History of the Campuses and Buildings of the University of Rochester
United States Hotel Prince Street Campus Eastman School of Music Medical Center River Campus Mid-Campus South Campus Mt. Hope Campus Graduate, Family and Veteran Housing Central Utilities Other Off-Site Buildings

| Enrollment | Tuition | History of Campus Technology | History of the Department of History |

The University of Rochester was founded in 1850 after an abortive attempt to move Madison College to Rochester.  The first home of the University was the former United States Hotel on Buffalo street (now West Main street).  The University accepted a donation of land from Azariah Boody between Alexander and Goodman Streets for a new campus.  Anderson Hall opened in 1861, the first of several buildings on what became known as the Prince Street Campus.  Women were first admitted as regular students in 1900, and the College for Men moved to the new River Campus in October 1930, followed by the College for Women in October 1955.  The Memorial Art Gallery opened in October 1913 and is the only University entity remaining on that campus.

The Eastman School of Music was donated to the University by George Eastman and opened in October 1921.

The University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry opened in 1925 and Strong Memorial Hospital opened in 1926.  The University bought the adjacent Rochester Municipal Hospital in 1963.

The University suspended classes for a short period in 1918 due to the influenza pandemic.  The Civil War and World Wars I and II also impacted the University's enrollment and operations. And then there was Covid...

University Timeline Posters from the Time of Covid

This page contains information about the entire University.  Links above show separate campuses.

References and Timeline
1846 An act to incorporate the University of Rochester.  May 8, 1846.
This attempt was unsuccessful.

1850 Report to the Board of trustees of the University of Rochester, on the plan of instruction to be pursued in the collegiate department. Presented September 16, 1850

1851 The Annunciator 2(1) (January 1, 1851)

1851 University of Rochester Charter, February 14, 1851.  The University had been granted a provisional charter on January 31, 1850.

1853 "University - Location," Rochester Daily Democrat, May 10, 1853, Page 2.
The Trustees will receive proposals for a site for the University buildings to-day, at the Library rooms.

1853 "University of Rochester - Location of Site for the Structures," Rochester Daily Advertiser, May 12, 1853, Page 2.

1853 "Site for the University Buildings," Rochester Daily Advertiser, July 15, 1853, Page 2.

1857 An Act for the relief of the University of Rochester.  March 19, 1857.
State to pay UR $12,500 in 1857 and the same amount in 1858, subject to an equal amount being raised by subscription.

1876 The work and aims of the University of Rochester. An address delivered on Commencement day, June 28, 1876, by Martin Brewer Anderson

1880 The Charter of the University of Rochester and other documents explanatory of the Organization of the University

1884 Semi-centennial History of the City of Rochester: With Illustrations and Biographical Sketches of Some of Its Prominent Men and Pioneers, by William Farley Peck
Page 536:  The progress of the new institution was so sudden and so wonderful that Ralph Waldo Emerson, according to Mr. Wilder, used it as an illustration of Yankee enterprise saying that a landlord in Rochester had an old hotel which he thought would rent for more as a university ; so he put in a few books, sent for a coach-load of professors, bought some philosophic apparatus, and by the time green peas were ripe, had graduated quite a large class of students.

1886 An Outline History of the University of Rochester  

1889 The American College in Relation to Liberal Education, Inaugural Address of President David Jayne Hill, June 19, 1889.

1890 "Will Cost Too Much," Democrat and Chronicle, June 6, 1890, Page 5.
Why Rochester University Trustees Object to Co-Education.

1890 Martin Brewer Anderson:  An Appreciation, by Henry Clay Vedder

1891 104th Annual Report of the Regents of the University of the State of New York, January 30, 1891
Pages 502-506:  Memoir of Martin Brewer Anderson, by Pres. James M. Taylor, Vassar College

1892 Sanborn Fire Insurance Map from Rochester, Monroe County, New York. Volume 1 | Volume 2 | Volume 3 |

1895 Papers and Addresses of Martin B. Anderson, LL. D., Volume 1, edited by William C. Morey | Volume 2 |

1895 Martin B. Anderson, LL. D.: A Biography, by Asahel Clark Kendrick, assisted by Florence Kendrick Cooper

1900 "A College Jubilee," New York Tribune, May 27, 1900, Page 6.
The University of Rochester will celebrate its semi-centennial.

