NY Board of Regents approves name change to Roberts Wesleyan University

ROCHESTER, N.Y. —  The New York Board of Regents on Tuesday granted Roberts Wesleyan College’s request to change the name to Roberts Wesleyan University.

A statement from Roberts Wesleyan said the name change is effective immediately. The statement included the new logo for Roberts Wesleyan University.

This comes after the state lowered its requirements for which academic institutions can call themselves a “university”. In January, the state 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.

Roberts Wesleyan has master’s programs in 26 fields and two doctoral programs. The university’s President Deana Porterfield said that it took decades of building acclaimed graduate programs to receive the designation.

“Now we move forward with more flexible options to serve our students; with focused vision, and with courageous optimism in meeting and engaging the challenges of higher education in today’s world,” Porterfield said.

Roberts Wesleyan currently has around 1,600 students and has more than 20,000 alumni.

Other local institutions have also requested a name change from the Board of Regents. On July 1st, St. John Fisher College officially changed its name to St. John Fisher University. Mayor Malik Evans said the name change was a way to recognize the innovation happening at Fisher.

A Nazareth spokesperson said in May that the college is having discussions about possibly requesting a name switch to Nazareth University.

“We’ve surveyed students, faculty, staff, and alumni and are currently considering the feedback and determining what is best for Nazareth,” said the statement.