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  • Senator James Irving Burns (1843 - 1925)
    Burns, James Irving — also known as J. Irving Burns — of Yonkers, Westchester County, N.Y. Republican. Member of New York state assembly from Westchester County 1st District, 1887-88, 1890, 1895; membe...
  • Oswald Avery (1877 - 1955)
    Theodore Avery Jr. (October 21, 1877 – February 20, 1955) was a Canadian-American physician and medical researcher. The major part of his career was spent at the Rockefeller Hospital in New York City. ...
  • Wistar Evans Goodhue (1921 - 2014)
    Wistar (Wis) Goodhue passed away peacefully May 15th at the age of 92, at his Sea Island residence surrounded by loved ones. A celebration of his life will take place on Wednesday, May 21 at the St. Si...
  • William Thomas Alderson (1926 - 1996)
    and editor William T. Alderson was born and raised in Schenectady, New York. After service in the navy during World War II, he graduated from Colgate University in 1947. He then entered the graduate pr...
  • Harry Hoffman (1927 - 2020)
    Harry Hoffman, who as the president of Waldenbooks cemented its standing as the No. 1 bookseller in the United States in the 1980s by opening hundreds of new stores and using aggressive marketing strat...


Colgate University is a private liberal arts college located in Hamilton Village, Hamilton Township, Madison County, New York, United States.

Colgate has 54 undergraduate concentrations that culminate in a Bachelor of Arts degree. The student body comes from 47 states and 42 countries. In its 2013 edition, U.S. News and World Report ranked Colgate as the 18th best liberal arts college in the country. Colgate ranked 13th on the Forbes' top liberal arts colleges list in 2013, and 36th overall in the 2013 edition of "America's Top Colleges" from It is also listed as one of thirty Hidden Ivies and as one of Newsweek's "New Ivies".In 2014, Princeton Review ranked Colgate as the Most Beautiful Campus in America.

Colgate is located on a rural 575 acre (2.08 km²) campus in the Central New York town of Hamilton (named America's 11th friendliest town by Forbes Magazine in 2012). Colgate is a member of the Patriot League conference of the NCAA Division I.

In 1817, the Baptist Education Society of the State of New York was founded by thirteen men (six clergymen and seven laymen). Two years later, in 1819, the state granted the school's charter, and the school opened a year later, in 1820. The first classes were held in a building in the town of Hamilton. Three years later, in 1823, the Baptist Theological Seminary at New York City incorporated with the Baptist Education Society and subsequently changed its name to the Hamilton Literary & Theological Institution. Among the trustees was William Colgate, founder of a soap company.

In 1826, the school's trustees bought farmland that later became the focal point of the campus, known as 'The Hill'. One year later, the current students and faculty of the school built West Hall, using stone taken from a quarry found on the land. Originally called West Edifice before being renamed to West Hall, it is the oldest structure on campus. In 1846, the school changed its name to Madison University. In 1850, the Baptist Education Society planned to move the university to Rochester, but was halted by legal action. Dissenting trustees, faculty, and students founded the University of Rochester.

In 1890, Madison University changed its name to Colgate University in recognition of the family and its gifts to the school. James B. Colgate, one of William Colgate's sons, established a $1,000,000 endowment called the Dodge Memorial Fund. In 1912 Colgate Academy, a preparatory school and high school that had operated in Hamilton since the early 1800s, was closed and its facility became Colgate University's administration building. The theological side of Colgate merged with the Rochester Theological Seminary in 1928 to become the Colgate Rochester Divinity School, leaving Colgate to become non-denominational. Colgate became coeducational in 1970.

Notable Alumni