1900 Addresses at the Semi-centennial Anniversary of the Founding of the University of Rochester, June Tenth to Fourteenth, 1900

1900 The inauguration of Rush Rhees, LL. D., as president of the University of Rochester.  October 11, 1900

1900 Histories of the Departments of Instruction of the University of Rochester during the First Fifty Years 1850-1900 (note this is a reformatted version done by students)

1900 The City of Rochester Illustrated
University of Rochester

1910 The University of Rochester : buildings and grounds

1910 Medical education in the United States and Canada; a report to the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching by Abraham Flexner
Pages 180-181:  Chapter XIV The Medical Education of the Negro

1913 An American Scholar: A Tribute to Asahel Clark Kendrick, 1809-1895, by his daughter Florence Hopkins Kendrick Cooper | also here |

1919 "Henry A. Strong, Long Business Associates of George Eastman, Dead in his Eighty-First Year," Democrat and Chronicle, July 27, 1919, page 38.

1920 Report of the President of the University of Rochester, June 1, 1920.
Pages 12-14:  About four months ago it was brought to my attention that competent judges of the needs of medical education in the United States were of the opinion that our city offers a very desirable location for a medical school of the highest order. This idea caused me great surprise. It was not the first time that the possibility of a medical school connected with the University had been suggested to me. But my reply had always been: Medical education is the costliest form of professional training, and The University of Rochester is not interested in undertaking such work without resources sufficient to make that work unquestionably of the first class. I had no idea that Rochester could command adequate resources. Furthermore, I had the opinion that the trouble with medical education in this country was not that it had too few medical schools, but too many.
This opinion was derived from a remarkable study of medical education in the United States and Canada made by Dr. Abraham Flexner, and published in 1910. On consulting him about the proposal I found him to be of the opinion that there is ample room for another medical school of the highest order and that Rochester presents in many ways an ideal location for such a school; and in the further development of the project he has given invaluable counsel and encouragement. The value of such counsel and encouragement can be best appreciated by those who know the unique position he has attained as one of the best informed men on the present condition and needs of medical education throughout the world.
When the project was brought to the attention of our farsighted and marvelously generous friend, Mr. George Eastman, he recognized at once the possibility of accomplishing something great, not only for medical education in general, but also for the good of Rochester as a community, because of the stimulus and assistance which such a school will inevitably give to the practice of medicine in our city and the work of our hospitals and of all the agencies working for the public health.
This advantage is readily apparent from the fact that an essential feature of the equipment will be a teaching hospital of about 250 beds, owned by the University and supported by a special endowment, which will help supply the need for increased hospital facilities in our city.
Furthermore the scientific laboratories for anatomy, physiology and pathology devoted not only to instruction in those subjects but to research for the advancement of knowledge in those sciences, will put Rochester and its medical and dental professions and hospitals in the most favored class in the matter of dealing with problems of public health.
Early in the consideration of this matter, Mr. Eastman saw that if co-operation with the Rochester Dental Dispensary could be secured, that great institution, by enlarging its scope to provide for treatment of adults in addition to its work for children, and on much the same basis, would furnish clinical facilities for dental education of the same order as that proposed for medicine; and the project was enlarged so as to combine with the projected school for physicians and surgeons a dental school of the highest standard.
The project could not be considered at all, however, except on the basis of large resources. It is with wonder, as well as with pride and gratitude, that I welcome the privilege given to me of announcing that in addition to the effective co-operation of the Rochester Dental Dispensary, which with its endowment of $1,000,000, represents a gift by Mr. Eastman of $1,500,000, he has agreed to give the University of Rochester $4,000,000 for this great enterprise, and that the General Education Board, which dispenses Mr. John D. Rockefeller's gifts for education, has agreed to contribute $5,000,000.
The princely sum made available by these magnificent gifts will enable The University of Rochester to establish its new school on a firm basis and with the very highest standards. It is a noble challenge to us to be worthy of such a trust. It calls upon us to see to it that the college, which is the foundation on which alone such advanced professional education can be built, is maintained in ever-increasing strength. I have no doubt that our friends will welcome the opportunity as need arises to enable us to respond to that call.

1920 "Eastman Provides a Medical School," The Campus, June 15, 1920, Page 1.

