State University of New York-Empire State University
TypePublic university
Established1971; 53 years ago (1971)
Parent institution
State University of New York
Endowment$14.5 million[1]
PresidentLisa Vollendorf
Academic staff
160 full time and 490 part time
ColorsOrange, blue, black      [2]
MascotBlue the Bluebird[2]

Empire State University (SUNY Empire) is a public university headquartered in Saratoga Springs, New York. It is part of the State University of New York (SUNY) system. Empire State University is a multi-site institution offering associate, bachelor's, master's, doctoral degrees, and distance degrees worldwide through the Center for Distance Learning. The university has approximately 12,000 undergraduate students and has an acceptance rate of 51%.[3][4] The university is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.[5]

The School for Graduate Studies offers master's degrees. Empire State University's Center for International Programs also has special programs for students in Lebanon through the American University of Science and Technology, Czech Republic, and Greece. From 2005 to 2010, Empire State University and Anadolu University in Turkey offered a joint MBA program. It also has arranged learning opportunities with UAW-Ford University, United Steelworkers of America, Corporate Noncredit Training, eArmyU, Navy College Program and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (Local Union #3). Empire State University administrative offices are located in Saratoga Springs, New York.


Empire State College was designed by then SUNY Chancellor Ernest Boyer in a document titled "Prospectus for a New University College."[6] In 1971, Ernest L. Boyer, chancellor of the State University of New York, conceived a new college for the state's public university: a college dedicated to adult, student-centered education. Empire State College was designed removing impediments to access such as time, location, institutional processes, and curricular customs. In this design, students would individually define their academic needs, purposes, and efforts. The college would be flexible in supporting them through its faculty, policies, and procedures, to achieve college-level learning.[citation needed]


In 2020, Empire State University named its first-ever mascot, Blue the Bluebird. A campus-wide vote took place and Blue the Bluebird beat out other finalists, Cam the Chameleon and Van the Vanguard. Students, faculty, staff, and alumni cast 9,922 total votes in the finals. The bluebird is New York's state bird.[2]


College presidents
Name Tenure
James W. Hall 1971–1998
Jane Altes (interim*) January 1998 – September 2000
Joseph B. Moore September 2000 – June 2007
Kimberly Cline (acting*) June 2007 – October 2007
Joyce Elliott (interim*) October 2007 – July 31, 2008
Alan Davis August 1, 2008 – July 31, 2012
Meg Benke (acting*) August 1, 2012 – May 8, 2013
Merodie A. Hancock May 9, 2013 – March 3, 2018[7]
Mitchell Nesler (Officer-in-Charge*) March 3, 2018 – July 14, 2019[8]
Jim Malatras July 15, 2019[9] – August 30, 2020[10]
Beth Berlin (Officer-in-Charge*) August 31, 2020[11][10] – June 30, 2022
Lisa Vollendorf July 1, 2022 – present
*title designates acting/interim leaders


The university offers distance education, extensive transfers of credits from other universities, prior-learning assessment for knowledge gained through independent studies, standardized evaluations, and the opportunity to design one's own degree with an academic advisor or mentor.[12]

Notable alumni

The Coordinating Center at Saratoga Springs, New York
Rochester, New York location

