University at Albany, SUNY
|University at Albany|
|Motto||Sapientia et sua et docendi causa ("Wisdom, both for its own sake and for the sake of teaching")|
|President||Robert J. Jones|
|Location||Albany, NY, USA|
|Campus||Suburban, 586 acres (2.37 km²)|
|Colors||Purple and gold|
|Affiliations||State University of New York, America East Conference, Northeast Conference|
The University at Albany, known officially as University at Albany, State University of New York, is an internationally recognized public research institution with campuses in Albany, Guilderland, and East Greenbush, New York, United States. The oldest university campus of the State University of New York (SUNY) system, founded in 1844, it carries out a broad mission of undergraduate and graduate education, research, and service, and has grown to be a flagship institution of New York. The University has three campuses: the Uptown Campus in Albany and Guilderland's McKownville neighborhood, the Downtown Campus in Albany, and the East Campus in East Greenbush, just east of Albany.
The University enrolls more than 17,000 students in nine schools and colleges, which offer 50 undergraduate majors and 128 graduate degree programs. The University’s academic choices are diverse and include a range of new and emerging fields such as public policy, nanotechnology, globalization, documentary studies, biotechnology and informatics. Students take advantage of more than 500 study-abroad programs, as well as extensive internship opportunities that offer real-world experience in New York’s capital and surrounding region. The Honors College, which opened in fall 2006, offers opportunities for the best-prepared students to work closely with faculty.
University at Albany faculty had $330.5 million in research expenditures in 2011-2012 for work advancing discovery in a wide range of fields. The research enterprise is distinguished by established and emerging strengths in four areas: nanoscale sciences and engineering, social science and public policy, life sciences and atmospheric sciences. A wide range of explorations in other areas also contributes to the rich spectrum of UAlbany research.
In addition to offering many cultural benefits, such as a nationally recognized contemporary art museum and a world-renowned writers institute, UAlbany plays a major role in the economic development of the Capital District and New York State — particularly through its programs in nanosciences and nanotechnology and in the biotechnology and biomedical sciences. An economic impact study in 2004 estimated UAlbany’s economic impact to be $1.1 billion annually in New York State — $1 billion of that in the Capital District.
- 1 History
- 2 Campuses
- 3 Buildings and facilities
- 4 Organization
- 5 Academics
- 5.1 College of Arts and Sciences
- 5.2 College of Computing and Information
- 5.3 Rockefeller College of Public Affairs and Policy
- 5.4 School of Business
- 5.5 College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering
- 5.6 School of Criminal Justice
- 5.7 School of Education
- 5.8 School of Public Health
- 5.9 School of Social Welfare
- 5.10 The Honors College
- 5.11 Libraries
- 5.12 Rankings
- 6 Research
- 7 Study abroad
- 8 Environmental sustainability
- 9 Student life
- 10 Notable alumni and faculty
- 11 See also
- 12 References
- 13 External links
Although the University is the oldest SUNY institution, it was an independent state-supported teachers' college for most of its history until SUNY was formed in 1948. The University at Albany began as the New York State Normal School on May 7, 1844, by vote of the State Legislature. Beginning with 29 students and four faculty in an abandoned railroad depot on State Street in the heart of the city, the Normal School was the first New York State-chartered institution of higher education.
Dedicated to training New York students as schoolteachers and administrators, by the early 1890s the “School” had become the New York State Normal College and, with a revised four-year curriculum in 1905, became the first public institution of higher education in New York to be granted the power to confer the bachelor's degree.
A new campus — today, UAlbany’s Downtown Campus — was established in 1909 on a site of 4.5 acres (18,200 m2) between Washington and Western avenues. By 1913, the institution was home to 590 students and 44 faculty members, it offered a master’s degree for the first time, and bore a new name — the New York State College for Teachers. Enrollments grew to a peak of 1,424 in 1932.
In 1948 the State University of New York system was created, comprising the College for Teachers and several other institutions throughout the state. SUNY, including the Albany campus, ultimately became a manifestation of the grand vision of Governor Nelson A. Rockefeller, who wanted a public university system to accommodate the college students of the post–World War II baby boom. To do so, he launched a massive construction program that developed over 50 new campuses.
In 1962 the State University of New York at Albany was officially designated a doctoral-degree granting university center of SUNY. The same year, Rockefeller broke ground for the current Uptown Campus on the former site of the Albany Country Club. The new campus's first dormitory opened in 1964, and the first classes on the academic podium in the Fall of 1966. By 1970, a year beyond the University’s 125th anniversary, enrollment had grown to 13,200 and the faculty to 746. That same year the growing protest movement against the Vietnam war engulfed the university when a student strike was called for in response to the killing of protesters at Kent State. The Uptown Campus, designed by architect Edward Durell Stone, accommodated this growth and gave visible evidence of the school's transition from a teachers college to a broad-based liberal arts university. The Downtown Campus became dedicated to the fields of public policy: criminal justice, public affairs, information science and social welfare. In 1985, the University added the School of Public Health, a unique joint endeavor with the state’s Department of Health.
In 1983, the New York State Writers Institute was founded by Pulitzer Prize-winning author William Kennedy. As of 2013, the Institute had hosted over time more than 1,200 writers, poets, journalists, historians, dramatists and filmmakers. The list includes eight Nobel Prize winners, nearly 200 Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award winners, several Motion Picture Academy Award winners and nominees, and numerous other literary prize recipients. In addition the Institute has hosted many up-and-coming writers to provide them with exposure at the beginning of their writing careers.
During the 1990s, the University built a $3 billion, 450,000-square-foot (42,000 m2) Albany NanoTech complex, extending the Uptown Campus westward. By 2006, it became home to the College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering. In 1996, a third campus — the East Campus — was added 12 miles (19 km) east of the Uptown Campus in Rensselaer County, when the University acquired former Sterling-Winthrop laboratories and converted them into labs, classrooms, and a business incubator concentrating on advances in biotechnology and other health-related disciplines. In 2005, the East Campus became home to the University’s Gen*NY*Sis Center for Excellence in Cancer Genomics. In the spring of 2005, the University created the first-of-its-kind College of Computing and Information, with a stated goal of preparing students for the information technology-centric world of the 21st Century.
|State Normal School||May 1844 – March 1890|
|New York State Normal College||March 1890 – April 1914|
|New York State College for Teachers||April 1914 – September 1959|
|State University of New York College of Education at Albany||September 1959 – October 1961|
|State University College at Albany||October 1961 – June 1962|
|State University of New York at Albany (the University's legal name)||June 1962 – present|
The Uptown Campus, the University's main campus, is located at 1400 Washington Avenue in Albany. Its effect has been described as "Dazzling one-of-a-kind" by architectural critic Thomas A. Gaines, who called it "a formal masterpiece" and "a study in classical romanticism." Designed in 1961-1962 by noted American architect Edward Durell Stone and constructed from 1963-1964, the campus bears Stone's signature style of bold unified design, expressed by its towers, domes, fountains, soaring colonnades and sweeping canopy. The result is dramatically different from traditional university campuses with dispersed buildings and disparate architectural styles. The campus exemplifies the style Stone used in his major projects between 1953 and 1970, including the U.S. Embassy in New Delhi, India; the Hotel Phoenicia in Beirut, Lebanon; the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C.; 2 Columbus Circle in Manhattan, New York; and the Aon Center, originally the Standard Oil Building, in Chicago. The campus was a filming location for the 1981 movie Rollover (film) with Kris Kristofferson and Jane Fonda because of the resemblance to modern Middle Eastern architecture.
