Nazareth College (New York)

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Nazareth College
Nazareth College logo 2014.png
TypePrivate college
Established1924; 98 years ago (1924)
Religious affiliation
None (formerly Roman Catholic)
Endowment$68.1 million (2020)[1]
PresidentBeth Paul
Academic staff
176 full-time
CampusSuburban, 150 acres (61 ha)
Colors    Purple & gold
NicknameGolden Flyers
Sporting affiliations
NCAA Division III
MascotGolden Flyer

Nazareth College ("Naz") is a private college in Pittsford, New York. It offers over 60 undergraduate majors[2] and more than two dozen graduate programs. The college was previously the Nazareth College of Rochester.


Golisano Academic Center, Nazareth College


At the request of Thomas Francis Hickey, Bishop of Rochester, five Sisters of St. Joseph founded Nazareth College of Rochester in 1924. The first class was composed of 25 young women who began their studies in a large mansion on Lake Avenue in Rochester, New York. The original mansion that housed the college was known as "the Glass House." At that time, the college offered Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science degrees, each with a liberal arts core. In response to increasing enrollment, the college moved to a larger facility in 1928 at 402 Augustine Street.

Move to East Avenue[edit]

In January 1942, the college moved to its present campus on East Avenue in Pittsford. In the 1950s, the college responded to the need for graduate study by adding majors and by the 1970s offered programs in teacher education and social work. Study abroad programs and intercollegiate sports were also added in the 1970s. During this time, the college became co-educational and independent of the Roman Catholic Church.

Nazareth competed in men's intercollegiate athletics for the first time in 1977. The official nickname of the sports teams became the Golden Flyers — golden for the Nazareth color, and flyers for the bird-like symbol that is part of the old Nazareth logo. Today, Nazareth supports 25 varsity teams. The most recently introduced sport, which began competition in 2019, is men's rugby.[3]


In the early 2000s, the college purchased adjacent land from the Sisters of St. Joseph, including the former Motherhouse and Infirmary. This acquisition doubled the campus size to its current 150 acres. As a result of support from college benefactors (including Tom Golisano, the founder of Paychex), the Motherhouse became the Golisano Academic Center. The Infirmary became George Hall, a residence hall that also houses a coffeehouse and late night study area. The decade of the 2000s also saw the construction of additional student housing, including Portka Hall, Clock Tower Commons, and the Lyons and Breen apartment buildings.

In 2003, 30 years after becoming religiously independent, Nazareth College was removed from The Official Catholic Directory, having been declared no longer a Catholic institution by Rochester Bishop Matthew H. Clark. It was the second time since Pope John Paul II issued Ex Corde Ecclesiae, the apostolic constitution on Catholic universities in 1990, that a bishop declared a formerly Catholic college or university to be not Catholic.[4]

In 2012, Nazareth added Peckham Hall, the Integrated Center for Math and Science, to its campus. Named after lead donors Nancy and Larry Peckham, the $30 million facility supports majors in math and science fields, as well as education programs. It also provides important learning facilities for students in health and human services programs.

Students work in a study area in Peckham Hall at Nazareth College in Rochester, NY

In 2015, the York Wellness and Rehabilitation Institute opened after an extensive renovation/expansion of Carroll Hall. The institute consolidated and doubled the size of the clinics associated with the college's School of Health and Human Services and added collaboration space.


Cell biology lab at Nazareth College
Fall foliage, Nazareth College

The campus has 24 buildings, including 11 residence halls, a 2,200-seat stadium, and all-weather track, located on 150 acres (0.61 km2).

The Golisano Academic Center was built in 1927. It is the oldest and largest building on campus, once serving as the "motherhouse" for the Sisters of St. Joseph. It was purchased from the Sisters of St. Joseph in 2003 and is now used for academic and administrative purposes. Features of the Center include the Linehan Chapel and Cafe Sorelle. The Nazareth College Arts Center, which houses the departments of Theatre Arts, Music, and Art, opened in 1967. The Arts Center was renovated in September 2009 to become a dance and performance venue. The Golisano Training Center (opened in fall 2019), is a multi-use facility supporting varsity athletics, Special Olympics events, fitness, and a wide range of campus activities. The Jane and Laurence Glazer Music Performance Center, providing state-of-the-art acoustics, opened in fall 2018.[5] Nazareth's Integrated Center for Math and Science, Peckham Hall, opened in fall 2012. The center features multi-purpose research spaces (including state-of-the-art labs and classrooms), a range of support services, and a variety of student centers. It is also the first project on campus to achieve a Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED)-certified green building rating.

On-campus clinics for speech and hearing, reading and physical therapy allow students to gain practical experience and are also open to the Rochester community. Although Nazareth College has been independent since the 1970s, the legacy of the Sisters of St. Joseph is honored by the Meditation Garden located next to Golisano Academic Center that includes a labyrinth, benches, and a statue of Mary that once stood on the grounds of Smyth Hall. A network of tunnels connects many buildings on campus, allowing students and employees to avoid the cold and snow of upstate New York winters.