See also


  1. ^ As of June 30, 2011. "U.S. and Canadian Institutions Listed by Fiscal Year 2011 Endowment Market Value and Percentage Change in Endowment Market Value from FY 2010 to FY 2011" (PDF). National Association of College and University Business Officers. January 17, 2012. p. 21. Archived from the original (PDF) on October 29, 2013. Retrieved March 22, 2012.
  2. ^ a b c d "SUNY Empire Announces First-Ever Mascot, Blue the Bluebird". January 28, 2020.
  3. ^ "State University of New York Empire State College - Tuition and Acceptance Rate".
  4. ^ "College Navigator - SUNY Empire State College". April 14, 2010.
  5. ^ "Accreditation | About Us | SUNY Empire State College". Retrieved February 27, 2017.
  6. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on June 6, 2012. Retrieved February 13, 2013.((cite web)): CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  7. ^ "Saying farewell to Merodie A. Hancock". August 17, 2017.
  8. ^ "2018: Mitchell Nesler Named Officer-in-charge of SUNY Empire State College". February 26, 2018.
  9. ^ De Socio, Mike (May 9, 2019). "Jim Malatras will be the next SUNY Empire State College president". Albany Business Review. Albany, NY: American City Business Journals.
  10. ^ a b "Office of the President". SUNY Empire State College. Archived from the original on November 2, 2020.
  11. ^ "Beth Berlin Named Officer-In-Charge To Lead SUNY Empire State After Maltras Departure". Saratoga Business Journal. September 14, 2020.
  12. ^ James W. Hall; Richard F. Bonnabeau (1993). "Empire State College". New Directions for Higher Education. 1993 (82): 55–66. doi:10.1002/he.36919938206.
  13. ^ Edelman, Helen Susan (Spring 2013). "Behind the Lens" (PDF). Connections. Saratoga Springs, NY: Empire State College. p. 11.
  14. ^ Barbara J. Love (2006). Feminists who changed America, 1963-1975. University of Illinois Press. p. 2. ISBN 978-0-252-03189-2. Retrieved January 4, 2012.
  15. ^ Henahan, David M. (July 15, 2013). "Jazz Great Kenny Barron '78 Receives Honorary Doctorate of Music from SUNY". Saratoga Springs, NY: Empire State College.
  16. ^ "U.S. Representative Ginny Brown-Waite '76" (PDF). Empire State College Alumni and Student News. Saratoga Springs, NY: Empire State College. Spring 2005. p. 17.
  17. ^ "Biography, Dawoud Bey". Chicago, IL: The HistoryMakers. Retrieved July 25, 2019.
  18. ^ "Biography: Alice Fulton". New York, NY: American Academy of Poets. Retrieved July 25, 2019.
  19. ^ Henahan, David M. (July 24, 2014). "SUNY Empire State College's Metropolitan New York Center recognized Deborah Gregory". Empire State College. Saratoga Springs, NY.
  20. ^ Henahan, David M. (March 9, 2017). "Empire State College Alumnus Bob Herbert Hosts Segment of PBS Documentary, "Chasing the Dream"". News and Information. Saratoga Springs, NY: Empire State College.
  21. ^ Edelman, Helen S. (2008). "Thinking Out of the "Cube"" (PDF). SUNY Empire State College.
  22. ^ "Artist Biography: Erick Johnson". New York, NY: Artspace, LLC. Retrieved May 24, 2022.
  23. ^ Drew, Christopher (December 3, 2004). "A Street Cop's Rise From High School Dropout to Cabinet Nominee". The New York Times.
  24. ^ "Biography, Major General James J. LeCleir". Arlington, VA: U.S. Air Force. July 1, 1992. Retrieved July 25, 2019.
  25. ^ "Assembly contests featured across region". The Record. Troy, NY. November 1, 2014.
  26. ^ "Biography, Kathy Muehlemann". Faculty Biographies: Art. Lynchburg, VA: Randolph College. Retrieved July 25, 2019.
  27. ^ Kolbert, Elizabeth (January 3, 1988). "Getting Credit For Life's Experiences". The New York Times. New York, NY. p. 12.
  28. ^ "Biography, Mae Ngai". Speaker Biographies, "Migration: Past, Present, and Future". Boston, MA: Boston College. March 21, 2013.
  29. ^ Edelman, Helen (October 7, 2013). "Meet Alan Rachins '74". Empire State College. Saratoga Springs, NY.
  30. ^ "Mark J. Schroeder". League of Women Voters. Retrieved March 27, 2001.
  31. ^ Klein, Jeffrey D. (March 2, 2011). "Klein Honors Everyday Heroes At His Annual Black History Month Celebration Breakfast". Newsroom: Former New York State Senator Jeffrey D. Klein. Albany, NY: New York State Senate. Retrieved December 26, 2021.
  32. ^ Henahan, David (June 13, 2013). "Meet James Sheppard '99". Empire State College Student/Alumni Profiles. Saratoga Springs, NY.
  33. ^ "Melba Tolliver '98 Receives Distinguished Alumni Award". Empire State College. Saratoga Springs, NY. May 7, 2015.
  34. ^ "Herb Trimpe '97, Legendary Comic Book Artist and College Alumnus Has Died". Empire State College. Saratoga Springs, NY. April 22, 2015.
  35. ^ Ferguson, Hope (Spring 2004). "Destined to Play Ball" (PDF). Empire State College Alumni and Student News. Saratoga Springs, NY: Empire State College. pp. 5, 7.
  36. ^ "Reggie Witherspoon Named Canisius Men's Basketball Coach". Edison, NJ. May 28, 2016.

43°04′40″N 73°46′57″W / 43.0777°N 73.7826°W / 43.0777; -73.7826