1922 "University Largest Shareholder," Democrat and Chronicle, April 11, 1922, Page 22.
The University of Rochester 1s the largest shareholder of the Western Union Telegraph Company's stock, having received 5,600 shares from George Eastman two years ago. The shares at that time were included tn a gift made by Mr. Eastman jointly with the General Education Board. The value of the holdings is $438,000, on which 7 per cent. dividends are now paid.

1922 The University at the Cross Roads 

1922 Our University Past and Present  

1922 Our university as teacher and neighbor 

1924 Dad, Give for Me! April 8, 1924

1925 Rochester at Seventy-five: Address Before Iota Chapter, Phi Beta Kappa, June 14, 1925, by John Rothwell Slater

1925 Rochester and Colgate : historical backgrounds of the two universities, by Jesse Leonard Rosenberger

1925 History of the Genesee Country, Volume II, edited by Lockwood R. Doty
Pages 728-733:  History of the University of Rochester.

1927 Rochester, the making of a university, by Jesse Leonard Rosenberger, with an introduction by President Rush Rhees.

1928 "Work Going Forward on New Subway," Democrat and Chronicle, February 27, 1928, Page 15.
Lehigh and Erie Underpass at Elmwood Avenue to be Finished by November.  Crittenden Boulevard to be Extended, Will Connect University Units.

1929 "New University Seal Symbolizes College Expansion," Democrat and Chronicle, January 11, 1929, Page 19.

1929 The University of Rochester; its honored past and expanding future | pdf |

1930 The University of Rochester:  A Story of Expansion and its Background, by Hugh A. Smith

1934 "U. of R. Assets Set at 83 Millions in Report; Treasurer Scouts Rating of 5th Richest in Land," Democrat and Chronicle, November 10, 1934, Page 13.
Operating expense total reached $3,420,715 in '33-'34 School Year.  Included in the U of R assets is an endowment of $54,008,103.37, a large percentage of which was made possible through bequests of George Eastman.

1934 "The University of Rochester:  Its Place in the Civic Century," by Edward Reuben Foreman, Centennial History of Rochester, New York, 4:127-163 (1934)

1935 Proceedings and addresses at the inauguration of Alan Valentine as president of the University of Rochester, November 14 and 15, 1935

1936 "U. of R. Worth 85 Millions, Can't Build Gym for Girls," Democrat and Chronicle, November 7, 1936, Page 13.

1936 American Universities and Colleges, Third Edition, Edited by Clarence Stephen Marsh
Pages 782-786:  University of Rochester

1937 Rochester and Monroe County 
Pages 214-234: The University of Rochester

1939 "UR Heads Reject Students' Protest Against Radio Fee," Democrat and Chronicle, October 20, 1939, Page 23.
For the privilege of having radios and electric phonographs in their dormitory rooms, University of Rochester students will pay $2.50 each term, beginning with the second semester, it was announced yesterday.

1946 Rhees of Rochester, by John Rothwell Slater

1950 "UR Presents City Hall Annex Property to Municipality for Memorial Site Use," Democrat and Chronicle, April 22, 1950, Page 34.

1950 "Women at the University Before 1900, by Patricia E. Fisher, Genesee Country Scrapbook 1:19-20.

1950 Rochester's University (1850-1950) a 100th anniversary address, by Alan Valentine.  Presented to the Newcomen Society of England on April 13, 1950.

1950 The University of Rochester: The First Hundred Years | pdf |

1951 "The First Hundred Years of the University of Rochester," by John R. Slater, New York History 32(2):165-171 (April 1951)

1951 The inauguration of Cornelis Willem de Kiewiet as president of the University of Rochester: June 11, 1951  

1951 Aerial Photo of Medical Center and River Campus 

1953 With an eye toward us : the University of Rochester  

1955 "More Than Professors!," Democrat and Chronicle, May 22, 19555, Page 1C.
Your Modern University is complex business which takes all kinds of skills and crafts to operate its 'city within a city' services.

1956 "U. of R. to Receive Estimated 10 million of Hochstetter Will," Democrat and Chronicle, June 21, 1956, Page 59.
Ralph Hochstetter of Buffalo, president of the Cliff Petroleum Co.

1961 "The University of Rochester...One University in a Changing World:  A Ten-Year Report," Rochester Review 24(1):1-36 (October-November 1961)
"The greatest growth and development in any decade of its history."