It was listed as a census-designated place in 2020.[6]


Nazareth College is organized into four core schools:

  • The College of Arts and Sciences
  • The School of Education
  • The School of Health and Human Services
  • The School of Business and Leadership

Nazareth offers more than 60 four-year undergraduate programs, more than 20 master's degree programs, a Doctorate of Physical Therapy, and three post-baccalaureate certificate programs.

One of many welcome banners in different languages.

Fulbright program[edit]

From 2009 to 2018, 30 Nazareth students were accepted to the Fulbright Program. The Chronicle of Higher Education placed Nazareth in the #1 spot (in the Master's Institutions category) of the Chronicle of Higher Education’s Top Producers of U.S. Fulbright Students, 2012–13 list.[7] Since 1990, Nazareth graduates have been granted Fulbright awards for study in Andorra, Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Colombia, Egypt, France, Finland, Germany, Honduras, Hungary, India, Israel, Malaysia, Nepal, New Zealand, Poland, Slovak Republic, Slovenia, South Korea, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sweden, Venezuela, and Yemen.[8]

Honors Program[edit]

Nazareth College offers an honors program to provide its most capable students with opportunities and challenges appropriate to their abilities and motivation. The goal of the program is to encourage academic excellence, intellectual curiosity, and independent scholarship. Students in the honors program study logic and rhetoric, plus 12 credits related to a scholarly, professional, or personal interest, and complete an honors thesis.[9]

Clinton Global Initiative University[edit]

In fall 2013, Nazareth College joined the Clinton Global Initiative University Network (CGI U), a consortium of colleges and universities that support, mentor, and provide seed funding to student leaders who are developing solutions to the world's most pressing challenges.[10] From 2014 to 2018, CGI U selected a total of 31 students from Nazareth College to attend its three-day international conference, based on the strength of the projects they proposed in health, education, youth empowerment, and the environment.[11]

Nazareth College Arts Center[edit]

Bend and Snap, a contemporary dance performance at the unveiling of the Nazareth College Arts Center, September 26, 2009.

Renovated in 2009, the Nazareth College Arts Center is a campus venue with spaces including:

  • Sands Family Pavilion, featuring a grand staircase leading to Callahan Theater;
  • Jayne Summers Hall, a space for gathering before performances and during intermission;
  • Fine Arts Gallery, a large space for Nazareth College, greater Rochester, and national exhibitions;
  • Lipson Patrons Lounge
  • Wegman Family Sculpture Garden, a four-season garden featuring three-dimensional artwork by Nazareth College faculty;
  • Master's Family Community Theater, a smaller space for community performances and events;
  • Callahan Theater, a theater that seats approximately 800;
  • Performance Studio, a space for dance and theater rehearsals, instruction, and creation;
  • Margaret Colacino Gallery, a space for student and faculty art shows, as well as national art exhibitions.

The Nazareth College Arts Center is the home of Bach Children's Chorus as well as the performance home of Rochester City Ballet and Garth Fagan Dance. The Arts Center houses the Nazareth College departments of Art, Music, and Theatre & Dance.

Hickey Center for Interfaith Studies and Dialogue[edit]

The Center for Interfaith Studies and Dialogue (CISD) at Nazareth College was founded in 2005. In 2011, International Institute of Islamic Thought (IIIT) of Herndon, Virginia offered Nazareth a major gift, provided it was matched by local donors. Brian and Jean Hickey matched this gift, resulting in renaming the center of the Hickey Center for Interfaith Studies and Dialogue at Nazareth College. The endowed chair of the center was left to the IIIT, and they selected Dr. Muhammad Shafiq, who was the imam of the Islamic Center of Rochester, the Rochester metropolitan area's largest mosque. The center is part of Nazareth's College of Arts and Sciences and located in the Golisano Academic Center. Dr. Muhammad Shafiq is the executive director of the Hickey Center for Interfaith Studies and Dialogue and a professor of Islamic and religious studies at the college.

Casa Italiana[edit]

The Casa Italiana (Italian House)[12] is a center of Italian language, literature, and culture. It serves as a cultural center for the college and the Rochester metropolitan area. Built with the help of the Italian-American community of greater Rochester in 1978, the Casa promotes traditional and contemporary Italian culture, explores the Italian-American experience, and seeks to enhance exchanges between the United States and Italy. The reading room at the Casa provides the college and the community with language and culture resources, and the classroom provides an environment in which students and community members can study the Italian language. Cultural events[13] organized by the Casa include lectures, cooking and language classes, film nights, conferences, concerts, seminars, symposia, bocce tournaments, art shows, and trips to Italy.

French House at Nazareth College

Maison Française[edit]

La Maison Française (French House) is a home converted into a cultural center[14] and residence hall[15] for 13 selected foreign language majors. The French House offers a living environment and resource center for students who wish to immerse themselves in French culture and practice speaking French. La Maison Française also offers a line-up of cultural events throughout the year. Such gatherings, which include French film nights, cultural and historical lectures, reader's theater showcases, Francophone regional dinners, and campus diversity dinners, occur on Thursday evenings and are prepared by the French department[16] and the house residents.

