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St. John Fisher to become a university

Randy Gorbman via Associated Press
Posted 6/25/22

St. John Fisher College will no longer be the official name of that institution as of July 1.

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St. John Fisher to become a university


PITTSFORD — St. John Fisher College will no longer be the official name of that institution as of July 1.

College and local government officials gathered at the campus this week to announce that the school’s name will be changing to St. John Fisher University.

Change in status

The decision to change to university status is one that a number of colleges in New York state are looking at since the state Board of Regents earlier this year changed the definition of “university.”

Officials at Fisher note that the institution already offers graduate programs in business, education and the health professions, so it now meets the requirements of the new university definition.

Fisher President Gerard Rooney said that the university title “conveys greater prestige” for the soon-to-be university, and he said it’s also important from a competitive standpoint.

“It levels the playing field for us with other institutions that are now universities, those that are moving in that direction, and certainly recognizes who we are, which is the most important thing.”

Other colleges in area eye change

Nazareth College and Roberts Wesleyan College are among the other local colleges said to be considering a change to the university designation. Recently Utica University made the jump from the college name to a university.

Nazareth released a statement on Monday saying that the college has made no decision, but is in discussion about switching from college to university given the state Regents decision to more broadly define “university.”

A Nazareth spokesperson said that, “We’ve surveyed students, faculty, staff, and alumni and are currently considering the feedback and determining what is best for Nazareth.”

Mayor Malik Evans attended Monday’s announcement, and said the new university designation for Fisher adds to the Rochester area’s reputation as being home to a number of prestigious colleges and universities.

“This also puts Rochester, continues to put Rochester on the map as a place that is home to dozens of great colleges and university,” Evans said.

“St. John Fisher is one of those universities along with the others. But this designation enhances that, that much better,” Evans added.

Name change won’t impact tuition

Officials at St. John Fisher said that the change to a university designation will not impact the cost of tuition.

There will be new marketing materials and for a limited time, alumni who wish to request a diploma with the new name will be able to do so, the college officials added.


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