Hamilton, NY
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5 College Freshman

Facilities: The buildings are gorgeous (for the most part) and the campus is stunning.

5 College Freshman

Facilities: Colgate is definitely my favorite place to be. Great people, great classes, great fun.

5 College Freshman

Facilities: The campus is absolutely beautiful and is located in a beautiful part of the country.

1 person found this useful Report
4 College Freshman

Facilities: Everything is pretty great. It can be fun to just stay on campus and hang out.

1 person found this useful Report
4 College Junior

Facilities: We have great traditions. Our staff is amazing as a whole, i haven't had anyone i truly disliked or was impossible to handle. Career services helps with getting internships. the cove has community service projects and clubs all over the country a,d even outside of it. Lots of organizations/departments will pay for you to go to conferences. Super balanced liberal arts college.

3 people found this useful Report

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Rankings View more rankings . . .

  • 7th
    Best Library
  • 94th
    Best Athletic Facilities
  • 162nd
    Best Student Centers
  • 328th
    Greenest Campuses
  • 954th
    Best Performance Venues

Student Author OverviewWhat's This?

David Esber
New Franklin, Ohio
Peace and Conflict Studies
Grad Year
View all previous student authors

Countless current students and Colgate alums tell the same tale: They fell in love with the school as soon as they stepped foot onto campus. Whether it is the state-of-the-art Trudy Fitness Center, which features 15-inch TV monitors on each of the 83 cardio machines, or the Case Library and Geyer Center for Information Technology, Colgate spares no expense when it comes to its students. A walk around campus confirms this.

While most academic buildings are frequently remodeled and updated—and buildings like the Robert H.N. Ho Science Center bring interdisciplinary collaboration to a new level—it is the non-academic buildings that really shine. The O'Connor Campus Center (the Coop), the de facto student union, features a massive fireplace and plenty of room to eat, socialize, and do work. The African, Latin, Asian, & Native American (ALANA) Cultural Center gives first-years the chance to prepare a home-cooked meal in the fully stocked kitchen or take salsa dancing classes. And although Colgate is nondenominational, the Memorial Chapel, the Saperstein Jewish Center, and the Chapel House all provide plenty of space for religious services, cultural activities, and learning about other cultures and traditions. There is a reason Colgate is considered one of America's most beautiful college campuses—it's bursting with opportunities both inside the classroom and out.

