move to the Sault, Arbuckle was the chief executive officer at the New Kensington Campus of the Pennsylvania State University System.
The University enjoyed spectacular improvements in the physical plant. More than $60 million dollars of capital construction projects were completed in Arbuckle’s tenure including: expansion of the Kenneth J. Shouldice Library; renovation and expansion of the Harry Crawford Hall of Science; construction of the Student Activity Center which is now named in his honor; an expansion and renovation of the Norris Center’s Ice Arena – Taffy Abel. Several million dollars were used to upgrade student residence halls and the Row Houses as well. His final legacy, in terms of buildings, is the approval and pending construction of the Fine and Performing Arts Center, a $15.3 million project, a Center whose concept dates to the Shouldice era.
Under Dr. Arbuckle’s leadership, several academic programs were expanded including a move from engineering technology to a full engineering program. LSSU reemphasized its commitment to the EUP through the Great Lakes Academy. A full 10-year approval for accreditation was issued. The initiatives are many, and the successes testify to his energy and forge ahead attitudes.
The Pennsylvania native was the driving force in reestablishing the Alumni Association and in hiring the University’s first full-time alumni director in 1993. More than one-third of all LSSU alumni graduated during his term as president. In his 10 years as president, giving to the University has grown from less than $200,000 a year to more than $2 million dollars.
Arbuckle retired on July 1, 2002, having established a reputation as a man of action. More importantly, this man, known as the “Student’s President” touched many lives and left a lasting stamp on this campus.