A history of Dowling College Founded in 1955 as an expansion of Adelphi University and established as an independent institution in 1968, Dowling College announced in May 2016 that it would close.
18 March 1974
A fire badly damages the college’s Vanderbilt mansion, the institution’s main building. It is later rebuilt.
18 October 1994
Astronaut Wally Schirra opens the college’s new transportation campus in Shirley.
01 June 1999
Five top administrators are fired as part of a reorganization plan.
26 October 1999
Victor Meskill, one of the longest-tenured college presidents on Long Island, is forced out by the board of trustees, who in previous years had lavished on him a large salary and a host of pricey fringe benefits that included a house near the campus and a personal loan so that Meskill could buy a condominium in Montauk.
31 August 2004
A late-night vote by the faculty on a new contract ensures that professors will be in the classroom for the first day of the fall semester.
01 October 2006
Gaffney is pictured on Sept. 19, 2002. (Credit: Newsday / John Paraskevas)
Robert Gaffney, the former Suffolk County executive, becomes Dowling president.
28 May 2010
Gaffney resigns and is succeeded by Scott Rudolph, a trustee.
08 August 2010
Facing outrage from students and employees over an announcement the previous week, Dowling says its aviation school will remain open. It had said it would stop training pilots to focus on aviation-management classes.
01 June 2011
Dr. Jeremy D. Brown gives the commencement speech at Dowling on May 19, 2012. (Credit: Heather Walsh)
Jeremy D. Brown, the former head of Edinboro University in Edinboro, Pa., begins his tenure as Dowling’s president.
01 February 2012
The Dowling campus in Oakdale on Aug. 5, 2010. (Credit: Michael E. Ach)
Moody’s Investors Service downgrades $14.1 million of Dowling’s already junk-rated bonds.
10 October 2012
The board of trustees names Elana Zolfo interim president.
29 May 2013
Norman Smith, who was credited with bringing Wagner College on Staten Island back from the brink of closure in the late 1980s, becomes Dowling president.
01 October 2013
In recent weeks, Dowling lays off staff members and reassigns others in a downsizing because of declining enrollment and struggling finances.
11 March 2014
Moody’s says the school is “likely in or very near default” on bonds issued by the industrial development agencies of Suffolk County and the Town of Brookhaven.
26 August 2014
Dowling names Albert F. Inserra, chairman of Dowling’s doctoral program in educational administration, leadership and technology, to be the college’s chief.
03 October 2014
Standard & Poor’s Rating Services indicates a poor outlook for Dowling, dropping its long-term debt rating from B to B-minus.
01 November 2014
Dowling agrees to pay more than $400,000 to Gaffney in a settlement of his lawsuit against the Oakdale school.
12 November 2014
Dowling’s faculty union approves $4.7 million in contract givebacks to help close the 2014-15 budget gap.
15 March 2016
Dowling says it will affiliate with an unnamed academic partner to remain afloat.
23 May 2016
The deal with the academic partner stalls, a state senator announces.
31 May 2016
A student carries his belongings as he leaves Dowling College on June 1, 2016. (Credit: Newsday / Thomas A. Ferrara)
Dowling announces it is shutting down.