Facts & Statistics

Service & Maintenance Staff
Campus Size
515 acres
Student Centers
O'Connor Campus Center ("the Coop")
Campus Library?
Main Libraries
  • Case Library and Geyer Center for Information Technology
  • George R. Cooley Science Library
Popular Places to Chill
  • The Academic and First-Year quads
  • Barge Canal Coffee Co.
  • O'Connor Campus Center ("the Coop")
Bar on Campus
Donovan's Pub in James B. Colgate Hall offers a bar during special events and often hosts up-and-coming and alternative music acts as well as special events.
Bowling on Campus
In the Reid Athletic Center
Coffeehouse on Campus
There is a café located on the fifth floor of Case Library and Geyer Center for Information Technology. It offers Starbucks coffee, sandwiches, salads, and baked goods, and is very popular for students doing group work or seeking much-needed caffeinated beverages during a study break.
Movie Theater on Campus
Love Auditorium in Olin Hall and Golden Auditorium in Little Hall are both frequently used for free screenings of popular films. Downtown, the University-run Hamilton Theater shows new releases, as well.
"Green" Initiatives
Colgate is rapidly becoming "greener" with each year. A full-time sustainability coordinator oversees several student organizations with focuses ranging from a community garden to the Green Bikes program. As a university, Colgate gets 75 percent of its heating energy from a carbon-neutral biomass plant on campus and is constantly seeking new ways to cut energy consumption and waste. The Trudy Fitness Center is on its way toward becoming the first LEED-certified building on campus, and the Green Summit group encourages student involvement and participation in Colgate's green programs.
School Slang
  • The `Gates: The Swinging `Gates, Colgate's all-female, a cappella singing group
  • Adam and Eve: The swans found gliding across Taylor Lake every spring and fall
  • ALANA Cultural Center: African, Latin, Asian, & Native American Cultural Center that encourages the education of students on multicultural issues
  • The Annex: The motel-looking building behind the Theta sorority house
  • B&G: Buildings and Grounds; men and women who care for University facilities and grounds. Be nice to them. They lift and loft beds and clean your bathrooms.
  • The BAC: Budget Allocation Committee is a student committee that allocates funds to all student organizations.
  • The Barge: A University-owned coffeehouse found on Broad Street across from the bookstore
  • Birch: University Court Apartments, the blue apartments closest to Broad Street
  • CAB: Colgate Activities Board is a student organization that schedules and plans entertainment acts that come to Colgate and publicizes large student activities.
  • Case: Case Library and Geyer Center for Information Technology-or the main academic library on campus
  • The Commons: Structure located in the center of Parker Apartments where juniors and seniors study and do their laundry; also home to many social events throughout the year
  • Cooley: The Cooley Science library, located in the basement floor of McGregory Hall
  • The Coop: The O'Connor Campus Center, the main dining choice of upperclassmen; this place is equipped with a wireless Internet network, one very large fireplace, another smaller fireplace, and some very nice plasma TVs.
  • The Cruiser: Commonly referred to as the "drunk bus," the Colgate Cruiser shuttles students up and down the hill and into town-a welcome sight on cold winter nights.
  • The C-Store: Convenience store found on the main level of the Coop; home to lots of candies and miscellaneous items, but beware because you pay for the convenience.
  • D-Board: Disciplinary board
  • Downtown: The town of Hamilton, located at the bottom of campus (not to be confused with NYC)
  • The Edge: Originally debuted as Colgate's "date spot," this dining hall now serves up reservations-only dinners and quick to-go lunches. The Cutting Edge Bistro is located in the Bryan Complex.
  • Frank: The Curtis E. Frank Dining Hall, main mecca of first-year socializing
  • 'Gate: Affectionate term for Colgate University
  • 'Gate Cash: This refers to the declining debit system tied to students' 'Gate cards; it's accepted everywhere on campus and most places downtown, as well.
  • Goosebeak: Charred Goosebeak, student improvisational comedy group that's very funny
  • The Hill: Colgate's main campus containing most academic buildings and first-year dormitories
  • The HOP: Hall of Presidents
  • HRC: Harlem Renaissance Center, located in the Bryan Complex
  • ITS: Information Technology Services; staff and students with special knowledge and training that help with all of your computer needs, questions, and emergencies. If they can't help you, keep trying and asking around. Someone in the staff will know the answer to your problem.
  • LASR: Library Automated Storage & Retrieval, a robot that retrieves any of the nearly 400,000 volumes stored in the book vault in Case Library
  • SPW: Spring Party Weekend
  • Thirteen: The Colgate 13, Colgate's all-male a cappella group
  • Tohos: The Townhouse Community is a housing option for upperclassmen located just beyond Huntington Gym on 12B South.
  • The Diploma, Seal, and Motto: In 1846, Professors A. C. Kendrick and J. F. Richardson prepared the Latin formula for the diplomas that has remained intact ever since. They, along with Professor John Howard Raymond and three trustees, devised the seal and motto, "Deo Ac Veritati" ("With reference to God and for the purpose of truth," or simply "For God and for truth").
  • First Kiss: Legend has it that whomever you kiss on the bridge where Willow Path crosses Taylor Lake is whom you will eventually marry. Maybe this why the number of married Colgate couples is higher than most other university numbers.