1963 "The Expanding University:  1.-College of Engineering and Applied Science," Democrat and Chronicle, February 17, 1963, Page 1M. | Part 2 |

1963 "The Expanding University:  2.-College of Education," Democrat and Chronicle, March 24, 1963, Page 1M. | Part 2 |

1963 "The Expanding University:  3.-College of Arts and Science," Democrat and Chronicle, May 5, 1963, Page 1M. | Part 2 |

1963 The inauguration of W. Allen Wallis as President of the University: Friday, the seventeenth of May, nineteen hundred sixty-three at ten in the morning in the Eastman Theatre, Rochester 

1963 "The Expanding University:  4.-School of Medicine and Dentistry," Democrat and Chronicle, June 16, 1963, Page 1M.

1963 "The Expanding University:  5.-The Eastman School of Music," Democrat and Chronicle, August 11, 1963, Page 1M. | Part 2 |

1963 "The Expanding University:  6.-How Big Will the U. of R. Grow?," Democrat and Chronicle, October 6, 1963, Page 1M. | Part 2 |

1964 "UR to Allow CD Shelters," Democrat and Chronicle, May 12, 1964, Page 4C.
The University of Rochester has elected to participate in the Federal Fallout Shelter Program, President W. Allen Wallis reported yesterday.  Wallis said parts of almost all buildings on the River Campus and in the Medical Center and Eastman School of Music will be designated shelter areas.

1965 "$80 Million Expansion Projected by U. of R.," Democrat and Chronicle, April 30, 1965, Page 1. | Part 2 |

1966 "Tomorrow On The Campus," Democrat and Chronicle, September 25, 1966, Page 1M. | Part 2 |
New Hospital and Campus buildings

1967 "A University Dream That Failed," by Arthur J. May, New York History 48(2):168-181 (April 1967)

1970 "The History of the University of Rochester Libraries," by Catherine D. Hayes, The University of Rochester Library Bulletin 25(3):59-122 (Spring 1970) | also here |

1973 "Wallis Announces Plan To Create Law School," Campus Times, February 7, 1973, Page 1.

1973 A Classification of Institutions of Higher Education, Carnegie Commission on Higher Education, October 1973
Page 1:  1. Doctoral-Granting Institutions
1.1 Research Universities I The 50 leading universities in terms of federal financial support of academic science in at least two of the three academic years, 1968-69, 1969-70, and 1970-71, provided they awarded at least 50 Ph.D.s (plus M.D.s if a medical school was on the same campus) in 1969-70. Rockefeller University was included because of the high quality of its research and doctoral training, although it did not meet these criteria. [This is often referred to as a Carnegie Tier I rating.]
Page 11:  University of Rochester, enrollment 8,587.

1974 "State Approves UR Proposal for Law School," Campus Times, March 29, 1974, Page 1.

1974 David Jayne Hill and the Problem of World Peace, by Aubrey Parkman

1975 Inauguration of Robert L. Sproull: as President and Chief Executive Officer  February 1, 1975

1977 History of the University of Rochester, 1850-1962, by Arthur J. May.  Expanded edition with notes | another copy with better formatting |

1984 University of Rochester: the inauguration of George Dennis O'Brien as eighth president of the University, October 1, 1984

1988 University of Rochester : photography, by Ira Block | also here |
Pages 97-112:  A look back at Rochester, selections from the photographic archives

1988  Magnum opus : the story of the Memorial Art Gallery, 1913-1988, by Elizabeth Brayer

1994 The inauguration of Thomas H. Jackson as ninth President of the University [of Rochester]: Saturday, October 22, 1994 at ten in the morning in the Eastman Theatre, Rochester

1996 George Eastman: A Biography, by Elizabeth Brayer | another copy |

2000 From coeducation to coordinate education and back again: A history of gender in undergraduate education at the University of Rochester, 1900--1961, by Christine Margaret Mary Lundt. PhD. Disseration in History, State University of New York at Buffalo

2000 Beside the Genesee: a pictorial history of the University of Rochester, by Jan LaMartina Waxman, edited by Margaret Bond

2005 Inauguration of Joel Seligman as tenth president, University of Rochester, October 23, 2005

2008 University of Rochester Campus Master Plan

2009 George Eastman Tribute (video)

2009 Wish You Were Here: A Century of Postcards of the University of Rochester, compiled and written by Mark S. Zaid, Nancy Martin, Karl S. Kabelac & Melissa Mead | book announcement |

2014 "A Dynamic Attitude," by Janice Bullard Pieterse, Rochester Review 76(6):30-45 (July-August 2014)
Cornelis de Kiewiet