Governor Nelson A. Rockefeller envisioned a public university system to accommodate the college students of the post–World War II "Baby Boom", and as a connoisseur and patron of modern art and architecture, he encouraged many of the era's leading modernist architects to design the campuses. Inspired by this vision and the need for a new campus accommodating 7,500 students, Stone viewed the Albany project as a powerful statement concerning the integrated nature of campus life, with facilities for learning and living all part of a unified complex comprising activities and academic. Stone's campus composition emphasizes residential quadrangles, or "quads" — surrounding academic buildings.
At the hub of the campus is the rectangular "Academic Podium" featuring 13 three-story buildings under a single overhanging canopy roof. The Podium's showpiece is a central pool with fountains and an off-center circular bell tower, or "Carillon", which also serves as a water storage reservoir. In April 2012 the University undertook a complete renovation of the main fountain and water tower area, as well as of the Campus Center fountain. The goal is to create an attractive four season location with the addition of selected trees, gardens, and landscaping, LED lighting in the base of the fountain, and a new, more interactive center element with seating areas. Completion of the project is scheduled for Fall 2013.
The domed Main Library, the Performing Arts Center, and Campus Center surround the pool, reflecting facets of campus life. A grand entrance welcomes visitors by way of a "great lawn" (Collins Circle) and an entry plaza. The four residential quadrangles are located adjacent to the four corners of the academic podium. Each quads consists of a 23-story high-rise dormitory, surrounded by a square of low-rise buildings.
On the west end of the Uptown Campus is the Albany NanoTech complex, begun in the late 1990s, still expanding, and home to the College of Nanoscale Sciences and Engineering, the bulk of the university's meteorology and characterization tools, the National Weather Service (NWS), and the Atmospheric Sciences Research Center (ASRC).
In addition to the Main Library, the Uptown Campus became home in 1999 to the third of the three libraries comprising UAlbany's University Libraries: the Science Library. Further growth occurred on the Uptown Campus in the fall of 2004, when a new Life Sciences Building opened, dedicated to basic research and education. New residence halls, Empire Commons and Liberty Terrace, opened in 2001 and 2012, housing up to 1,200 and 500 students,respectively, Ground was broken for a new School of Business building in October 2008. The 80,000-square-foot facility, located on the west side of Collins Circle, is scheduled to open in August 2013.
The Downtown Campus, located at 135 Western Ave., just one mile (1.6 km) from the New York State Capitol building and Empire State Plaza, is the site of the original New York State College for Teachers. Construction began in 1909 on the first three buildings: Draper, Husted and Hawley halls, after the previous location on Willett Street burned down. Later additions to the campus were Richardson Hall, Page Hall and The Milne School (all in 1929), along with additions to Draper and Richardson halls (both in the 1960s).
The Downtown Campus is home to the University's Rockefeller College of Public Affairs and Policy, School of Criminal Justice, College of Computing and Information, and School of Social Welfare. It also houses one of the University's three libraries, the Thomas E. Dewey Graduate Library, located in Hawley Hall.
The University’s 87-acre (352,000 m2) East Campus, located in East Greenbush, is home to UAlbany’s School of Public Health and the Cancer Research Center (CRC) which opened in 2005. Located also on the campus — which contains 350,000 square feet (33,000 m2) of lab, support and associated office space — is the Center for Functional Genomics, which facilitates research in the areas of microarrays, proteomics, molecular biology and transgenics. Also based at the campus are 15 private biotechnology companies, both established and those which are part of the University’s business incubator program. Biopharmaceutical giant Regeneron has a large-scale biologics manufacturing facility adjacent to the campus where it produces the investigational products for all its clinical trials.
UAlbany and Albany Medical Center in July 2008 entered into a memorandum of understanding, to create the 110,000-square-foot (10,000 m2) Institute for Biomedical Education and Research at UAlbany’s East Campus. The Institute will focus research efforts on cancer, cardiology and neurological disorders, such as Alzheimer’s Disease.
In March 2009 it was announced that Tech Valley High School, a local high-tech, public consortium high school, would be renting 20,000 square feet (1,900 m2) at an annual cost of $450,000 per year, starting in time for the 2009—2010 school year.
Uptown Campus housing
The Uptown Campus is home to seven of the University's eight residential complexes. Four of these — Indian Quad, Dutch Quad, Colonial Quad, and State Quad — sit at the Academic Podium's corners; each consists of eight three-story, low-rise buildings encircling a 22-story tower with a total capacity of 1,200 students each. The four quads serve as a chronological timeline of New York State history, beginning with Indian Quad, moving clockwise to Dutch, then Colonial, and finally, State. The other three, Freedom Apartments, Empire Commons, and Liberty Terrace, are reserved for juniors and seniors. These are "apartment-style" residences and include kitchens, furnished living rooms, and, on Empire Commons, washers, dryers, dishwashers, single bedrooms, and central air conditioning. The University's newest apartment-style residential complex, Liberty Terrace, opened in the fall of 2012.
The Uptown Campus also contains special housing for students in the honors college. This housing, offered to incoming freshmen and returning sophomores, is found on State Quad in the Melville and Steinmetz halls. These recently renovated halls provide moderately better rooms with improved lighting and greater floor space. Renovations are currently being done on halls on Indian, State and Alumni Quads.
Alumni Quad, one of the University's eight residential complexes, is a short distance away from the Downtown Campus. Its name commemorates the Alumni Association, which purchased most of the land on which the complex stands and funded the construction of the first two residence halls, Pierce and Sayles, which opened in 1935 and 1941. (Brubacher, Alden and Waterbury halls, which completed the quadrangle’s edifices, opened in 1951, 1958, and 1959, respectively.) Students living on Alumni are typically sophomores, transfer students and international students. The murder of Richard J. Bailey in October 2008 has made students take extra precautions around the quad and the entire Pine Hills community, which is richly populated with UAlbany students.
