History

Colgate University’s present success and vision for a bright future is rooted in a rich, 200-year history.

66th
Oldest US college
200
Bicentennial 2019
13
Lucky number
Baptist Literary and Theological Seminary seal, circa 1820.

Our Origins

In 1817, 13 men met in the frontier settlement of Hamilton, N.Y., to found the Baptist Education Society of the State of New York. They are said to have backed up their experiment in education with 13 dollars and 13 prayers, which is why 13 is considered a lucky number at Colgate.

Colgate’s Origins

To contemplate the future, it is wise, first, to consider Colgate’s history and the ways in which the university’s unique characteristics have emerged.

President Brian W. Casey
Mabel Dart, who attended the university, then called Madison, from 1878 to 1882.

Our People

Great universities are built by great people. Generations of Colgate graduates and faculty have made the university a leading American liberal arts institution. One example: the institution’s first full-time female student, Mabel Dart, who attended the university (then called Madison) from 1878 to 1882.

Colgate’s People

The Chemistry Laboratory, now Hascall Hall, in 1886.

Our Campus

Colgate is known as one of the most beautiful campuses in the country. There are 88 buildings, approximately 10 miles of roads and walkways, and an estimated 2,300 trees — most common are sugar maples and northern red oaks — on the 575-acre campus.

Colgate’s Campus