Archives & Special Collections
UMass Dartmouth History After World War II, 1947-1960
In 1947 the legislature of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts (Chapter 387, Acts and Resolves of 1947) granted the New Bedford Textile Institute the power to grant degrees. The following year they petitioned the Board of Collegiate Authority to award Bachelor of Science degrees in Textile Engineering, Textile Chemistry and Machine Design. The school, however, still offered three-year diploma courses in General Textile Manufacturing, Textiles Designing, Chemistry and Knit Goods manufacturing, as well as a two-year certificate courses in Textile Technology, primarily aimed at enrolling women. The first bachelor of Science degrees were awarded in 1951.
After World War II the school began offering degrees in engineering, chemistry, and business administration, in response to a growing need for broader technological educational opportunities in southeastern Massachusetts. In 1948 the New Bedford Textile Institute also celebrated its 50th anniversary with a Golden Jubillee. In 1950 After recently changing its name from New Bedford Textile School to New Bedford Textile Institute in 1950. In 1955 it changed its name to New Bedford Textile and Technology Institute, and in 1957, to the New Bedford Institute of Technology.
The Board of Collegiate Authority approved the Trustees’ request to grant a Bachelor of Science degree in November of 1948. In 1950 42 graduates earned the degree, in three subjects: textile chemistry, textile engineering, and machine design. The name of the school was changed briefly to the New Bedford Textile Institute (1946-1957) and later to the New Bedford Institute of Textiles and Technology (1957-1964) to reflect changes in curriculum. Physical facilities continually expanded beginning in 1902, and ended with the construction of a science building across from the main building on Purchase Street in 1956.
In 1946 the name Bradford Durfee Textile School changed to Bradford Durfee Technical Institute and in 1947 the school was authorized for the first time to award the bachelor of Science degree. The name of the school changed again in 1958 to the Bradford Durfee College of Technology to reflect its status as a college with a four-year curriculum (non-degree granting schools with less than four-year curricula were known as technical institutes).
In 1960 the Bradford Durfee College of Technology merged with the New Bedford Institute of Technology to form SMTI (Southeastern Massachusetts Technological Institute), which was later renamed SMU (Southeastern Massachusetts University). The trustees of both schools maintained separate campuses in New Bedford and Fall River until the first buildings of the present facility in North Dartmouth were completed.