Buildings and facilities
The Campus Center, located on the Uptown Campus Podium, is the community center of the University at Albany, State University of New York, serving students, faculty, professional staff, alumni, and guests. Traditionally considered the "hearthstone" or "living room" of the campus, the Campus Center provides services and conveniences that include lounging areas, several cafeterias, a Barnes & Noble bookstore, and many national chain eateries operated and staffed by Sodexo. The multifaceted structure is the site for numerous informal and formal interactions, the latter including the meetings of many student-run clubs, academic conferences, and cultural functions.
The Center’s Facilities & Operations staff coordinates and manages eight meeting rooms as well as a ballroom. Together these comprise the conference portion of this multifaceted facility. During the academic year, the Center’s meeting rooms host over 9,000 persons per month. The lobby and exterior areas of the building, the latter which commands a small fountain, are notable for the tabling done by individuals and groups; their purposes include ticket sales, craft items, other vending sponsored by campus organizations, political activism, charitable fundraising, and general campus information.
The Campus Center is currently undergoing a multi-year $750 million renovation and expansion project.
Performing Arts Center
The Performing Arts Center (PAC) is a facility on the Uptown Campus containing five unique performance spaces. Music, dance, theater, international artists, guest lecturers, and collaborations occur in the Main Theater, Recital Hall, Arena Theatre, Studio Theatre, and Lab Theatre. The Main Theatre is the largest theater space on the Uptown Campus holding 500 people. Designed for music performance, the Recital Hall seats 242 people, 197 on the orchestra level and 45 in the nine circular boxes on the second level of the auditorium. The Arena Theatre is used primarily for Theatre performances and acting classes and seats 196. The Studio Theatre seats 153 people. The Lab Theatre is a 50' square "black box" theater. The Lab can seat up to 200 audience members in any seating configuration.
University Art Museum
The University's art museum is centrally located on the Uptown Campus. Designed by architect Edward Durell Stone, its interior is an iconic example of late 20th Century modernism. Its three galleries provide over 9,000 square feet (840 m2) of exhibition space for six to eight changing exhibitions per year. Since its inaugural exhibition in 1967, Paintings and Sculpture from the Nelson A. Rockefeller Collection, the museum maintains a commitment to presenting contemporary art exhibitions that connect community and worldviews with the multidisciplinary resources of the University.
Page Hall is a classic old proscenium theater located on UAlbany's Downtown Campus, at 135 Western Avenue in Albany. The auditorium has a total capacity of 830: 439 seats on the orchestra level; 391 in the balcony. Page Hall's excellent location, combined with its large seating capacity, makes it a favorite site for community events and performances. The film series of the New York State Writer's Institute is presented primarily at Page Hall.
The Science Library (LIE for Library Extension), University Hall, University Art Museum, Life Science Research Building (LSRB), Gen*NY*sis Center for Excellence in Cancer Genomics, NanoFab South (NFS), NanoFab North (NFN), NanoFab East (NFE), Center for Emerging Sciences and Technology Management (CESTM), Alumni House, Chapel House and the Empire Commons community building all feature atria, auditoriums, and/or meeting rooms of various sizes.
In the spring of 1992, the University opened SEFCU Arena, at that time named the RACC (Recreation and Convocation Center), an $11 million field house for UAlbany’s men’s and women’s basketball and track teams. It has an .11 mile indoor track. The 5,000-seat arena also serves as a major venue for community events such as rock and pop concerts, sporting events and University activities.
In addition, SEFCU Arena contains a fitness center with Nautilus and Universal machines, rowing ergometers and exercise bikes; four racquetball/handball courts and four squash courts; athletic training and rehabilitation facilities with three whirlpool baths, a musculoskeletal evaluation device and other therapeutic machines. SEFCU Arena also houses numerous team and general use locker rooms, as well as an indoor practice facility for the women's golf team.
SEFCU Arena and Physical Education Building were recently air-conditioned, as the state appropriated funds for renovations and permanent improvements to the University's facilities. The $2.3 million in funding was prompted by the New York Giants decision to hold their football training camp at the University in March 1996.
Physical Education Buildings
Adjacent to the SEFCU Arena is the Physical Education Building which houses University Gymnasium; three full-size playing surfaces which can be used for basketball, volleyball, and tennis; four racquetball/handball courts; four squash courts; a swimming pool; a fitness and weight training center with Olympic weights; an aerobic exercise room, and a dance studio. University Gymnasium is home to the UAlbany Women's Volleyball team, and also serves as a practice facility for baseball, softball, field hockey and lacrosse. University Gymasium is also the school's primary indoor student recreational facility, playing host to intramural sport leagues including basketball and street hockey.
The PE Building's lower level also houses the University's swimming pool. The seven-lane pool is open to University students, faculty, staff, alumni and community members who purchase facility passes. The lanes are divided to allow swimmers of all abilities to share the pool at the same time. On the second floor of the PE Building is the UAlbany Strength & Conditioning complex, where varsity student-athletes focus on the proper development and combination of strength, power, speed, agility, mobility, conditioning and body composition to enhance performance in all athletic arenas.
UAlbany's strength and conditioning area is housed in a spacious 7,200-square-foot (670 m2) varsity strength complex. The weight room is 3,600 square feet (330 m2) and is a fully equipped, Olympic-style free weight room. An efficient design allows for large teams, or several teams, to work out at a single time. The skills room is another 3,600 square feet (330 m2) adjacent to the weight room that offers a full line of equipment to enhance agility and quickness. It is equipped with plyometric boxes, jump ropes, medicine balls, bikes, cones and various speed building devices. The strength complex is for varsity athletic team use only and is supervised by two full-time coaches and three student interns.
"The Bubble" is an air-supported structure that is used for tennis, basketball, and volleyball. It also serves as a secondary practice facility for football, baseball, softball, lacrosse, track & field, and strength & conditioning. It was fitted with a brand-new covering with minor interior renovations in the spring of 2003. It is located to the east of the Physical Education Building.
John Fallon Field
John Fallon Field, the home for UAlbany men’s and women’s lacrosse, was completed in the fall of 2005. Fallon, a former UAlbany student-athlete, and a partner at Leboeuf, Lamb, Greene and MacRae, LLP in New York City, made a significant contribution to fund the construction of the all-weather turf field, a Sportexe Momentum Turf 41 surface. The first phase of the project was coordinated by UAlbany’s Office of Architecture, Engineering and Construction Management. The plan was designed by Clough Harbor and Associates LLP. John Fallon Field is adjacent to Alumni Turf Field, which serves as the home for the school’s field hockey team and as a multiuse recreational field for UAlbany students. Both all-weather fields are located just south of Indian Quad on campus.
University Field seats capacity crowds of 5,000 for football games, and has an all-weather, 400-meter track surrounding a natural grass surface. University Field is home to the UAlbany football and men's and women's track & field teams. The lighted field can accommodate both day and night events. In 2004, the men's lacrosse program played its first-ever evening contest at the facility.
