University of Bridgeport

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University of Bridgeport
University of Bridgeport.svg
Established 1927
Type Private
Endowment US $13,111,000[1]
President Neil Albert Salonen
Academic staff 117 full-time
Undergraduates 2,248[1]
Postgraduates 3,295
Location Bridgeport, Connecticut, USA United States
Campus Urban 86 acres (350,000 m2)[1]
Colors Purple and White          
Athletics NCAA Division II
Sports 13 Varsity Teams[2]
8 women's; 5 men's
Nickname Purple Knights
Mascot Purple Knight
Affiliations ECC

The University of Bridgeport commonly referred to as UB, is a private, independent, non-sectarian, coeducational university[1] located on the Long Island Sound in the South End neighborhood of Bridgeport, Connecticut. The University is fully accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC-CIHE).[3] The University is known for its diverse student population, currently ranking as the eleventh most racially diverse national university in the country by U.S. News & World Report.[4] The students of the University of Bridgeport are from 80 countries and 46 states.[5] In 2010, the percentage of students graduating that had participated in an English as a foreign or second language (ESL) program was one of the nation's highest at 5%.[6]



The University of Bridgeport started as the Junior College of Connecticut, founded in 1927. It was the first junior college chartered by a legislature in the 11 northeastern states. In 1947, reacting to increased student demand, the Connecticut legislature settled a new charter creating a four-year institution out of the former Junior College. Thereafter, the University of Bridgeport moved from its original location on Fairfield Avenue to the former P.T. Barnum estate at Seaside Park, gradually expanding from 22 acres in 1950 to over 50 acres today. Arnold College in Milford, Connecticut, which was the nation’s first co-educational School of Physical Education and founded in 1886, merged with the university in 1953. The range and diversity of the university was established in those early years. With the Junior College as a basis, the newly-chartered University added colleges of Arts and Sciences, Business Administration, Nursing, Education and Engineering. To the Junior College itself were added the Weylister Secretarial School and the Fones School of Dental Hygiene. Fones is the first school of dental hygiene in the world. Now, through its International College, Schools of Arts and Sciences, Business, Education, Engineering, Continuing and Professional Studies, Fones School of Dental Hygiene, the College of Chiropractic, the College of Naturopathic Medicine, the English Language Institute, the Acupuncture Institute, and the Human Nutrition Institute. The university continues to evolve and expand its course offerings. In 2010, the Shintaro Akatsu School of Design was established with the generous support of the university alumni. Students began enrolling in the Physician Assistant program in January 2011. Also in 2010 the university announced collaboration with the University of Connecticut relating to admission of University of Bridgeport graduates to the University of Connecticut Pharmacy program. The University of Bridgeport also has started offering Doctoral degrees in Educational Leadership, Computer Science and Engineering and Naturopathic Medicine, as well as a Doctor of Chiropractic Degree.[7]

Expansion and decline[edit]

The university grew rapidly in the 1960s by capitalizing on the increased number of people seeking to attend a U.S. college resulting from the baby boom, Vietnam War veterans eligible for a higher education under the G.I. Bill, and international students who wanted to attend college in the United States. Enrollment peaked at 9100 students in 1969, and an Ed.D. program in Educational Leadership was added in 1979.[8][9] Enrollment declined in the 1970s and 1980s after the waves of baby boom and Vietnam era veterans eligible for the G.I. Bill declined. By 1990, the university had cut tuition, room and board fees to $18,000 per year, but the school's reputation had not improved. More than a third of the 50 campus buildings were empty. To cut costs, the university decided to terminate 50 tenured faculty, and asked the other faculty to accept a 30% wage cut.[10] In addition, the university decided to eliminate its Liberal Arts College, alienating many students.[11][11] This led to the longest faculty strike in the history of American higher education. Dr. Greenwood, the president at the time, quit abruptly, and around 1,000 students left the school, contributing to the cash crisis.[12]

PWPA and Sun Myung Moon[edit]

In 1990, discussion began about affiliating or possibly merging the university with either the University of New Haven or Sacred Heart University.[13] The university was approached by the Professors World Peace Academy (PWPA), an affiliate of the Unification Church, but its offer to bail out the university was spurned by the trustees who said the school was "not going to have anything to do with the offer" and were concerned that such an affiliation would damage the university's reputation.[11][14][15]

