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St. John Fisher College to become St. John Fisher University as of July 1

 St. John Fisher College President Gerard Rooney announces the name change to St. John Fisher University as of July 1.
St. John Fisher College
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St. John Fisher College President Gerard Rooney announces the name change to St. John Fisher University as of July 1.

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

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

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

Nazareth College and Roberts Wesleyan College are among the other local colleges said to be considering a change to the university designation.

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.”

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. Details will be out this fall.

Copyright 2022 WXXI News. To see more, visit WXXI News.

Randy Gorbman is WXXI's Director of News and Public Affairs. Randy manages the day-to-day operations of WXXI News on radio, television, and online.