On the roof of the adjacent Physical Education building there is a media facility, home and opponent video locations, and a viewing box for use by the University President and other dignitaries. Inside the PE Building are home, away and officials' locker room facilities. Directly adjacent to the field, the UAlbany football locker room was renovated in the spring of 2003. The project, funded through alumni donations, doubled the size of the Great Danes' previous facilities.
In February 2012, University President George Philip announced that a new combined football and soccer stadium would be built to the southeast of University Field, as part of a $24 million athletic and recreational renovation and upgrade. Another part of the project, a refurbished track & field venue, to be located at the site of the present University Field, is due for completion in the Spring of 2014. (See project details in Athletics section, below.)
The university is a first-tier component of the State University of New York. It receives annual appropriations as a part of the SUNY budget, and the New York State University Construction Fund manages and finances buildings and capital improvements. Although the university is governed by the SUNY Board of Trustees, the university does have a separate 10-member council that is appointed by the Governor, with one student-elected member. The Governor designates the council's chair. The University has its own President, who is currently Robert Jones.
The university has a separate University at Albany Foundation, which conducts fundraising on behalf of the university. For example, when the new library was built, state funds paid for the construction of the building, but the Foundation raised $3.5 million to equip the new facility. The Foundation has a separate Board of Directors, which includes three voting member elected by the faculty and one elected by students. The Foundation owns a number of facilities that supplement the state-owned buildings, including: the Management Services Center, the President's residence, the East Campus, the State Street Conference Center, the Cancer Research Center. During 2008-09, the Foundation raised $4.5 million and had total assets (including buildings) of $100,431,527.
The University comprises nine colleges and schools, plus an honors college:
College of Arts and Sciences
The College of Arts and Sciences, comprising 23 departments, forms the largest academic division at the University.
Departments of the College of Arts and Sciences include Africana Studies, Anthropology, Art, Biological Sciences, Chemistry, Communication, Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, East Asian Studies, Economics, English, Geography and Planning, History, Judaic Studies, Literatures and Cultures, Latin American, Caribbean and U.S. Latino Studies, Mathematics and Statistics, Music, Philosophy, Physics, Psychology, Religious Studies, Sociology, Spanish, and Women's Studies. Undergraduate education consists of 56 majors offered in these areas, along with their paired minors and 17 other minors as well as a variety of cooperative interdisciplinary programs that include the arts, humanistic studies, physical sciences and social sciences.
The College houses the following research centers:
- Biological Imaging Center
- Center for Applied Historical Research
- Center for Astronomical Observatory
- Center for Autism and Related Disabilities
- Center for the Elimination of Minority Health Disparities
- Center for Language and International Communication (CLIC)
- Center for Latino, Latin American and Caribbean Studies(CELAC)
- Center for Biochemistry and Biophysics
- Center for Economic Research
- Center for Jewish Studies
- Center for Neuroscience Research
- Center for X-Ray Optics
- Econometrics Research and Training Institute
- Geographic Information System and Remote Sensing Laboratory
- Institute of Biomolecular Stereodynamics
- Institute for Research on Women
- Institute for Mesoamerican Studies
- The Institute for Watershed Management
- Ion Beam Laboratory
- Lewis Mumford Center for Comparative Urban and Regional Research
- New York Latino Research and Resources Network (NYLARNet)
Graduate programs in the College of Arts and Sciences in the humanities and fine arts, science and mathematics, social and behavioral studies, and college-based interdisciplinary majors lead to the following degrees and certificates: Master of Arts, Master of Science, Master of Regional Planning, Master of Fine Arts, Doctor of Philosophy, Doctor of Arts, Certificate of Advanced Standing, Certificate of Advanced Study and the Certificate (in selected fields).
College of Computing and Information
The mission of the College of Computing and Information (CCI), created in 2005, is to support world-class, discipline-based research and educational programs related to computing and information. With its partnerships in the corporate, government and nonprofit sectors, the College provides expertise and collaboration efforts that benefit New York State and the nation. CCI has three departments, which provide students with a broad view of how information is created, organized, stored, manipulated, packaged, retrieved and applied:
- The Department of Computer Science
- The Department of Informatics
- The Department of Information Studies (previously the School of Information Science and Policy)
Rockefeller College of Public Affairs and Policy
The Rockefeller College of Public Affairs and Policy, created in 1981, was named for former U.S. Vice President and Governor of New York Nelson Rockefeller. It is home to UAlbany’s departments of Political Science and Public Administration and Policy.
The College has an enhanced interdisciplinary approach to its public policy mission. While providing educational preparation for academic and public service careers, it undertakes research on significant public problems and issues, and assists in the continuing professional development of government executives. It also offers appropriate assistance to the federal and New York State governments, as well as to foreign nations and international organizations, to meet the responsibilities of contemporary citizenship and governance. Such assistance includes special courses and conferences, research and consultation, and publications for the dissemination of information.
The College offers degree programs that range from bachelor's level study in political science and public policy, to master's programs in political science, public administration and public policy, to doctorates in political science and public administration. Research centers within the College include the Center for Legislative Development, the Center for Policy Research, the Center for Women in Government and Civil Society, the Institute for Traffic Safety Management & Research, and the Center for International Development.
School of Business
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UAlbany’s School of Business, accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) in both business and accounting, provides students of all ages and backgrounds with academic programs that build critical business management skills. Founded in 1970, the School quickly became recognized as one of the most comprehensive and academically competitive business schools in the Northeast. Its master's and doctoral programs draw students from all over the world by offering both full-time and part-time opportunities to earn a highly regarded advanced degree.
Bachelor of Science degrees are offered in business administration or accounting. Business administration majors concentrate in one of four fields — finance, marketing, information technology management, or management. Both accounting and business administration majors are 60-credit majors, as opposed to the normal 40-credit variety. Students are also permitted to combine concentrations. An excellent Financial Analyst program was created in the early 2000s.
There is also a Bachelor of Science degree associated with the business school which is Financial Market Regulation. The Institute for Financial Market Regulation is a cooperative project of professionals involved in financial market regulation and supervision with the University at Albany and Albany Law School to develop interdisciplinary research and education in the field. This concentrates in four fields Business, Technology, Law, and Public Policy.
Graduate programs are focused on the information age, because the School believes that the creative application of information systems is now essential for the effective growth, management and expansion of business. The MBA has at its core the design and application of information systems for business and industry as well as the generation and effective use of information. The tax and accounting programs emphasize the use of accounting as a decision support system that manages the flow of economic data to all parts of a business.
Overall, the School’s aggressive curriculum, modern classrooms and computer labs foster an interactive and "high tech" learning environment, and applied experiences in the form of relevant internships, on-site field projects with local and regional companies, and in-class projects/case studies that address the most topical business themes.
