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Nazareth College to become Nazareth University on June 1, 2023

Published November 17, 2022

In a historic move as Nazareth prepares to celebrate 100 years of educating its students, Nazareth's board of trustees voted to approve that the College will soon become Nazareth University. It is now with the New York State Board of Regents to approve Nazareth's university status.

Once approved, the name Nazareth University will officially take effect on June 1, 2023. The Nazareth community will thoughtfully transition to University over the next seven months.

"What a moment in Nazareth's history! We thank the New York Board of Regents for changing the State's definition of university, allowing Nazareth to finally fully become what we have been all along. Nazareth is a thriving and diverse learning community that has offered significant undergraduate education since the 1920s and advanced graduate education since the mid-1950s," said Nazareth President Beth Paul.

As a result of Nazareth's significant graduate offerings, it has long been included in the master's category in the Carnegie Classification of Higher Education Institutions — more than 92% of institutions outside of New York in this category are named "university." Yet, it wasn't until January 2022 that New York State changed its regulations, allowing Nazareth to consider Nazareth University.

New York State Board of Regents' new definition of university 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."

Previously, New York required doctoral programs and degrees in two or more professional fields. Nazareth has one doctoral program, a doctorate of physical therapy, along with more than 25 master's level graduate programs in education; music and arts; health and human services; business and leadership; and humanities and social sciences.

"The change to Nazareth University aligns our heritage and mission with higher education institutions around the globe and solidifies the influence of a Nazareth degree," said John Drain, chairman of Nazareth's board of trustees. "Nazareth University further showcases our rich history of educating true changemakers. We are an inclusive environment that instills community and belonging as life-long values. Nazareth University will continue to thrive in preparing our diverse student community for their life's work and to compete globally."

Nazareth carefully considered this decision to become a University by looking at its mission and history, and talking and surveying its community of current students, faculty, staff and the more than 30,000 alumni who know their alma mater as Nazareth College.

"Our close and caring learning community is an enduring value and strength, no matter our name as college or university," said President Paul. "We value every individual here. Every individual person brings gifts into this learning community and out into the world. We celebrate that commitment and we will continue to celebrate that as we take on the name Nazareth University."

"It's overdue for Nazareth to step into this role of a university to be seen with a kind of prestige, to give more value to the Nazareth diploma and the Nazareth education," said Danielle Abramson '08, chair of Nazareth's Alumni Advisory Board. "I think it's a really positive thing that is going to set Naz up for an even stronger future when it comes to opportunities that are available for both students and the institution."

""It doesn't matter what our name is, it's still going to feel like home," said current student Gabbie Lawyerr '25. "Saying Nazareth University just gives me a feeling of pride like, 'I've made it this far.' It's an accomplishment."

The name Nazareth University illustrates the historic strength of the institution — as a higher education institution that has offered a full array of academic degree programs for decades, and as a higher education institution that drives social progress.

"Nazareth was founded in 1924 by five iconic women, members of the Sisters of St. Joseph, who responded to the needs of the time and created Nazareth for positive social change to give women a voice and a chance at higher education," said President Paul. "Nearly 100 years later, Nazareth honors our legacy that our mission is growth, and progress is our purpose."

Nazareth will celebrate its new name as Nazareth University in early June with an unveiling of its new identity and the official start of our centennial.

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Julie Long | Senior News & PR Officer | | (585) 389-2456 | (585) 781-8186 (cell)

About Nazareth University

Nazareth University is an inclusive community of inspired learners, educators, and changemakers who for nearly 100 years have been driven by a bold commitment to action, empathy, equity, and leading innovation for the common good. Impact experiences are at the heart of a Nazareth education, preparing each student to discover within themselves the potential to cultivate positive change in their life's work, in any career field, and in a world that is constantly evolving and infinitely interconnected.

Our broad academic offerings present a range of study options typical of larger universities, yet achieved in our supportive campus culture. Nearly 2,100 undergrad and 600 graduate students enroll in degree and certificate programs and engage in collaborative, transformative learning experiences, preparing for the professions and society of today and tomorrow. In a learning community that purposefully integrates liberal arts and professional programs, Nazareth University graduates are able to launch a lifetime of impactful leadership in communities and workplaces near and far.