The University of Rochester (commonly referred to as U of R or UR) is a private, nonsectarian, research university in Rochester, New York.〔(rochester.edu )〕 The university grants undergraduate and graduate degrees, including doctoral and professional degrees. The university has six schools and various interdisciplinary programs.
The University of Rochester is particularly noted for its Eastman School of Music. The university is also home to the Institute of Optics, founded in 1929, the first educational program in the US devoted exclusively to optics.〔(rochester.edu )〕〔(rochester.edu )〕 Rochester's Laboratory for Laser Energetics is home to the second most energetic fusion laser in the world.〔(), World’s Most Powerful Laser has the Energy of a Hydrogen Bomb〕
In its history, five university alumni, two faculty, and one senior research associate at Strong Memorial Hospital have been awarded a Nobel Prize; eight alumni and four faculty members have won a Pulitzer Prize, and 19 faculty members have been awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship. Faculty and alumni of Rochester make up nearly one-quarter of the scientists on the board advising NASA in the development of the James Webb Space Telescope, which is scheduled to replace the Hubble Space Telescope in 2018. The departments of political science and economics have made a significant and consistent impact on positivist social science since the 1960s; the distinctive, mathematical approach pioneered at Rochester and closely affiliated departments is known as the Rochester school, and Rochester graduates and former affiliates are highly represented at faculties across top economics and political science departments.〔(Political Science Alumni ) (Economics Alumni ) (The Rochester School: The Origins of Positive Political Theory )〕
The University of Rochester, across all of its schools and campuses, enrolls approximately 5,600 undergraduates and 4,600 graduate students. Its 158 buildings house over 200 academic majors. Additionally, Rochester (along with its affiliated Strong Health System) is the largest employer in the Greater Rochester area and the sixth largest employer in New York.〔(State.NY.us ), New York State Department of Labor: Workforce Industry Data〕
The University of Rochester was founded in 1850 as a Baptist-sponsored institution. The impetus to form the university came primarily from the town of Hamilton, New York, which has been home to Colgate University since 1819.〔(History of the University of Rochester )〕 In 1848, the Baptist Education Society planned to move Colgate University (then known as Madison University) to the city of Rochester, but was halted by legal action in Hamilton. Dissenting Colgate trustees, faculty, and students founded the University of Rochester with a charter granted from the Regents of the University of the State of New York on January 31, 1850. Classes began that November, with approximately 60 students enrolling, including 28 transfers from Madison.〔May, Arthur J. (1977) ''A History of the University of Rochester'', Princeton: Princeton University〕
The University of Rochester's campus was originally in downtown Rochester at the United States Hotel, which was located on Buffalo Street near Elizabeth Street, which today is West Main Street near the I-490 overpass. In 1853, the campus moved east to a then-suburban location on what is now University Avenue. Local businessman and Congressman Azariah Boody donated of land for the new campus, and the University purchased a further from him.〔May, Arthur J. (1977) ''A History of the university of Rochester'', Princeton: Princeton University〕 UR would remain on this campus until the current River Campus was constructed in 1930, and the university continues to own a small part of the University Avenue campus (where the university-owned Memorial Art Gallery is located).
The first female students were admitted in 1900, the result of an effort led by Susan B. Anthony and Helen Barrett Montgomery. During the 1890s, a number of women took classes and labs at the university as "visitors" but were not officially enrolled nor were their records included in the college register. President David Jayne Hill allowed the first woman, Helen E. Wilkinson, to enroll as a normal student, although she was not allowed to matriculate or to pursue a degree. Thirty-three women enrolled among the first class in 1900, and Ella S. Wilcoxen was the first to receive a degree, in 1901.〔 When the River Campus was completed in 1930, male students moved there while the female students remained on the University Avenue campus until 1955.
Major growth occurred under the leadership of Rush Rhees, during his 1900-1935 tenure. During this time, George Eastman became a major donor, giving more than $50 million to the university. The first Ph.D. was awarded in 1925. In 1955, the separate colleges for men and women were merged into The College. In 1958, three new schools were created in engineering, business administration, and education.〔(University of Rochester: ) History and Distinctions〕
During World War II, Rochester was one of 131 colleges and universities nationally that took part in the V-12 Navy College Training Program which offered students a path to a Navy commission.
Between 1946 and 1947, in infamous uranium experiments researchers at the university injected uranium-234 and uranium-235 into six people to study how much uranium their kidneys could tolerate before becoming damaged.〔Goliszek, 2003: pp. 136–137〕
In the mid-1980s, the University commissioned a study to determine if the name of the institution should be changed, most likely to "Eastman University." The study concluded that a name change could be beneficial because the use of a place name in the title led respondents to incorrectly believe that it was a public university, and because the name "Rochester" connoted a "cold and distant outpost." Reports of the latter conclusion led to controversy and criticism in the Rochester community. Ultimately, the name "University of Rochester" was retained.〔(), University of Rochester Urged to Change Name〕〔() What's in a Name? Plenty, Argue University's Alumni〕
In 1995, university president Thomas H. Jackson announced the launch of a "Renaissance Plan" for The College that, among several changes, reduced enrollment and created a more selective admissions process. The plan also revised the undergraduate curriculum significantly, creating the current system with only one required course and only a few distribution requirements (known as "clusters").〔(Rochester.edu ), Press Release: Rochester Renaissance Plan for The College〕
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