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University Archives

Dorothy Haas


Dorothy Haas

Director of Norton Union

Years at UB: 1934?-1973

Involved with the University of Buffalo first as a student, Dorothy Haas dedicated forty years overseeing the Student Union, the heart of student life at UB.

Starting as secretary to the Director of the Student Union in 1934, Haas eventually became Acting Director herself in 1943. She always took an active role in the Union's activities even during WWII when the Norton Hall was closed to provide barracks. During those two and a half years Haas served as assistant to the director of War Training for servicemen on campus.

After being named Director of the Union after Norton Hall reopened at the end of the war, Haas always took an opportunity to become more involved in facilitating student activities. In 1955 she was appointed the Coordinator of Student Activities and later she even held a brief appointment as the Acting Dean of Women from July to December 1964.

In the 1950 Buffalonian yearbook, Haas and her staff were acknowledged for all of the work they did to keep Norton Union running:

In keeping with our theme of School Spirit, we cannot forget the person who singularly contributes most to its furtherance.

The person to whom we refer is Dottie Haas. The many services of Our Union would be virtually impossible without the constant effort of Miss Haas and her most able staff. The staff composed of Carolyn Kerr, Lenore O'Loughlin, Libbie Foels and Beth Cassity look after everything from high finances to lost and found. Relaxation, games, dancing, music, candy, open house, newspapers and anything else to make campus life more endurable are available just for the asking.

The 1950 Buffalonian, with heartfelt appreciation, gives tribute to the Norton Union Staff for their help in molding the future lives and careers of the countless thousands of students who pass through its realm.

When the University decided to build a new Student Union, Haas was instrumental in its design. The New Norton Union (now Squire Hall on UB's south campus) opened in 1962. (See the University Archives' online exhibit, Student Life at UB, for more information on the evolution of the Student Union.)

The UB Alumni Association honored her with the Sameul P. Capen award in 1965 for her dedication and contribution to student life. In 1970 Haas resigned from her directorship position and spent the next three years as Associate Director of Placement until her retirement in 1973.

Dorothy Haas passed away on March 26, 2000 in Cape Coral, Florida at the age of 91.


Education:

Haas graduated from Y.W.C.A Secretarial School shortly before completing a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration in 1932 from the University of Buffalo. In 1957, she received a Masters of Education also from the University of Buffalo.


Memberships

  • Western New York Personnel and Guidance Association
  • American Association of University Women Deans and Counselors
  • Zonta Club of Buffalo
  • Association of College Unions International

On May 17, 1978 Dottie Haas was interviewed by Jenny Peterzell for the Archives' oral history project. During the interview, Haas discussed her experiences at UB as a student and her later involvement with student life at UB as the director of Norton Union.

Listen to the interview