The School's graduates have a history of attaining high job placements with such top companies as General Electric, Accenture, Ernst & Young, KPMG, PricewaterhouseCoopers, Deloitte, Goldman Sachs and Merrill Lynch.
The New York State Small Business Development Center (SBDC), based at the University at Albany, State University of New York, has been named among the top ten centers in the nation by the U.S. Small Business Administration. The SBDC is part of UAlbany's School of Business, one of the top 15 graduate schools most highly rated by students in The Princeton Review.
The University at Albany has just recently announced the newly completed School of Business building that was constructed right next to Collins Circle. The unveiling ceremony took place on August 19th, 2013, and was attended by state officials, community business leaders, and University faculty, staff, and students.
College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering
Created in 2004, the College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering is the first college in the world dedicated to research, development, education, and deployment in the emerging disciplines of nanosciences, nanoengineering, nanobioscience and nanoeconomics. CNSE's Albany NanoTech complex – a $5 billion, 800,000-square-foot (74,000 m2) facility has attracted more than 250 global corporate partners. The CNSE spent a total of $228 million in sponsored funds in fiscal year 2011.
CNSE’s complex, also home to the New York State Center of Excellence in Nanomaterials and Nanoelectronics, is a fully integrated research, development, prototyping, pilot manufacturing and education resource with a strategic portfolio of state-of-the-art laboratories, supercomputer and shared-user facilities and an array of research centers. Students and faculty work alongside scientists from industry on fundamental cutting-edge research.
CNSE's 80,000 square of Class 1 capable cleanrooms house the only fully integrated, 300 mm wafer, computer chip pilot prototyping and demonstration line. More than 2,500 scientists, researchers, engineers, students, and faculty work on site at the NanoTech complex; these include representatives from such corporate giants as IBM, AMD, SEMATECH, GLOBALFOUNDRIES, Vistec Lithography  Toshiba, ASML, Hermes Microvision Inc,KLA Tencor,Applied Materials, Atotech  Tokyo Electron  and Novellus Systems.
In May 2012, President Barack Obama visited the College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering to highlight the region's investment in high tech jobs and technologies. During his speech, he went on to say, "...Now I want what is happening at Albany to happen all across the country." 
School of Criminal Justice
UAlbany’s School of Criminal Justice is one of the nation’s premier programs in criminal justice, offering degrees on the bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral levels. The problem-centered interdisciplinary approach of its doctoral program was considered groundbreaking upon the School’s founding in 1966, and spurred what came to called “the Albany model” for other Ph.D. programs in major universities across the nation and the world.
The School concentrates on all aspects of crime and societal reactions to crime, including the political, economic and cultural patterns that influence policy choices on the response to certain categories of crime. A major focus of study is the social and personal forces that lead to criminal conduct and the analysis of the organization and operation of crime control systems. Particular emphasis is placed on the interactions among the many agencies which comprise criminal justice systems and on the relationships between these systems and other facets of society.
The School’s graduates have been highly successful in both academic and practical fields, including leadership in criminal justice research and teaching, all the operating agencies of criminal justice, and the many private and non-profit organizations which provide services or make policy recommendations.
School of Education
The legacy of the University at Albany, State University of New York began with devotion to the enhancement of education quality and practice. Founded as the New York Normal School of Teachers in 1844, with David Perkins Page as its first principal, the institution was the state's first public institution of higher learning. It thrived as the Normal School until it expanded to become the New York State College for Teachers in 1914, and then, in 1962, the State University of New York at Albany.
The School of Education became a reality that year as part of a multidisciplinary university center. It remained the home of the original teacher training programs and faculty, including, from 1845 until its closing in 1977, the Milne School, the University's campus laboratory school where prospective teachers carried out their practice teaching.
Since 1962, the School has also grown in size and scope, fulfilling its mission to foster enhanced learning and human development. It is home to 1,500 graduate students in more than 30 different master’s, certificate and doctoral degree programs housed within four departments: Educational Administration and Policy Studies, Educational and Counseling Psychology, Educational Theory and Practice, and Reading. Now offering only graduate-level degree programs, the School nonetheless provides a broad range of opportunities for undergraduates to explore the field of education.
The School is home to 15 different centers and institutes which aid Capital Region schools and research a broad range of the critical educational issues of our time. These include the School’s outreach arm, the Capital Area School Development Association, which provides services to 120 school districts; the Center for the Elimination of Minority Health Disparities, which is funded by a three-year $1.24 million grant from the National Institutes of Health; the Center for Urban Youth and Technology; and the National Research Center on English Learning & Achievement, which since 1987 has been funded by the U.S. Department of Education to conduct research dedicated to improving students’ English and literacy achievement.
School of Public Health
The School of Public Health, created in 1985 as a unique partnership between the University at Albany, State University of New York and the New York State Department of Health. Its mission is to provide quality education, research, service and leadership to improve public health and eliminate health disparities. Its operating vision includes designing solutions and developing models that lead the nation in addressing current and emerging public health challenges, through the creation of collaborative research, education and practice activities.
Accredited by the Council on Education for Public Health, the School offers MPH, MS, DrPH and PhD degrees in each of four academic departments: Biomedical Sciences; Environmental Health Sciences; Epidemiology & Biostatistics; and Health Policy, Management & Behavior.
Research interests of the more than 200 doctoral-level faculty include AIDS, GIS, maternal and child health, hospital epidemiology, infectious diseases, environmental and occupational health, eldercare, minority health and health disparities. Both research faculty and students benefit from additional affiliations with Albany Medical Center and Bassett Healthcare.
The School of Public Health's partnership with the New York State Department of Health (DOH) has world-class life sciences researchers as part of the University's research productivity. Awards for life scientists at the DOH's Wadsworth Center make up roughly a third of UAlbany's total of $391.7 million
School of Social Welfare
The School of Social Welfare (SSW), created in 1965, boasts a faculty that consistently ranks among the top five schools of social work in the U.S. for research and scholarship and per capita productivity.
The School’s bachelor’s, master’s and Ph.D. programs in social work take advantage of collaborative practices and partnerships, both regionally and throughout the world. Recent linkages have included those with an Albany elementary school challenged by poverty, an outlier regional community comprising one of the largest Latino populations in the state, Hallym University in South Korea, and multiple partners in South African, South America and western and eastern Europe.
Hallmarks of the School include its dedication in the area of gerontological social work, the creation of aging friendly communities, the improvement of pathways to higher education for inner city youth and families, the creation of family support agendas for the region, and re-professionalization campaigns in child welfare.