2014 Our work is but begun: a history of the University of Rochester, 1850-2005, by Janice Bullard Pieterse

2019 The Inaugural Convocation of President Sarah C. Mangelsdorf, October 4, 2019

Sources Relating to the University of Rochester | New UR Archives Search Feature | Bibliographic Essay | General Resources | Publications | University Archives | Library Bulletins | Rochester Review | Rochester Review (since 1996) | Interpres | University Publications in the Archives | Campus Buildings from 1850 to the present | Campus Times and other Student newspapers | A - Z List of University Archives Registers | Current University Publications | Student Publications |

Annual Catalogue of the University of Rochester
1850/1851 1851/1852 1852/1853 1853/1854 1854/1855 1855/1856 1856/1857 1857/1858 1858/1859 1859/1860
1861/1862 1862/1863 1863/1864 1864/1865 1865/1866 1866/1867 1867/1868 1868/1869 1869/1870
1871-1872 1872-1873 1873-1874 1874-1875 1875-1876 1876-1877 1877-1878 1878-1879 1879-1880
1881/1882 1882/1883 1883/1884 1884/1885 1885/1886 1886/1887 1887/1888 1888/1889 1889/1890
1890/1891 1891/1892 1892/1893 1893/1894 1894/1895 1895/1896 1896/1897 1897/1898 1898/1899 1899/1900
1900/1901 1901/1902 1902/1903 1903/1904 1904/1905 1905/1906 1906/1907 1907/1908 1908/1909 1909/1910
1910/1911 1911/1912 1912/1913 1913/1914 1914/1915 1915/1916 1916/1917 1917/1918 1918/1919 1919/1920
1920/1921 1921/1922 1922/1923 1923/1924 1924/1925 1925/1926 1926/1927 1927/1928 1928/1929 1929/1930
1930/1931 1931/1932 1932/1933 1933/1934 1934/1935 1935/1936 1936/1937 1937/1938 1938/1939 1939-1940

1977-1978 1978-1979 1979-1980

Annual Bulletins from 1959 onward are available here.

General Catalogue and Directories of Alumni
1873 1876 1879 1887 1895 1900 1911 1915 1928

The Rochester Campus | 1876 | 1877 | 1879  | 1920 | Other student newspapers

Annual Report of the University to the Regents of the University of the State of New York
1851 1852 1853 1854 1855 1856 1857 1858 1859 1860
1861 1862 1863 1864 1865 1866 1867 1868 1869 1870
1871 1872 1873 1874 1875 1876 1877 1878 1879 1880
1881 1882 1883 1884 1885 1886 1887 1888 1889 1890
1891 1892 1893 1894 1895 1896 1897 1898 1899 1900

Annual Report of the President to the Board of Trustees

1890/1891 1891/1892 1892/1893 1893/1894 1894/1895 1895/1896 1896/1897 1897/1898 1898/1899 1899/1900
1900/1901 1901/1902 1902/1903 1903/1904 1904/1905 1905/1906 1906/1907 1907/1908 1908/1909 1909/1910
1910/1911 1911/1912 1912/1913 1913/1914 1914/1915 1915/1916 1916/1917 1917/1918 1918/1919 1919/1920
1920/1921* 1921/1922 1922/1923 1923/1924 1924/1925 1925/1926 1926/1927 1927/1928 1928/1929 1929/1930
*The 1920-1921 report was not printed, relevant information was included in the 1921-1922 report.

History of Rochester references

Pictures of University of Rochester in Rochester, NY

Speaking Stones papers

I would like to acknowledge with respect the Algonkian peoples who occupied the land on which the University of Rochester now stands.  A 9-acre Algonkian village was once located near the Genesee River on what is now River Campus, near Hutchison Hall.

Special thanks to Melissa S. Mead, John M. and Barbara Keil University Archivist and Rochester Collections Librarian, Department of Rare Books and Special Collections for her generous assistance in providing information and documents for this project.  Also many thanks to Lauren Novosat for her assistance in finding deeds.

Additional information, suggestions, questions, and corrections are always welcome and can be submitted to:

Morris A. Pierce (UR PhD 1993)
Department of History
364 Rush Rhees Library
University of Rochester
Rochester NY 14627-0070

Last updated January 15, 2024.

2021-2024 Morris A. Pierce