University at Buffalo, The State University of New York, also commonly known as the University at Buffalo (abbreviated UB) or SUNY Buffalo, is a public research university with multiple campuses located in Buffalo and Amherst, New York, United States. The university was founded in 1846 as a private college, but in 1962 was absorbed into the State University of New York (SUNY) system. By enrollment, UB is the largest of SUNY's four comprehensive university centers, and also the largest public university in the northeastern United States (comprising New York state and the New England region).
According to the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education, the University at Buffalo is a Research University with Very High Research Activity (RU/VH). In 1989, UB was elected to the Association of American Universities, which represents 61 leading research universities in the United States and Canada. UB's alumni and faculty have produced a U.S. President, a Prime Minister, astronauts, Nobel laureates, Pulitzer Prize winners, Rhodes Scholars, and other notable individuals in their fields. The University houses the largest state-operated medical school and features the only state law school,architecture and urban planning school, and pharmacy school in the state of New York. UB was ranked as the 38th best value for in-state students and the 27th best value for out of state students in the 2012 Kiplinger rankings of best value of national universities. U.S. News and World Report's 2013 edition of America's Best Colleges ranked UB 106th on their list of "Best National Universities", and 51st among public universities
City leaders of Buffalo sought the establishment of a university in the city from the earliest days of Buffalo. A University of Western New York was begun at Buffalo under the auspices of the Presbyterian Church and property was purchased at North Street and College, (the site of the later YMCA), on the north side of the Allentown district. This university was chartered by the state on April 8, 1836. However, the project collapsed and no classes were ever offered, and only the layout of College Street remains.
The University of Buffalo was founded on May 11, 1846 as a private medical school to train the doctors for the communities of Buffalo, Niagara Falls, and surrounding villages. James Platt White was instrumental in obtaining a charter for the University of Buffalo from the state legislature in 1846. He also taught the first class of 89 men in obstetrics. State Assemblyman Nathan K. Hall was also "particularly active in procuring the charter".
The doors first opened to students in 1847 and after associating with a hospital for teaching purposes, the first class of students graduated the medical school in July 1847. The first chancellor of the University was future President of the United States Millard Fillmore. Upon his ascension to the presidency after President Taylor's death, Fillmore stayed on as part-time chancellor. Fillmore's name now graces the continuing education school Millard Fillmore College located on the South Campus as well as the Millard Fillmore Academic Center, an academic and administrative services building at the core of the residential Joseph Ellicott Complex, located on the North Campus.
"The first lectures were delivered in a wooden building over the old post office, corner of Seneca and Washington streets." The first building specially built for the university was a stone building at the corner of Main and Virginia streets, built in 1849-50, through donations, public subscription, and a state grant.
There were continuous expansions to the college medical programs, including a separate pharmacy division, which is now The School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences. In 1887 a law school was organized in Buffalo, which quickly became associated with Niagara University just to the north of Buffalo. After four years, in 1891, the law school was acquired by the University of Buffalo as the University of Buffalo Law School, which had a downtown Buffalo facility.
In the first few years of the 20th century, the University began planning for a comprehensive undergraduate college to complete the basic structure of a university, and in 1909 the University acquired the Erie County Almshouse grounds from the county of Erie, which became the University of Buffalo's initial campus. The establishment may have been influenced by the 1910 Flexner Report which criticized the preparation of the medical students at the university.With that additional space, in 1915, the then University of Buffalo formed the College of Arts and Sciences, creating an undergraduate division in addition to its prior educational work in the licensed professional fields. In 1916, Grace Millard Knox pledged $500,000 for the establishment of a "department of liberal arts and sciences in the University of Buffalo," which was at the time still a private institution. The initial gift of $100,000 was for the purchase of what would become Townsend Hall and the remainder was to establish the university's first endowment, in her husband's name, to support the department.
First home of the Medical College
In 1950, the Industrial Engineering department branched off from the Mechanical Engineering department. In 1956, a Civil Engineering Department was formed under Lehigh University graduate Robert L. Ketter, who went on to become Dean of the College of Engineering and Applied Sciences, and later President of the University.
In 1959, WBFO was launched as an AM radio station by UB's School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, and run by UB's students. The station has since become the launching pad of two modern National Public Radiopersonalities: Terri Gross and Ira Flatow.
In 1961, the Western New York nuclear research program was created. This program installed a miniature, active nuclear fission reactor on the University's South (Main Street) Campus. This program was not particularly active, nor could it compete with other government-run research labs, consequently, the programs performed in this facility were abandoned somewhat shortly after its inception. This reactor was formally decommissioned in 2005 with little fanfare due to material security concerns.
Acquisition by the SUNY system and second campus
In the early 1960s, the private University of Buffalo was purchased by and incorporated into the State University of New York or SUNY system, and became known as the State University of New York at Buffalo, or SUNY at Buffalo, and more recently as the University at Buffalo. As a part of the agreement to merge the university into the SUNY system, the State began to build an extensive second campus for the university. In 1964, The State acquired several hundred acres in the town of Amherst on the northeast of Buffalo, for development as a comprehensive campus for the most non-medical disciplines at University at Buffalo. This is often called the North Campus, and the center of most University at Buffalo activities. The North Campus project included several major buildings, dormitory complexes, a separate spur of the Interstate highway, and a new lake. The undergraduate college, the law school, and graduate schools were all moved to the new campus.
During the late 1960s, the College of Arts and Sciences was divided into three separate schools: arts and letters, natural sciences and mathematics, and social sciences. During the 1998-1999 academic year, the three schools were reunited to re-create the existing College of Arts and Sciences., when the faculties of Arts & Letters, Social Sciences, and Natural Sciences and Mathematics were combined, according to a memorandum issued by the State University of New York
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