Special features of SSW include its NIDA-funded Child Welfare, Drug Abuse, and Intergenerational Risk Research Center and its centers for aging, which include the Institute of Gerontology, the Center for Excellence in Aging Services, and the Internships in Aging Program. Other special features include the Center for Human Services Research, the Social Work Education Consortium — which addresses child welfare and welfare workforce development and research — and the T.E.C.H. Center, devoted to aiding the development of electronic communication capacity within human service agencies.
The Honors College
Planning for the Honors College began in 2003 and first accepted students in Fall 2006. Its mission is to create a “small college experience” by fostering and encouraging the creation of closely knit cohorts of like-minded, motivated students. The Honors College seeks to increase faculty-student interaction early in a student’s tenure at the University.
The Honors College comprises coursework, research, internships, and field-placements. All involve intense collaborations among students and professors. Rather than having a small number of professors teach an honors curriculum, professors from across the UAlbany campus teach honors courses in many disciplines. During the college's first three academic years, more than 50 UAlbany professors offered courses.
During their first two years, honors students at explore this range of disciplines through six or more honors courses. During their next two years, students move into the honors program in their major. The Honors College also offers special lectures, tours, retreats to Camp Dippikill, and other trips to expand their learning opportunities, and also student social events.
The University at Albany, State University of New York Libraries provide more than two million volumes, and rank among the top 100 research libraries in the U.S., according to the Association of Research Libraries. Users from around the world access services and collections through the libraries' online systems and Web site. The University's libraries offer a program of information literacy and user education with instruction that ranges from a focus on traditional bibliographic access to collaborative classes integrated into the curriculum.
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The university was ranked 64th nationally among the 100 Best Values in Public Colleges by Kiplinger’s magazine in 2012 for in-state students, and 51st for out-of-state students. According to the publication, listed institutions are “noteworthy for their combination of top-flight academics and affordable costs.”
The most recent US News&World Report ranking ranked the university 131st of universities which award doctoral degrees. UAlbany is also placed in the grouping of 91st-114th for US universities and in the grouping 201st-302nd for universities worldwide by the annual Academic Ranking of World Universities conducted by the Institute of Higher Education, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Shanghai, China.
The university is ranked 15th nationally in research expenditures among universities without a medical school faculty. It attracted a record $391.7 million in research awards in 2007-08.
The Chronicle of Higher Education has ranked six UAlbany doctoral programs—criminal justice, educational administration, curriculum instruction, educational leadership, "teacher education in specific study areas," and social welfare—in its "Top 10" nationally in the publication's last two surveys.
UAlbany ranked 45th worldwide among universities in the social sciences in 2006 and 2007 and between 51-76 (no specific number given) in 2008, according to the Institute of Higher Education, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Shanghai, China.
Other Leading Program Rankings and sources:
- Criminal Justice - #2 (US News 2013)
- School of Education
- Educational and Counseling Psychology - #13 (US News 2006)
- Educational Administration - #7 (Academic Analytics 2006)
- Reading — #2 (Academic Analytics 2007)
- Curriculum and Instruction -- #10 (Academic Analytics 2007)
- Educational Evaluation and Research — #10 (Academic Analytics 2007)
- Counseling/Personnel Services — #17 (Academic Analytics 2007)
- Social Welfare - #5 (Academic Analytics 2006)
- Information Technology and Management - #3 (US News 2013)
- Africana Studies - #3 (Black Issues in Higher Education July 2004)
- Public Affairs - #16 (US News 2013)
- Public Administration and Management - #8 (US News 2009)
- Public Finance and Budgeting - #16 (US News 2013)
- Public Health - #25 (US News 2013)
- Public Policy Analysis - #22 (US News 2009)
- Non-Profit Management - #18 (US News 2013)
- Clinical Psychology - #47 (US News 2013)
- Sociology - #28 (US News 2013)
- Sociology of Population - #19 (US News 2005)
- Sociology of Sex and Gender - #13 (US News 2005)
- Library and Information Studies - #26 (US News 2013)
- Archives and Preservation — #9 (US News 2006)
- Applied Ethics - #34 (Philosophical Gourmet)
- Nanoscience and Engineering - #1 overall (ahead of #2 Cornell), #3 Michigan-Ann Arbor, #4 Rice, #5 University of Pennsylvania, and #6 Virginia (Small Times magazine)
- Atmospheric Sciences - #22 R&D Expenditures (NSF, 2006)
The University’s research expenditures, which, for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2005, were $163.7 million — 23.9 percent higher than the previous year. This reached $342.3 million in 2008-09 and $371.9 million in 2009-10. For fiscal year 2011, total research expenditures were $459 million. It also swelled UAlbany’s effect on economic development. A 2004 study conducted by the independent Capital District Regional Planning Commission estimated the institution’s economic impact as $1.119 billion annually in New York State — $1.005 billion of that in the Capital Region. The university is ranked 16th in the world in annual research income per faculty member and 131st in the world in Highly Cited Researchers per Staff in 2011 by academic rankings of world universities shanghairankings.com.
Cancer Research Center
UAlbany's Cancer Research Center (CRC) is committed to research that will discover the genetic origins of cancer and lead to finding a cure for the disease. Its basic research mission focuses on the underlying biology associated with tumor initiation and progression, and the development and evaluation of chemopreventive regimens and therapeutic approaches for common cancers. The Center also fosters the training of graduate students and postdoctoral fellows in cancer biology.
Located on the University East Campus in Rensselaer, N.Y., the Center combines UAlbany research expertise in genomics and biomedical sciences with state-of-the-art technology in a new 117,000-square-foot (10,900 m2) facility.
The Center opened in October 2005 with $45 million in support through New York State's Gen*NY*Sis Program. Additional funds currently being raised from the private sector for the Center's Fund for Memory and Hope will be used for special equipment and needs of the research program.
The CRC was awarded $7 million in new funding in Fall 2009 to support its research into the causes, prevention and treatment of cancer. The new grants were awarded to four Cancer Research Center scientists:
- Thomas Begley, biomedical sciences, awarded $2.1 million by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to study RNA modifications as biomarkers of environmental stress and inflammation. Begley was also awarded two NIH stimulus grants: $415,000 to study translational machinery in stress signaling and tumor suppression; and $346,955 to explore the connection between tRNA methylation and the DNA damage response.
- Douglas Conklin, biomedical sciences, awarded $1.25 million from NIH to study the NR1D1 gene, a recently identified Achilles' heel in breast cancer cells. Conklin was also awarded $246,800 from the Susan G. Komen Foundation and $264,177 from the U.S. Army Medical Research Acquisition Activity for analysis of NR1D1.
- Chittibabu Guda, epidemiology and biostatistics, awarded $946,875 from NIH to catalog the subcellular and suborganellar proteomes of sequenced genomes. Guda's research aims to create a better understanding of the spatial organization and the function of proteins in the cell that work together.
