Charter Day is an annual recognition of the granting of the institution’s original charter in 1819. The day provides a moment to remember and reinvigorate Colgate community ideals.

History of Charter Day

On March 5, 1819, the New York State Assembly granted a charter to the Baptist Education Society of New York, formally founding the institution that would become Colgate University. That day was the fulfillment of the vision set forth in the well-known story of 13 men gathering with 13 dollars and offering 13 prayers in Olmstead House.

On March 5, 2019, the University recognized its official Bicentennial by reviving its recognition of Charter Day, committing to its annual observation in the years to come.


Scenes from 2019