Buffalo State College

Buffalo State College

Buffalo State College
Motto Dedicated to excellence
Established 1871
Type Public
Endowment US$ 22.7 million (June 2011)[1]
Chancellor Nancy L. Zimpher
President Katherine Conway-Turner
Provost Melanie Perreault
Administrative staff
1,820 total full and part-time faculty and staff[1]
Students 10,661[1]
Undergraduates 9,316[1]
Postgraduates 1,176[1]
Location Buffalo, New York, United States
Campus Urban
127 acres (51 ha)
Newspaper The Record
Colors Burnt Orange, Black, Cool Gray[2]
Nickname Bengals
Mascot Benji the Bengal
Affiliations NCAA Division III
Website suny.buffalostate.edu

The State University College at Buffalo, known as Buffalo State College or SUNY Buffalo State,[3][4] is a public college in Buffalo, New York, United States, and is part of the State University of New York (SUNY) system. Buffalo State College was founded in 1871 as the Buffalo Normal School for the training of teachers. Located on a 125-acre campus in the heart of Buffalo’s cultural corridor, SUNY Buffalo State now offers a wide array of academic programs, including 171 undergraduate programs with 11 honors options, 11 post baccalaureate teacher certification programs, and 61 graduate programs.

The college is almost always referred to as Buffalo State to contrast it with the much larger nearby school State University of New York at Buffalo, known locally as the "University at Buffalo", "UB", or "SUNY Buffalo".


  • History 1
  • Demographics 2
  • Curriculum 3
  • Schools 4
  • Ranking 5
  • Research 6
  • Campus life 7
  • United Students Government 8
  • Media organizations 9
  • Art 10
  • Campus expansion 11
  • Athletics 12
    • Men's 12.1
    • Women's 12.2
  • Greek life 13
  • Alumni 14
  • Notable graduates, faculty, and administrators 15
  • Gallery 16
  • See also 17
  • References 18
  • External links 19


Buffalo State was founded in 1871 as the Buffalo Normal School for the training of teachers. Later it became the State Normal and Training School (1888–1927), the State Teachers College at Buffalo (1928–1946), the New York State College for Teachers at Buffalo (1946–1950), SUNY, New York State College for Teachers (1950–1951), the State University College for Teachers at Buffalo (1951–1959), the State University College of Education at Buffalo (1960–1961), and the State University College at Buffalo (1961–present).[5]

Eighty-six students attended the Buffalo Normal School on the first day of classes, September 13, 1871. The school’s purpose at the time was to train teachers to serve Buffalo’s fast-growing student population in the public schools. Today, Buffalo State remains one of only 136 colleges in the nation to host a teacher-preparation program, but its curricular offerings have expanded dramatically over the years and now include more than 250 undergraduate and graduate programs.

In 1910, the Art Department was added to the areas of study for incoming students. In 1930, Buffalo State was the only college to offer art education, and in 1944, the special education program was founded.

In 1920, five students founded an organization that would become Delta Kappa National Fraternity.

In 1948, the first dormitory building was erected where the present-day Moot Hall is located. In 1961, Buffalo State was the first institution in the SUNY system to offer a study-abroad program, a semester-long immersion program in Siena, Italy. International study programs have expanded vastly since then and now include international exchange and study-abroad programs in Australia, Canada, England, Italy, the Netherlands, Puerto Rico, and Spain.

In 1964, the Buffalo State College Planetarium opened its doors with a 24-foot dome at the height of the space race. In 1966, Dr. James Orgren was recruited as Director. On November 17th, 1978, a devastating fire destroyed the facility, but it was re-opened on April 18, 1980 due to the generosity of the community. In April 1982, it was renamed to reflect is greatest benefactor to the Whitworth Ferguson Planetarium. In 1984, Dr. Orgren stepped down as Director and hired Mr. Arthur Gielow as his successor. Mr. Gielow died in 2010, and after a brief remodeling, the planetarium reopened in 2011 under the direction of Dr. Kevin Williams. In January, 2013, the planetarium closed its doors to make way for a new modern facility at a closing ceremony highlighting is 48-year history including in-house produced programming. Through 2010–2012, staff members Tim Collins, Stephen Dubois, and Terry Farrell created several programs during the final years. In 2015, the planetarium reopened again from a generous donation, with a temporary 20-foot inflatable fulldome system and is currently operating again for students, area schools, and the general public. The new 35-foot dome facility is slated to open in Phase III of the Science And Math Complex, currently slated for 2019.


There are about 10,500 undergraduates and 1,300 graduate students enrolled.[1] The undergraduate population (2011) was 41 percent male and 59 percent female. The overall admission rate of new students (2011) was 45 percent.[6] Students both in and out of state, as well as from other countries, are a foundation of the student body.