- JoEllen Welsh, Empire Innovations Professor in environmental health sciences, received a two-year stimulus grant for $996,333 to study how dietary factors protect cells from environmental agents that can cause cancer. She was also awarded a $275,000 grant from NIH to continue her studies linking vitamin D and breast cancer.
In September 2009 the Center recruited scientist Ramune Reliene from the University of California Los Angeles to its research team and faculty of the School of Public Health's Department of Environmental Health Sciences. Reliene, who received her doctorate from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich in Switzerland, expands the scientific portfolio of the Center in the genetic and environmental causes of cancer.
Atmospheric Sciences Research Center
The Atmospheric Sciences Research Center (ASRC), based at UAlbany, is a leading center for research in the atmospheric sciences. Established on February 16, 1961, by the Board of Trustees,[which?] its mission is to promote and encourage programs in basic and applied sciences, especially as they relate to the atmospheric environment. The Center is connected to and shares faculty and resources with the University's Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences.
ASRC performs research to study the physical and chemical nature of the atmosphere and its implications to the environment. Current research areas include boundary layers, solar radiation, radiative transfer, atmospheric chemistry, aerosol physics, air quality, solar energy, cloud physics, climate systems, and air quality monitoring. In addition the Center has a large "jungle research group" exploring atmosphere and biosphere relationships in Amazonia, the Alaskan Tundra, the Canadian Boreal Forest, and the eastern U.S.
The Climate System Sciences Section of ASRC, started in November 1989, conducts research to understand the Earth's global and regional climate system and to assess and evaluate the effects of climate change caused by both human activities and nature.
Northeast Regional Forensics Institute
The Northeast Regional Forensic Institute (NERFI) at UAlbany is dedicated to training professionals forensic scientists, while simultaneously conducting research required to improve the speed, accuracy, and effectiveness of future forensic analyses. NERFI has a growing reputation as a foremost research and training site in forensic science, collaborating with the Northeast region's forensic science community to devise curricula for professionals already established in their careers, and for students starting out in a dynamic, highly relevant field.
The DNA Academy, NERFI’s forensic training program, is unique in its dedicated learning environment and its fast-track to DNA specialization and professional development. Each of NERFI’s academic programs takes advantage of collaboration and cooperation between UAlbany’s Department of Biological Sciences and the New York State Police Forensic Investigation Center. The partnership was made possible by a 2004 grant from the National Institute of Justice.
The Center for Social and Demographic Analysis
UAlbany’s Center for Social and Demographic Analysis (CSDA) was established in 1981 to provide a strong research infrastructure for scholarship in the social sciences at the University at Albany, State University of New York. CSDA has since become the nexus for further investments by University administration and a variety of state and federal agencies. Positioned by these developments, CSDA officially joined the roster of NICHD Population Centers in September 1997.
Over the years, CSDA has increasingly emphasized support for interdisciplinary population research, especially the analysis of spatial inequalities (paying attention to processes of urban and regional development and their impacts on residents) and concerns for vulnerable populations (defined by race and ethnicity, age, social class, and nativity). The Center offers researchers access to first-rate computing facilities and statistical software, computing and statistical consulting, assistance with grant preparation and administration, and other related services. It also collaborates with the Lewis Mumford Center — the University’s 20-year-old institute devoted to urban research — in efforts to disseminate data and fresh analyses of population trends revealed in the census and continuing census-related databases such as the Current Population Survey and the American Community Survey.
CSDA currently has 41 faculty associates drawn from 15 departments that span the array of academic disciplines at the University. Among major research initiatives sponsored by the Center is the Urban China Research Network (funded by the Mellon Foundation), which brings together scholars and graduate students from around the world to study implications of urban change in China. New collaborative projects include initiatives on health disparities and the environmental impacts of metropolitan growth.
The RNA Institute
On June 4, 2010, the University unveiled a new $12.5 million biomedical research center, The RNA Institute, whose mission would be to form an alliance of top genetic scientists and biomedical investigators from New York's Capital Region to spur research and development into RNA and its implications for innovative medicines, drug therapies and technologies, and curing disease. On Nov. 5, 2010, UAlbany announced The RNA Institute had received a $5.37 million grant from the National Institutes of Health/National Center for Research Resources (NIH/NCRR) and $2 million in matching funds from the State of New York to fund the design, engineering and construction of 15,000 square feet (1,400 m2) of research facilities on par with those of modern pharmaceutical companies. Comple On the same day, The Institute also announced the establishment of The RNA Institute MassSpec Center, dedicated to the development of mass spectrometry-based technologies for investigating the structure-function relationships of natural and synthetic RNA as tools for drug discovery.
The Office of International Education Study Abroad & Exchanges sponsors 70 study abroad programs in 34 countries directly through UAlbany, but students can take advantage of more than 300 programs in over 80 different countries throughout the SUNY system. Among the most popular international programs for UAlbany students have been Italy, Great Britain, Ireland, France and Spain. Students study abroad any time after their freshman year, up to and including their final semester senior year. Programs are available semester-long and for the full academic year, as well as in summer and during winter session.
Like a growing number of universities, the University at Albany, State University of New York feels a responsibility to model environmentally conscious behavior and provide options for its campus community to promote and advance sustainability.
Its synergistic approach to sustainable transportation — incorporating public/private collaborations and practical applications of mass transit aimed at reducing carbon emissions — is a major facet of its UAlbany Green Scene initiative. Through AT&T grant-funded research, UAlbany researchers now study coordination of traffic signals and transportation patterns, with the goals of minimizing car-engine idling times, forging new carpooling connections, and communicating more effectively alternative transportation options to the campus community.
Campus efforts were on display on Sept. 22, 2009, with "Destination Green," a day focusing on encouraging sustainable transportation. It highlighted the campus’s alternative transportation options, which include hybrid buses, global electric motorcars (GEMs), public bus systems, carpooling, and bike-and-ride sharing programs.
The campus designated April 2010 as UAlbany environmental sustainability month, with lectures, a regional student competition for the best renewable energy business plan, and campus greening projects.
The UAlbany Student Association, or SA, is a student run, non-profit, corporation which organizes and funds much of the student oriented activities on campus. The SA funds and recognizes more than 200 student groups, plans many concerts, speaking engagements, and comedy shows. The SA impacts students in the classroom as well, through funding of general education courses. Modeled after the U.S. government, SA consists of 3 branches: executive, legislative (unicameral Student Association Senate), and judicial (Supreme Court).
The SA is funded directly by the entire undergraduate student body of the University at Albany, State University of New York.
The Student Association owns an 850 acre (3.4 km²) wilderness retreat facility in the Adirondack Mountains called Camp Dippikill. The cabins and campsites at Dippikill are open to reservations from the University’s undergraduates, graduate students, alumni, faculty and staff.