Problems continued to plague the University; enrollment fell to 1,300 in 1991. Debt rose to over $22 million in 1991–92. Serious plans to merge the university with Sacred Heart fell through in 1992; the law school instead wanted to associate with Quinnipiac University, but Sacred Heart maintained that any takeover would have to include the Law School.[16] There were other universities willing to take over the school, but were unwilling to take on its debt.[14] The university's charter required the trustees to enter into "serious negotiations",[14] and they accepted the offer, giving the PWPA sixteen spots as trustees, constituting a majority.[17] The PWPA invested $50.5 million in the university on May 30, 1992,[18] enabling the university to keep its accreditation.

A two-year faculty strike, started in the midst of the university's financial troubles, intensified when the trustees gave control to the PWPA. Eventually, sixty-six professors and librarians agreed to a "divorce" with the university in return for compensation of up to a year's salary. In a similar move, the Law School decided to cut ties with the university,[17] separating from it. In order for the law school to remain open it had to merge with a financially sound university. The law school faculty and students voted to merge with Quinnipiac University and the name was officially changed to the Quinnipiac University School of Law.[17]

After the PWPA assumed control of the university, the trustees retained the president at the time, Dr. Edwin G. Eigel, Jr. (1932–2008). Eigel served as president until 1995. He was succeeded by distinguished professor and former PWPA president Dr. Richard L. Rubenstein, who served from 1995 to 1999.[19] Neil Albert Salonen, a member of the Unification Church, was the Chairman of the University's Board of Trustees when he was chosen to serve as ninth University president in 1999. He had earlier managed several Unification Church related organizations, and had served as President of the Unification Church of the United States from 1973 to 1980, and as Chairman of the International Cultural Foundation, prior to becoming the chief executive of the university.[20]

The University of Bridgeport received funding from the PWPA from 1992 until 2002. In 1995 the university awarded an honorary degree to Moon. Since 2003 the University has been financially independent from PWPA. Members of the Unification Church hold other administrative positions at the University besides the presidency: the University's Board of Trustees includes Gordon L. Anderson and has included Chung Hwan Kwak. The PWPA considers University of Bridgeport one of its affiliates.[21]

21st century growth[edit]

Enrollment has grown dramatically in recent years, from 1,383 total students in 1992 to 5,323 students in fall 2008. In 1991, the school added a Chiropractic Program, the first university-affiliated program of its kind in the U.S.[22] Additional doctoral programs in Naturopathic Medicine and Computer Science and Engineering were added in 1996 and 2006.[23][24] The Physician Assistant Institute matriculated its first class at the University in January 2011[25] At present the program is in candidacy status with the relevant accreditor Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant.[26]


In its 2012 rankings, University of Bridgeport placed in Tier 2 of National Universities, by U.S. News and World Report, with a 57.5% acceptance rate.[1] According to the university's website incoming students have an average GPA of 2.8, and an average SAT score of 1000 (Math and Verbal), 80% go on to get their masters.[27] In its 2006 annual college rankings, The Washington Monthly ranked University of Bridgeport 147th of all 245 National universities, with criteria based on research, community service, and social mobility.[28] The University of Bridgeport is fully accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges. The University is also accredited by the Board of Governors of the Connecticut Department of Higher Education.[29]

Academic programs range from Associates degrees in areas such as Business Administration and Dental Hygiene, to Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Fine Arts, and Bachelor of Science degrees in areas such as Accounting, Psychology, Graphic Design, Computer Science, Biology, Music, Computer Engineering, and International Business. The school also offers Masters and Doctoral programs in areas such as Counseling, Electrical Engineering, Naturopathic Medicine, and Education. UB also has adult and continuing education/distance learning programs on their main campus, as well as their Stamford and Waterbury branch campuses, with a total of 125 different programs of study.[30]

For undergraduates, as of 2004, the school has started an honor's program that allows for the awarding of an honor's degree upon graduation, if certain honor's course requirements and academic standards (ex: maintaining a cumulative 3.0) have been maintained. The program also offers additional course options to students enrolled in the honor's program.[31]

Best Online Degree Programs By U.S.News & World Report[edit]

