Tell your Colgate stories and share your vision for the university’s future. Then, take a moment to reflect on thoughts shared by other members of the Colgate community.
More ways to be part of the celebration
Becoming Colgate: A Bicentennial History available at the Colgate Bookstore and online May 22, 2019
When you bundle the paperback with When Through Thy Valley: Colgate in 200 Images, you’ll save $5.
Proud TraditionBold Ambition
Colgate’s present distinction is born from a rich history, full of energy, ambition, and optimism. Atop our hill, we have engaged with the world. Our sense of place has reinforced our love of possibility.
In September of 1817, 13 Baptist ministers and laymen meet at the home of Deacon Jonathan Olmstead, where they establish the Baptist Education Society of the State of New York. Chartered on March 5, 1819, the society chooses Hamilton, N.Y. — founded in the homeland of the Oneida Nation of the Iroquois — as the site of their institution, which opens in 1820. In 1823, New York City Baptists, William Colgate among them, consolidate their seminary with the school in Hamilton to form the Hamilton Literary and Theological Institution.
Village of Hamilton, N.Y., incorporated
Hamilton Fire Department formed
Expansion of U.S. territory following Mexican-American War
Civil War ends
13th Amendment ends slavery in the United States
First railroad through Hamilton arrives
As Madison University’s Jubilee Celebration in 1869 marks the 50th anniversary of the incorporation of the education society from which it evolved, the next era is anticipated with strong optimism. A reorganized curriculum, promising new professors, along with renovated campus buildings and a greatly augmented treasury, provide a solid foundation for further growth. The institution begins evolving in many ways — from expanding its curriculum to meet the need for an educated laity as well as trained clergy, to enhancing the campus and the faculty.
Calamitous fire destroys more than 60 buildings in Hamilton
First flight by the Wright Brothers
First telephone line installed in Hamilton
United States declares war on Germany
Women gain the vote in New York State
Global flu pandemic
Following the Centennial celebration and first all-class reunion, Colgate ushers in its special liberal arts model, still in practice nearly 100 years later. A growing student body soon necessitates further campus expansion, both in academic and student life facilities.
Stock market crash begins Great Depression
Hamilton native John Vincent Atanasoff creates a prototype of the first digital computer
U.S. involvement in World War II
Brown v. Board of Education ends legal school segregation
New York State Thruway opens
In reducing the chaos of the modern world to order — or, as a first step, to disorder — the college has an increasingly important role to play.”Inauguration speech, 1942 Colgate in WWII
Entering an unprecedented era of rapid societal and educational change, Colgate continues to respond, adapt, grow, and strengthen through both its curricular and extracurricular pursuits.
1964 Civil Rights Act ends segregation, bans employment discrimination
1969 American astronauts land on the moon
Title IX prohibits sex discrimination
Fall of Berlin Wall
September 11 al-Qaeda attack on the United States
iPhone release begins smartphone era
The pathway forward for Colgate is to be a place of academic rigor, a place that attracts students and faculty of great achievement and potential, and a university that sends its graduates off into the world with promise for the future and with care and affection for their alma mater. Our future will be built on these foundations.”Vision Statement for Colgate’s third century, 2018 Read the full vision