Evolution of Cook College
Leland G. Merrill, Jr. dean of C.A.E.S. formed a committee chaired by Associate Dean Richard Merritt to develop a proposal for a second college on the Camp Kilmer site. Building on the recommendations of the Merritt committee, a committee chaired by Dean Merrill was established in 1968 to develop “Kilmer II”. During this period of planning for the new college, a group of faculty were constituted as a “planning committee” for C.A.E.S., chaired by Dr. Bruce Hamilton, which proposed an alternative plan to the “Kilmer II” concept. Their report titled “A Proposal for the Development of a General Purpose College on the C.A.E.S. Site”, was issued in 1970. The Hamilton committee also suggested that the new college be named Cook College in honor of George H. Cook (1818-1889). The new Cook College would include teaching, research and outreach, and have a theme of “Man and His Environment.”
In October, 1970, a committee chaired by University Vice President Henry Winkler approved the concept of “simultaneous planning”, including the expansion of Livingston College, Kilmer II, and Cook College.
In March, 1971, a Cook College implementation committee was established, chaired by Charles Hess. In April, 1971 a partnership with Douglass College, largely negotiated by Dr. Richard Merritt, was approved. The University Senate recommended the approval of Cook College in May, 1971.