In its 2013 rankings, The Online Graduate Computer Information Technology Program at University of Bridgeport ranked #4 by U.S. News & World Report[32] and it was ranked # 1 in its 2012 rankings[33] while the online bachelor's degree program at UB ranked #12 by U.S. News & World Report, the ranking is based on factors such as graduation rates, indebtedness of new graduates, and academic and career support services offered to students.[34] Also, the online master in engineering degree program at UB has been placed as #16 by U.S.News & World Report in its 2013 rankings.[35]

Campus life[edit]

Active Student Organizations And Clubs[edit]

The University of Bridgeport has over 50 clubs and student organizations, as well as numerous intramural sports teams. Clubs and organizations on campus include:[36]

  • Academy of Kuntao Jiu Jitsu
  • African Student Association
  • Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority
  • Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity
  • Alpha Phi Sigma
  • Biology Club
  • Black Student Alliance
  • Bleacher Creaturs
  • BuildOn
  • Collegiate Association for the Research of Principles (C.A.R.P.)
  • Caribbean Service Association
  • Chess Club
  • Chi Upsilon Sigma
  • Future Attorneys of New England Mock Trial Club
  • Fashion Merchandising Club
  • Fencing Club
  • Future Leaders of Hip Hop (F.L.O.H.)
  • Gamer’s Club
  • Gospel Choir
  • Greek Council
  • Kappa Alpha Psi
  • Lambda Sigma Upsilon
  • Latin American Club
  • Martial Arts Club
  • Model United Nations
  • Muslim Student Association
  • National Society of Black Engineers
  • Organization of Women Looking for Sisterhood in Chi Upsilon Sigma
  • Purple Light
  • Saudi Students Club
  • Sigma Gamma Rho sorority
  • Sophisticated Love of the Artistic Mind (S.L.A.M.)
  • Spotted Stilettos
  • Student Government Association (SGA)
  • Student Programming Board (SPB)
  • Table Tennis Club
  • The Kult
  • The Word Ministries
  • UB Bengali Students Society
  • UB Cheerleading
  • UB Chinese Students and Scholars Association (UB CSSA)
  • UB Debate Society
  • UB Drama Club
  • UB Historical Society
  • UB Martial Arts Club
  • United We Step
  • University Singers
  • W.E.A.C.T. (Working and Educating to Achieve Community Togetherness)


The University of Bridgeport competes in NCAA Division II athletics and has 8 Women's sports, and 5 Men's sports. Women's sports include basketball, gymnastics, lacrosse, cross country, soccer, softball, swimming, and volleyball, while Men's sports include baseball, basketball, swimming, soccer and cross country.[37]

In 2012, The University of Bridgeport women’s gymnastics team won their fourth straight USA Gymnastics Collegiate National Championships.[38] Also, in 2013 UB women’s gymnastics team won their fifth consecutive USA Gymnastics Collegiate National Championship.[38]

Campus safety[edit]

To address concerns of safety both on and off campus, the University has instituted a program where students are issued a portable alarm unit (PAL) that pinpoints their position and enables campus security to get to them in under two minutes. This system works immediately on the university campus, and in the neighborhoods surrounding campus. Further, the Campus Security Department has 40 unarmed personnel that provide security services 24 hours a day, with both on-foot and on bicycle patrols. The University has been the recipient of the Jeanne Clery Campus Safety Award.[39][40]


Awards & Grants[edit]

The National Science Foundation awarded the university $192,347 to recruit and train teachers in high-need urban schools throughout Southwestern Conecticut who can teach physical scions with the aim of increasing student performance and interest in the physical sciences. The yearlong project launched in January of 2014 with the aim of recruiting undergrad science majors and career changers to teach physical sciences. [41]

University Seal[edit]

Bridgeport's seal combines 4 core elements of its traditions and distinct character. In the upper left quadrant, the lamp of learning, which has been an element of the official Bridgeport's seal since 1931, is shown. In the upper right quadrant of the seal, the tree of life is shown, symbolizing personal and institutional growth. The lower left shows Bridgeport's seascape, illustrating the university’s campus on Long Island Sound. The lower right quadrant shows the Perry Arch, representing tradition, solid foundations, and performance.[42]

