Colgate University to Celebrate Charter Day, March 5

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Colgate University celebrates Charter Day on March 5 with events that invoke the memory of the institution’s 13 founders.

Led by members of the Konosioni Senior Honor Society, Colgate students, faculty, and staff will be invited into Memorial Chapel to make gifts in support of organizations that perform invaluable local service — Southern Madison County Ambulance Corps (SOMAC), Hamilton Food Cupboard, and Hamilton Fire Department. Colgate community members will also give of their time through volunteer work at local schools and area nonprofits. 

Their expressions of commitment, made as the chapel bells ring out over the Hill, will mirror the generosity of Colgate’s own founders, who offered $13 and 13 prayers in their first meeting at Olmstead House. Those gifts of time and treasure were transformed through the years into the institution that would become Colgate University — their faith rewarded through an official charter, issued by the State of New York on March 5, 1819.

Alumni and parents around the world are encouraged to join the festivities by giving back in their own communities, at libraries, food banks, shelters, and other important institutions that thrive on individual support and good faith. A full list of alumni club Charter Day events will be posted at, and Charter Day photos can be sent to

The Charter Day tradition began during the University’s Bicentennial celebration in 2019, when students, faculty, and staff streamed into Memorial Chapel to offer gifts in support of local community organizations and sign their names in the Bicentennial book.

“Traditions like Charter Day encourage us to enter into community — to remember that Colgate’s successes and achievements have always been built on shared commitment and endeavor,” said President Brian W. Casey. “Charter Day can serve as a reminder of that sort of communal commitment to each other and to higher aims. As the bells ring on campus, we can be reminded of the obligations of our privileges, the gifts that we have been given by those who have come before us, and the possibility of change through joint action.”