Nazareth will become a university at midnight

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PITTSFORD, N.Y. — Nazareth College is celebrating one of the biggest moments in its nearly 100-year history. It will officially become Nazareth University at midnight.

There was a ceremony on Wednesday at 11:30 a.m. to unveil Nazareth’s new name and visual identity. Nazareth announced the transition last November but Wednesday’s event marks the final step in a lengthy process to get the name change approved by the New York State Board of Regents.

Nazareth President Beth Paul, alumni from five decades, and other members of the campus community were at the ceremony on the lawn in front of Smyth Hall.

Colleges across the Rochester area have transitioned to a university after the state lowered its requirements. In January 2022, the state’s Board of Regents said any institution that offers at least three graduate programs can apply to receive a “university” designation. Previously, an institution needed at least three doctoral programs.

Nazareth has more than 25 master’s level graduate programs and a doctorate in physical therapy program. Master’s programs at the school include education, music and arts, health and human services, business and leadership, and humanities and social sciences.

St. John Fisher and Roberts Wesleyan have both completed their name change to a university. St. John Fisher University became official in July 2022. Rochester Mayor Malik Evans said the name change was a way to recognize the innovation happening at Fisher.

Roberts Wesleyan University became official in September 2022. The university’s president said the name change came after decades of building acclaimed graduate programs.

News10NBC first learned in May 2022 that Nazareth was discussing changing its designation to a university.