Casa Hispana[edit]

At the heart of the Spanish program[17] is the Casa Hispana,[18] a place where students and community members enjoy films, conversation, art exhibitions, and a variety of events relating to the culture of Spain and the Latin American countries. The Casa also houses the offices of the Spanish program faculty, a library, and classrooms.


Spring at Nazareth College

Nazareth is among The Princeton Review's "The Best 382 Colleges" for 2018.[19] The U.S. News & World Report (2018 edition) ranked Nazareth in the top tier of colleges and universities in the "Universities-North" category.[20]


Nazareth Hockey

Nazareth's men's and women's athletic teams are members of the National Collegiate Athletic Association's (NCAA) Division III. The Golden Flyers are a member of the Empire 8 Athletic Conference (Empire 8). For men's volleyball, Nazareth is a member of the single-sport United Volleyball Conference and for men's ice hockey, a member of the United Collegiate Hockey Conference. Athletic facilities at Nazareth include the Robert A. Kidera Gymnasium (1,200) and Golden Flyer Stadium (2,200).

Men's sports include basketball, cross country, equestrian, golf, ice hockey, lacrosse, soccer, swimming & diving, tennis, track & field, and volleyball; while women's sports include basketball, cross country, equestrian, field hockey, golf, lacrosse, soccer, softball, swimming & diving, tennis, track & field, volleyball, and dance. The college added women's hockey in 2018.[21]

The Nazareth men's lacrosse team is a three-time NCAA Division III National Champion (1992, 1996, and 1997). The team has also appeared in the NCAA postseason tournament nineteen times. In 2011, the Nazareth men's indoor volleyball team achieved a #1 national ranking and won the Molten Division III National Championship, while in 2013 they finished runner-up in the NCAA Division III championship to Springfield.

Nazareth College's traditional rival is St. John Fisher University, just a mile north. The annual men's basketball game between the schools is known as "The Battle of the Beaks."

Community service[edit]

More than 95% of students are involved in community service through academic service-learning, student organizations, athletics, and residence life. Nazareth has an on-campus Center for Civic Engagement to serve as a resource for students, staff, and faculty who want to learn and serve in the context of the local, regional, national and global communities. The center is also a point of contact for community members seeking College involvement with local organizations, programs, and projects. The school also has a campus ministry program to connect students to various volunteer organizations.[22] In addition, over 60% of alumni are known to participate regularly in community service. In 2007, the college was named to the President's Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll (with distinction).[23] I n 2013, Nazareth was only one of five schools in the country named to the 2013 President's Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll, the highest honor a college or university can receive, at the federal level, for its commitment to volunteering, service-learning, and civic engagement.[24]


.Nazareth has more than 33,000 alumni living in all 50 states and 38 countries around the world.

Alumni networking program, Nazareth College School of Management.

Notable Nazareth alumni include:


  1. ^ As of June 30, 2020. U.S. and Canadian Institutions Listed by Fiscal Year 2020 Endowment Market Value and Change in Endowment Market Value from FY19 to FY20 (Report). National Association of College and University Business Officers and TIAA. February 19, 2021. Retrieved February 21, 2021.
  2. ^ "Undergraduate Majors & Graduate Degree Programs | Nazareth College, Rochester NY".
  3. ^ "Nazareth Names New Rugby Coach for Inaugural 2019 Season". 2018-07-30. Retrieved 2022-03-12.
  4. ^ "New York Archdiocese Says Marist College 'No Longer Catholic'". Retrieved 2007-09-14.
  5. ^ "News Archive".
  6. ^ "State of New York Census Designated Places - Current/BAS20 - Data as of January 1, 2019". Retrieved 2020-02-24.
  7. ^ " :: Nazareth Named Top Fulbright Producer". Retrieved 20 March 2016.
  8. ^ " :: Fulbright Program". Retrieved 20 March 2016.
  9. ^ "Honors Program - Nazareth College, Rochester NY". Retrieved 20 March 2016.
  10. ^ "CGI University".
  11. ^ " :: CGIU". Retrieved 20 March 2016.
  12. ^ "Casa Italiana".
  13. ^ "Upcoming Events".
  14. ^ "French House".
  15. ^ "La Maison Française".
  16. ^ "Foreign Languages Department".
  17. ^ "Spanish". Retrieved 20 March 2016.
  18. ^ "Casa Italiana".
  19. ^ "News Archive".
  20. ^ " :: News". Retrieved 20 March 2016.
  21. ^ "News Archive".
  22. ^ "Nazareth College Undergraduate Admissions: Fast Facts". Retrieved 2008-02-21.
  23. ^ "Learn and Serve America". Archived from the original on 2008-02-14. Retrieved 2008-02-21.
  24. ^ " :: Presidential Award Winner". Retrieved 20 March 2016.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 43°6′10″N 77°31′10″W / 43.10278°N 77.51944°W / 43.10278; -77.51944