  • Hello Tradition: For decades, Colgate has had a wonderful "hello" tradition. Students, faculty, and staff walking on campus routinely say hello to a passerby. It's a way of getting to know others and welcoming strangers to campus.
  • Konosioni: Comprised of 26 members of the senior class, Konosioni is the result of the merging of two secret societies: the Gorgon's Head and Skull and Scroll in 1934. This senior honor society is among the most selective group on campus and is committed to preserving Colgate's traditions through service.
  • Salmagundi: The current name of Colgate's yearbook. The first volume of the Salmagundi was published by the junior class in 1883. The word means "miscellany" or "medley," and originally, the book contained lists of faculty, fraternities, and other campus organizations and their respective members. Salmagundi became the yearbook for the graduating class in 1934.
  • Spring Party Weekend: Held toward the end of the second semester before the finals' crunch, students are treated to a long weekend of musical performances and events-both school-sponsored and otherwise.
  • Thirteen: The Baptist Education Society of the State of New York and Colgate University was founded by 13 men. Each offered $13 and 13 prayers, and the society's constitution contained 13 articles. Colgate has been non-sectarian since 1938. The first two digits in Colgate's zip code are 13, and the last three numbers add up to 13 (13346), and every Friday the 13th is known as "Colgate Day," where students and alums don their Colgate gear and celebrate their alma mater.
  • Torchlight: The first senior Torchlight ceremony was held at Taylor Lake in 1930. On graduation night, there is a torchlight procession from up the hill to Whitnall Field, where a large bonfire is held. There is also a Torchlight ceremony held on the evening of the first-year convocation that is led by members of Konosioni honor society.
Urban Legends
  • According to campus lore, the person you kiss on the Willow Path bridge over Taylor Lake is the person you will marry. Statistically, Colgate alums marry more frequently than most universities, suggesting this may be more truth than legend.
  • Years ago, when it came time to replace one of the swans, a mistake was made and Colgate now owns two male swans, nicknamed Adam and Steve.
Favorite Things To Do
Most Colgate students are active overachievers, so they often spend free time in between classes dashing off to meetings or squeezing in a few hours at an on-campus job. In addition to normal college pursuits (like eating, email checking, and general socializing), the workout-crazed student body also flocks to the Trudy Fitness Center. The majority of academic departments offers weekly lectures and film series, and some offer catered lunches and dinners, too.
Student Newspaper
The Colgate Maroon-News
Clubs and Organizations on Campus
There are more than 170 student organizations on campus, ranging from a whistling a capella group to a parkour running club to the "Maroon-News," America's oldest collegiate weekly. In addition, through the Center for Outreach and Volunteerism Education (COVE), students have more than 40 community service groups to join. It is far more common for Colgate students to be involved in too much than nothing at all, and joining is as easy as writing your name and Colgate email address on a sheet of paper at the activities fair each semester.
Student Activities Offered
  • Campus ministries
  • Choral groups
  • Concert band
  • Dance
  • Drama/theater
  • International student organization
  • Jazz band
  • Literary magazine
  • Model UN
  • Music ensembles
  • Musical theater
  • Pep band
  • Radio station
  • Student government
  • Student-run film society
  • Symphony orchestra
  • Television station
  • Yearbook
Air Force ROTC: No
Navy ROTC: No
Army ROTC: No
Did You Know?
  • Colgate's Outdoor Education program offers a full rental center with everything from cross-country skis and snowshoes to tents and stoves.
  • There is a set of tunnels running across one half of the Academic Quad, connecting McGregory Hall, Olin Hall, the Robert H.N. Ho Science Center, and Wynn Hall. During the winter, there is no need to surface in between classes.
  • Look up before heading into James B. Colgate Hall. There are exactly 13 panes of glass above the door-Colgate's luckiest number.
  • The picturesque 515-acre campus features miles of cross-country running trails that are groomed in the winter making for excellent cross-country skiing.

Student Polls

Rate the campus facilities in the following areas    Based on 49 responses

Very poor
  • Athletics/recreation
  • Classrooms
  • Computer labs
  • Dining
  • General aesthetics/architecture of campus
  • "Green" buildings/initiatives
  • Housing
  • Lawns/green space
  • Library
  • Modernity of facilities
  • Performing arts
  • Science/research labs
  • Student center
  • Study spots
  • Visual arts (work spaces, galleries)

How would you describe the student center/union?    Based on 65 responses

  • 3% The student center is in need of a major renovation.
  • 17% The student center serves its purpose but is not a popular hangout.
  • 48% The student center is great but isn't central to student life.
  • 32% The student center is state-of-the-art and the hub of student life.

What is your overall opinion of your school and the campus community?    Based on 51 responses

  • 2% I hate my school and have no school spirit.
  • 6% The school community is okay-we're all just here for an education, nothing more.
  • 55% I like mostly everything about my school, but there are some things I wish were different.
  • 37% I love everything about my school and have a lot of campus pride.


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