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Wagner University

December 24, 2011 by staff 

Wagner UniversityWagner University, Wagner College is a private, co-educational, national liberal arts college with an enrollment of approximately 2,400 total students located atop Grymes Hill in New York City’s borough of Staten Island. The college is regionally accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools.
Wagner College was founded in 1883 in Rochester, New York, as the Rochester Lutheran Proseminary to train Lutheran ministers. Its curriculum was modeled on the German gymnasium; it was a six year curriculum. In 1886, it became the Wagner Memorial Lutheran College after a building in Rochester was purchased for its use by John G. Wagner in memory of his son.

The college moved to the 38-acre (15 ha) former Cunard estate on Grymes Hill, Staten Island (370 feet above sea level) in 1918. Bellevue, the Cunard mansion which dates from 1851, is extant (now Cunard Hall) as is the neighboring former hotel for visitors which also dates from the 19th century (initially named North Hall and is now Reynolds House). The college soon expanded to 57 acres (23 ha) after it acquired the neighboring Vanderbilt estate in 1922. In the 1920s, the curriculum began to move toward an American-style curriculum which was solidified when the state of New York granted the college degree-granting status in 1928. The college admitted women in 1933 and introduced graduate programs in 1951. The college expanded further when it purchased the W.G. Ward estate in 1949 (current site of Wagner College Stadium), and again in 1993 when the college acquired the adjacent property of the former Augustinian High School which has largely remained wooded greenspace and athletic fields. The college now occupies 105 acres (42 ha) on the hill and has commanding views of New York harbor, the Verrazano Narrows Bridge, Downtown Brooklyn, and lower Manhattan.

In the early 1960s, the Wagner College Writer’s Conference hosted several prominent writers including Edward Albee, Kay Boyle, and Kenneth Koch.

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