Charter Day Marks Colgate’s 200 Years as a Leader in Higher Education

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Editor’s note, March 8, 2019: Since this story was originally published, an anonymous member of the university community has provided an additional $4,492 in support for the Southern Madison County Ambulance Corps, Hamilton Food Cupboard, and Hamilton Fire Department. This brings Colgate’s Charter Day giving to $13,000.

On Tuesday, March 5, as bells pealed across the Academic Quad, students, professors, and staff members streamed into Colgate Memorial Chapel. Inside, large panels displaying archival photos and a slideshow projected over the stage depicted Colgate’s proud tradition and bold ambition. The centerpiece display: an oversize reproduction of the hand-written charter granted to the Baptist Education Society of New York that formally established the institution that became Colgate — on March 5, 1819.

In recognition of Charter Day, the official day that Colgate University turned 200 years old, members of the community had been invited to the chapel to make a gift of $1 (or more), symbolic of the $13 put forth by the 13 founders.

Jenny Lundt signs the Bicentennial book
Community members were invited to sign the Bicentennial book at the Charter Day celebration at Memorial Chapel, Mar. 5, 2019. Mark DiOrio / Colgate University

By day’s end, with a matching gift from alumni and parent couple Stephen ’85 and Melissa Rock P’13’19’20, the collection totaled $8,508. The contributions will benefit three local organizations, the Southern Madison County Ambulance Corps, Hamilton Food Cupboard, and Hamilton Fire Department.

Members of the Konosioni student honor society assisted in the collection of donations for the organizations that connect the campus and the Village of Hamilton while providing invaluable support to the community.

Outside the chapel, a maroon five-foot-high 1819 provided a selfie backdrop for visitors. As dusk and light snow fell, the campus glowed with special lights illuminating the cupolas of Colgate’s historic and new buildings to mark this Bicentennial moment.

Charter Day 2019 — Colgate University Bicentennial
Campus Lights for Charter Day — Colgate University Bicentennial