Colgate University is a private liberal arts college located in the Village of Hamilton in Madison County, New York, USA. The school was founded in 1819 as a Baptist seminary, but later became non-denominational. It is named for the Colgate family who greatly contributed to the university's endowment in the 19th century.
Colgate has 51 undergraduate concentrations that culminate in a Bachelors of Arts degree. The student body comes from 48 states and 35 countries. In its 2009 edition, U.S. News and World Report ranked Colgate as the 19th best liberal arts college in the country. Colgate ranked 29th in the 2009 edition of "America's Best Colleges" from Forbes.com. It is also listed as one of thirty Hidden Ivies and as one of Newsweek's "New Ivies".
Colgate is located on a rural 515-acre (2.08 km²) campus in Central New York which was listed as the most beautiful in the country in the 2010 edition of the Princeton Review. Despite an undergraduate population of only 2,750, Colgate is a member of the Patriot League conference of the NCAA Division I.
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.8] 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.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.