Buffalo State is recognized for its emphasis on teaching and small class sizes. More than 80 percent of all classes at Buffalo State have fewer than 40 students. Classes for undergraduate majors usually have between 12 and 15 students.[7]


Buffalo State College Graduation, 1997
Buffalo State College Student Affairs Vice President and Dean of Students Phillip Santa Maria[8][9] (1943–2005) Speaking at MOOG Leadership Weekend, East Aurora, New York, 2000

Buffalo State has 171 undergraduate programs with 11 honors options and 66 opportunities for graduate study, including 11 teacher certification programs. Forty-eight faculty members have been awarded the SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching, and seven have been honored as SUNY Distinguished Teaching Professors.

Unique programs offered at Buffalo State include Adult Education, Art Conservation, Creative Studies, Engineering Technology, Fashion and Textile Technology, and Forensic Chemistry. Buffalo State was the first school in the world to grant a master of science in creativity. The university also now offers an undergraduate minor in Creative Studies.[10] Both programs are offered through the International Center for Studies in Creativity, which is housed on campus. Buffalo State has 12 centers promoting growth and excellence.

Others include:

  • Center for Development of Human Services (CDHS). Strengthening human services through training, organizational, and technical assistance; technology; and evaluation, this center offers a comprehensive menu of management, supervisory, and worker-training programs that enable students to learn to more effectively serve their future clients.
  • Center for Health and Social Research. Working as an integral component of Buffalo State to provide collaboration between students, faculty, and staff in intellectual development, this center works to investigate basic and applied research topics that are among the most pressing in today’s society.
  • Great Lakes Center. This center actively conducts collaborative research with other institutions and agencies in the United States, Canada, and Europe. The research focuses primarily on lakes Erie and Ontario and their tributaries, although national and international projects are also a priority. Research topics include aquatic invasive species, biodiversity and conservation of freshwater mollusks, nutrient stoichiometry and lake budgets, population ecology, water quality, and wetland chemistry and hydrology.


Buffalo State is composed of six schools: the School of Arts and Humanities, the School of Education, the School of Natural and Social Sciences, the School of the Professions, University College, and the Graduate School.

Rockwell Hall - SUNY Buffalo State


Buffalo State was ranked 31 in the category Top Public Schools Regional Universities (North) by U.S. News & World Report’s “Best Colleges 2012.” When all public and private institutions are included, Buffalo State is ranked 104 in the Top Regional Universities (North) Tier 1. In the same report, it ranked 73rd nationally for graduate schools in Speech-Language Pathology.[11] Ranking Web of Universities ranks Buffalo State 4 out of 100 top universities in the Northern Region of the United States and 1,000 out of the top 12,000 in the world.[12] International Colleges & Universities ranks Buffalo State as the 17th best university in New York State out of 145.[13]

Cock-a-doodle-doo (1981) sculpture by Billie Lawless in front of Upton Hall


Through the Research Foundation for the State University of New York, Buffalo State receives more grants and research support than all SUNY colleges combined. Many of Buffalo State’s faculty members conduct applied research that makes a direct and immediate impact in the Buffalo Niagara community and beyond.

Each year, hundreds of undergraduate students gain hands-on experience in their fields by partnering with faculty members on research projects. Activities include an annual student research symposium, a summer research fellowship program, a small grants program to support academic-year research, travel support for students presenting or performing at professional meetings and conferences, and faculty development opportunities related to undergraduate research. In addition to that Buffalo State is a leader in human service research and training.

Campus life

Roughly one-quarter of Buffalo State’s students live on campus. The college provides a variety of options for its resident students. Some residence halls house first-year students exclusively; some house a mixture of students, and some are reserved for upper-division students. Additionally, there is a mix of specialty housing for specific groups and interests. The new Student Apartment Complex, opened in September 2011, features 125 apartment-style units, each with four single bedrooms, two full bathrooms, and a spacious kitchen and living room.

Through the International and Exchange Programs Office, Buffalo State students can study at another campus in the United States, Canada, or around the world. Students have the opportunity to join more than 81 campus organizations, including 25 fraternities and sororities and an International Students Organization (ISO).

United Students Government

United Students Government (USG) represents the student body in campus governance and helps administrate student activities and organizations. USG provides activities, services, and student representation at Buffalo State. USG is headed by an executive branch of students elected each year along with a judicial branch and senate elected at the same time. USG manages and disperses money provided by the mandatory student activity fee to the many organizations and clubs on campus.

