Colgate University is a private liberal arts college in Hamilton, New York, USA. The school was founded in 1819 as a Baptist seminary and later became non-denominational. It is named after the Colgate family who greatly contributed to the university’s endowment in the 19th century. Colgate has 51 undergraduate concentrations that culminate in a Bachelor of Arts degree. The student body comes from 49 states and 34 countries.
History of Colgate University
In 1817, the Baptist Education Society of the State of New York was founded by thirteen men (six clergymen and seven laymen). Two years later, in 1819, the state granted the school’s charter, and the school opened a year later, in 1820. The first classes were held in a building in the town of Hamilton. Three years later, in 1823, the Baptist Theological Seminary at New York City incorporated with the Baptist Education Society and subsequently changed its name to the Hamilton Literary & Theological Institution. Among the trustees was William Colgate, founder of a soap company.
In 1826, the school’s trustees bought farmland that later became the focal point of the campus, known as ‘the Hill’. One year later, the current students and faculty of the school built West Hall, using stone taken from a quarry found on the land. Originally called West Edifice before being renamed to West Hall, it is the oldest structure on campus. In 1846, the school changed its name to Madison University. In 1850, the Baptist Education Society planned to move the university to Rochester, but was halted by legal action. Dissenting trustees, faculty, and students founded the University of Rochester.
In 1890, Madison University changed its name to Colgate University in recognition of the family and its gifts to the school James B. Colgate, one of William Colgate’s sons, established a $1,000,000 endowment called the Dodge Memorial Fund. The theological side of Colgate merged with the Rochester Theological Seminary in 1928 to become the Colgate Rochester Divinity School, leaving Colgate to become non-denominational. Colgate became coeducational in 1970.
Video promo of Colgate University
Browse our University Directory for more unis in New York state.