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St. John Fisher College to become St. John Fisher University

Fisher’s decision follows new york state Board of Regents’ new definition of “university,” which requires institutions of higher education to offer “registered undergraduate and graduate curricula in the liberal arts and sciences, including graduate programs registered in at least three of the following discipline areas: agriculture, biological sciences , business, education, engineering, fine arts, health professions, humanities, physical sciences, and social sciences.” The Board of Regents approved Fisher’s university status during its meeting on Tuesday, June 14.

“Fisher’s university status adds to our rich history of institutional achievements and accomplishments. It will convey greater prestige, allow us to build our reputation and impact, and better represent the type of institution we are today,” Rooney said.

He added that fundamentally, Fisher will remain committed to delivering a student-centered education while serving the best interests of the surrounding community, making an impact locally, and as its reputation increases, throughout the country and the world.

“As we look to our seventy-fifth anniversary in 2023 as St. John Fisher University, we will continue to work hard each day to serve our students by providing a rich educational experience and a robust living and learning environment, and to prepare students to build successful lives of purpose,” Rooney continued. “And as we become a University – we will continue to strive to move Fisher forward, renew our purpose, and broaden our impact.”

Fisher’s evolution was bolstered with the introduction of a new MBA program in 1983; leading the Board of Regents to approve the College’s charter change from an undergraduate to graduate degree-granting institution. Over the next several decades, Fisher enjoyed consistent enrollment growth as it expanded its academic offerings, co-curricular experiences, and campus footprint. In the early 2000s, Fisher reorganized into five Schools: the School of Arts and Sciences, School of Business, Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. School of Education, Wegmans School of Nursing, and Wegmans School of Pharmacy. During that time, Fisher also added two doctoral programs—the Doctor of Pharmacy and the Doctor of Education in Executive Leadership—to his academic portfolio, paving the way for the Carnegie Foundation to reclassify it as a Doctoral/Research University—now known as a Doctoral/Professional University. Since then, Fisher has awarded more than 3,400 master’s degrees and nearly 1,600 doctorate degrees to its alumni base, which is more than 30,000 strong.

Bowles, who has served as a Trustee since 1993, credited innovative academic offerings, directed philanthropy, and talented administration, faculty, and staff with Fisher’s substantial growth over the years.

“Fisher has always embraced the student experience; we have stayed true to our mission and purpose and that has allowed us to be successful,” Bowles explained. “This is a momentous occasion; university designation is a recognition of all we have accomplished over the last several decades.”

Rochester Higher Malik Evans joined the Fisher community for this morning’s historic announcement.

“I am very honored and pleased to congratulate the administration, faculty, staff, students and alumni of St John Fisher for this remarkable achievement of gaining university status,” said Mayor Malik D Evans. “Fisher’s continued evolution from a small Catholic college with 10 teachers and 11 majors to a university that is advancing the progress of teaching and learning through groundbreaking research is a proud moment for our entire community. The presence of another university in our region will elevate our reputation as a center of knowledge and innovation and help us reach our goals to create a safe, equitable and prosperous Rochester.”

United States Congressman Joe Morellewho represents the 25th district of new york statesent a proclamation acknowledging the occasion.

Monroe County is blessed to be home to many outstanding educational institutions like St John Fisher, which has a longstanding history of academic excellence,” said Congressman Morelle. “Now, they will build upon that legacy and begin a new era as St. John Fisher University. I want to congratulate President Rooney and the entire St John Fisher community for achieving University status, and I look forward to their continued growth and success in the years to come.”

For more information, visit the Fisher website.

About St. John Fisher University
St. John Fisher University is a liberal arts institution that provides a transformative education to approximately 3,800 undergraduate, master’s, and doctoral students each year. Across its five Schools, Fisher offers nearly 40 majors in the humanities, social sciences, natural sciences, business, education, and nursing; 11 pre-professional programs; and master’s and doctoral programs in business, nursing, education, pharmacy, sport management, and public health. Located just beyond Rochester, New Yorkthe University’s residential campus boasts a robust living and learning community and a successful intercollegiate athletics program.

An independent institution today, the University was founded by the Congregation of St. Basil in 1948 and remains true to its Catholic tradition. As Fisher moves forward into the next 75 years, it celebrates its Basilian heritage by embracing their motto, “Teach Me Goodness, Discipline, and Knowledge.”

SOURCE St. John Fisher University

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