Notable alumni[edit]

Notable Faculty


  1. ^ a b c d e Best Colleges – US News & World Report
  2. ^ University of Bridgeport – NCAA Official Athletics Site
  3. ^ Roster of Institutions - New England Association of Schools and Colleges: Commission on Institutions of Higher Education (CIHE)
  4. ^ Best Colleges: Racial Diversity: National Universities – US News & World Report
  5. ^ [1][dead link]
  6. ^ Hopkins, Katy. (2011-12-20) 10 U.S. Colleges With Highest ESL Participation Rates - US News and World Report. Retrieved on 2013-07-15.
  7. ^ - "KEY TO UB."
  8. ^ Schaffer, Robert Illustrated History of Bridgeport NY: Wislow Publishing, 1992, p. 52.
  9. ^ - UB history
  10. ^ Davey, Robert “Moon Over Bridgeport” Connecticut Magazine (July, 1994), p. 69
  11. ^ a b c Judson, George (November 27, 1991). "University To Eliminate Liberal Arts". The New York Times (The New York Times Company). p. B1. Retrieved October 6, 2009. 
  12. ^ Judson, George (December 24, 1991). "Bridgeport U. Nears Accord With Banks". The New York Times (The New York Times Company). p. B5. Retrieved October 6, 2009. 
  13. ^ Associated Press (December 8, 1991). "Merger of New Haven U. and Bridgeport Proposed". The New York Times (The New York Times Company). p. 63, Section: 1. Retrieved October 6, 2009. 
  14. ^ a b c Judson, George (April 17, 1992). "Making the Hard Choice at Bridgeport U.: Opting to Stay Alive". The New York Times (The New York Times Company). p. B5. Retrieved October 6, 2009. 
  15. ^ McQuiston, John (October 22, 1991). "U. of Bridgeport Refuses Aid From Moon's Group". The New York Times (The New York Times Company). p. B1. Retrieved October 6, 2009. 
  16. ^ Judson, George (January 17, 1992). "University of Bridgeport Plans Takeover by Sacred Heart". The New York Times (The New York Times Company). p. B4. Retrieved October 6, 2009. 
  17. ^ a b c Judson, George (August 13, 1992). "Bar Group Approves Transfer Of U. of Bridgeport Law School". The New York Times (The New York Times Company). p. B7. Retrieved October 6, 2009. 
  18. ^ The New York Times staff (May 30, 1992). "Bridgeport U. Closes Deal to Cede Control". The New York Times (The New York Times Company). p. 25, Section: 1. Retrieved October 6, 2009. 
  19. ^ Richard Rubenstein: A Brief Biographical Note
  20. ^ Featuring Neil Albert Salonen in The American Chiropractor, July 30, 2005.
  21. ^ Overview - Professors World Peace Academy (PWPA)
  22. ^ [2] Two decades and growing August 2011
  23. ^ Public colleges lead state enrollment rise Connecticut Post November 19, 2008
  24. ^ -University of Bridgeport History
  25. ^ Physician Assistant Student Handbook: Academic Year 2011-2012. University of Bridgeport Physician Assistant Institute. October 2010. Page 5
  26. ^ "Accredited Entry-level Programs" . Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant, Inc. July 27, 2012. Retrieved September 23, 2012.
  27. ^ Quick Facts - University of Bridgeport
  28. ^ "The Washington Monthly College Rankings" by The Editors. Retrieved on 2013-07-15.
  29. ^ Accreditations and Memberships - University of Bridgeport
  30. ^ -University quick facts
  31. ^ -UB honors
  32. ^ - UB CIT tanking
  33. ^ -UB master online program
  34. ^ -UB bachelor's degree program ranking
  35. ^ -UB master's degree program ranking
  36. ^ -Campus Life
  37. ^ -Purple Knights Athletics
  38. ^ a b -Purple Knights news
  39. ^ Crime Report
  40. ^ Jeanne Clery Campus Safety Award Recipients For 2003
  41. ^ UB Knightlines Spring 2014 page 33
  42. ^ University of Bridgeport Student Handbook - Introduction
  43. ^ [3]

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 41°09′57″N 73°11′28″W / 41.16586°N 73.19109°W / 41.16586; -73.19109