World Within Reach Speaker Series
Founded in 2009, the World Within Reach Speaker Series (commonly known as Speaker Series) is UAlbany's premiere lecture series. A student led initiative aimed at engaging the UAlbany community in a broad conversation on the days most important issues. The program was launched by a group of student leaders in the Student Association and is funded by the Student Association, University Auxiliary Services, and the Alumni Association. The goal of the Speaker Series is to bring prominent guests to campus in a broad range of areas; politics, global affairs, business, journalism, popular culture, and more.
- Fall 2009 – Gen. Colin Powell (Inaugural Speaker)
- Spring 2010 – Debate between Former Vermont Governor Howard Dean and Republican Political Strategist Karl Rove
- Fall 2010 – Barbara Walters (Journalist)
- Spring 2011 – President Bill Clinton
- Fall 2011 – Earvin Magic Johnson
- Fall 2012 – Russell Simmons
- Fall 2013 – David Axelrod, David Plouffe, and Jon Favreau
University at Albany, State University of New York intercollegiate athletics date back to the late 1890s, but its development was hampered for several decades by inadequate facilities, uncertain financial support, and the relatively small number of male students in an institution designed to develop elementary school teachers. Tennis remained a constant from 1898 on and men’s basketball dates back to 1909, but attempts to field teams in football (1922), baseball (1896–1901), swimming and hockey were aborted. Expansion into men’s and women’s sports increased after World War II, and then expanded greatly in the 1960s (men’s sports of lacrosse, track & field, cross-country and swimming moved from club to varsity status, and women’s tennis, softball, field hockey, basketball and swimming were introduced), a direct result of the introduction of the new Uptown Campus (see item above) and its expanded athletic facilities. A nickname change also occurred, the Pedagogues becoming the Great Danes — making UAlbany the only American college or university with that mascot. The school's colors are purple and gold.
After the 1972 NCAA restructuring, UAlbany competed in Division III athletics until the 1995-96 school year, when it moved to the Division II level as part of a transition to Division I competition. That process was completed in the fall of 1999; UAlbany now has 19 varsity sports (8 men, 11 women) competing at the Division I level. All athletic programs are run by the University’s Department of Athletics and Recreation.
Other than the sport of football, the school’s teams have been members of the America East Conference since 2001. Football participates in the Football Championship Subdivision level (formerly Division I-AA) as an associate member of the Northeast Conference.
On Feb. 15, 2012, University President George Philip announced that a new $24 million athletic and recreational complex would begin this spring and be completed in three phases, consisting of a new synthetic turn recreational field for students (due Fall 2012), a combined new football and soccer facility (due Fall 2013), and a refurbished track & field venue (due Spring 2014). President Philip also announced $6 million fundraising campaign to support the project.
In addition to varsity sports, UAlbany competes in many sports at the club level such as swimming, fencing, men's ice hockey, men's rugby, women's rugby and Crew  . Crew as of 2013 has been derecognized as a student organization after the group refused to adopt a recreational-only format, instead choosing to maintain its competitive mission without University affiliation. However, these teams are not affiliated with the Department of Athletics and Recreation and are funded by the Student Association.
The Earth Tones
The Earth Tones is an all-male a cappella singing group. Founded in 1998, the Earth Tones is known for its work both on campus as well as within the community, including performances at local high schools and outreach work at facilities like the Albany Medical Center. The group stages two semester shows in the Recital Hall in the PAC (Performing Arts Center) at the university. In addition to these shows, the Earth Tones also perform at local venues and have even sung for the inaugural proceedings for former New York Governor Eliot Spitzer. In recent years, the group has attended the Northeast branch of the ICCA (International Championship of Collegiate A Cappella) competition, placing second for two consecutive years and advancing from Quarter Finals to Semi-Finals. The group's repertoire consists of many diverse styles and genres of music, including pop, rock, hip-hop, R&B, soul/funk, reggae and punk.
- Fountain Day is UAlbany’s annual rite of spring when the main fountain on the Academic Podium is turned on for the season. This event draws a huge cross-section of the University Community, gathering students, faculty, and staff for an afternoon of festivities. Fountain Day began in 1978 as Human Awareness Potential day. The University President usually presides over the ceremony and countdown to the turning on of the fountains. In 2004 the normally chilly April Albany weather produced a 70 degree Fountain Day, which resulted in a large 4000 person crowd. The rampant drinking at the event lead to extensive local news coverage and 16 hospitalizations. In the wake of the 2004 event, Fountain Day has been shaped into a carnival-esque atmosphere complete with beach balls, rubber ducks, free caricatures, free massages, fried dough vendors, music, contests, and giveaways. Construction on the main fountain began in June 2012, and Fountain Day therefore is temporarily cancelled.
- The Big Purple Growl is the annual winter homecoming celebration. The Ferocious Feast kicks off the festivities with lots of great food and fun. The Growl usually features a doubleheader with both the women’s and men’s basketball teams playing home at the SEFCU Arena. Beginning in 1997, this annual event is regarded as an exciting and spirited day for all members of the University community.
- On the University seal is Minerva, the Roman goddess of crafts and wisdom. But because Minerva was also identified with the Greek goddess Athena, she was known as the goddess of war and victory as well. This famous statue was purchased in 1888 and rescued by Charles Wurtham (a custodian) from a devastating fire in the Normal College’s administrative offices. This seven-foot, white plaster landmark of the University at Albany, State University of New York is on display in the Science Library foyer on the Uptown Campus. While there is no official record of where the statue of Minerva came from, it is reported that it was purchased with funds from a $1 student fee collected for make-up exams.
- The students publish an independent newspaper, the Albany Student Press, commonly known as “The ASP.” Born as the State College News and published continuously since 1916, the newspaper has a circulation of more than 10,000 and serves student body and the surrounding community.
- The University has hosted the Relay For Life, an American Cancer Society Benefit, the last six years. In March 2010, more than 1,800 students, faculty, and community members participated raising over $85,000. In 2007, UAlbany student John Lowery raised more money online—more than $25,000—for Relay than any other college student in the country. Lowery, who won a national award from the American Cancer Society, lost a cousin to bone cancer. In the six years at the University, the participants of the event have raised over $450,000.
UAlbany has held two records that were published in the Guinness Book of World Records
- On April 20, 1985, Albany set the record for the world's largest game of musical chairs with 5,060 participants.
- On April 17, 2005, Albany broke the record for the "World's Biggest Pillow Fight" with 3,648 students participating.
Notable alumni and faculty
The University has been and is home to a renowned group of scholars, scientists, and writers, who include a Nobel Prize laureate (Toni Morrison), a Pulitzer Prize winner (William Kennedy), Gay Rights pioneer (Harvey Milk), and Turing Award winner (Richard Stearns).
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