Burchfield-Penney Art Center

Media organizations

  • BSC-TV2
  • WBNY-FM 91.3 (MHz), student-run radio station.
  • "The Record" student-run newspaper, published every Wednesday.
  • "The Lens" an art, culture, and literary magazine.
  • "1300 Elmwood" is a magazine for alumni and friends, published biannually.
College dorm building (2011)


The campus’s Burchfield Penney Art Center, founded in 1966, moved to its new $33 million facility in 2008. The Burchfield Penney features the work of Western New York artists and houses one of the world’s largest collections of work by American watercolorist Charles E. Burchfield (1893–1967). The historic Albright-Knox Art Gallery, which showcases modern and contemporary art, is located across the street from the campus. Students can purchase discount passes in the Student Union. There are also a number of other art Galleries nearby.

Campus expansion

Buffalo State is currently undergoing a $350 million campus-wide improvement project. In 2011, a $45 million Student Apartment Complex opened on the west side of campus. The 125-apartment, 500-bed facility provides residents with a fully furnished, state-of-the-art campus dwelling. It is Buffalo State’s largest addition to campus student housing since the early 1970s.[14]

A new $38 million Technology Building is expected to achieve LEED gold certification through the U.S. Green Building Council. A $103.4 million renovation and expansion of the Science and Mathematics Complex is currently under way and is scheduled for completion in 2017. Other campus projects include a $9.5 million renovation on the third floor of Rockwell Hall, $5.6 million renovation to the Campbell Student Union, $28 million rehabilitation of the Houston Gymnasium, $9 million in rehabilitation to the Tower 4 residence hall, and $11.2 million in underground utility replacements in the Rockwell Quadrangle and nearby vicinity.


Buffalo State’s sports teams are known as the Bengals. Buffalo State competes in 16 varsity sports within NCAA Division III:

The Bengals men’s basketball team won a State University of New York’s Athletic conference championship and advanced to the Sweet 16 in the NCAA Division III Tournament in 2011. In fall 2012, the Bengals football team prevailed in a dramatic upset over the No. 1-ranked University of Wisconsin-Whitewater, breaking into the national rankings for the first time since 2000. Five Bengals women’s lacrosse players were honored in 2012 for work in the classroom by the Intercollegiate Women’s Lacrosse Coaches Association. The Bengals women’s lacrosse team collectively earned a 3.14 grade point average for the spring 2012 semester, including eight players who earned a 3.50 or higher.

The men’s and women’s ice hockey teams play in the 1,800-seat Ice Arena within the Buffalo State Sports Arena on campus. The Ice Arena serves as a practice facility for the Buffalo Sabres, has hosted the NJCAA championships, and is also a host site for the Western New York Federation High School Hockey regular season and championship playoffs.

The Bengals’ colors are orange and black.

Greek life


Buffalo State has 100,000 alumni living in 119 countries throughout the world. Ninety-seven percent live in the United States, and 71 percent live in New York State. The five most popular majors among alumni were elementary education (15,538), art education (4,249), exceptional education (4,180), business studies (3,979), and criminal justice (3,911).

Notable graduates, faculty, and administrators


See also


  1. ^ a b c d e f
  2. ^
  3. ^
  4. ^ http://collegerelations.buffalostate.edu/buffalo-state-specific-editorial-style
  5. ^
  6. ^
  7. ^
  8. ^ Phillip Santa Maria Memorial Award, Buffalo State College, Buffalo, NY: Buffalo State College, 2011, Retrieved 9 March 2014.
  9. ^ Phil Santa Maria Award for Student Leadership in Equity and Campus Diversity, Buffalo State College, Buffalo, NY: Buffalo State College, 2011, Retrieved 9 March 2014.
  10. ^ Buffalo State College Undergraduate Programs: Majors and Minors
  11. ^
  12. ^
  13. ^
  14. ^
  15. ^ History: College presidents: Muriel A. Howard, Buffalo State College: The State University of New York, Buffalo, NY, 2013, accessdate=11 December 2013.
  16. ^ About us: President's bio: Muriel A. Howard, Ph.D., AASCU – American Association of Colleges and Universities, Washington, DC, 2013, Retrieved 12 December 2013.
  17. ^ Vice president at UB will head Buffalo State, Buffalo News, Buffalo, NY: Berkshire Hathaway, 12 December 1995, Brady, K., Retrieved 21 December 2013.
  18. ^ Muriel A. Howard – working for a better community, Living Prime Time, December 2000, Binder, J., Retrieved 13 January 2014.
  19. ^

External links

  • SUNY Buffalo State
  • Buffalo State Athletics
  • Adult Education
  • Great Lakes Center
  • International Center for Studies in Creativity.
  • Burchfield Penney Art Center
  • E. H. Butler Library
  • H. H. Richardson Complex