Robert Morris University
Former name
Pittsburgh School of Accountancy (1921–1935)
Robert Morris School of Business (1935–1962)
Robert Morris Junior College (1962–1969)
Robert Morris College (1969–2002)
TypePrivate university
Established1921 (1921)
Endowment$38.2 million (2020)[1]
PresidentMichelle L. Patrick
Academic staff
203 full-time faculty

40°31′14″N 80°12′39″W / 40.5206°N 80.2107°W / 40.5206; -80.2107
CampusSuburban, 230 acres (93 ha)
ColorsBlue, white, red[2]
Sporting affiliations
NCAA Division IHorizon League

Robert Morris University (RMU) is a private university in Moon Township, Pennsylvania. It was founded in 1921 and is named after Robert Morris, known as the "financier of the American revolution." It enrolls nearly 5,000 students and offers 60 bachelor's degree programs[3] and 35 master's and doctoral programs.[4] Most students are from the Pittsburgh area, while 16 percent of freshmen in 2018 were from outside Pennsylvania.[5]


Robert Morris University originated in 1921 as the Pittsburgh School of Accountancy, founded by Andrew Blass using a curriculum similar to what he had overseen as dean of the Pace Institute in Washington, D.C.[6] His successor, C.W. Salmond, oversaw an expansion in 1935 that added business and secretarial studies, and the school was renamed the Robert Morris School of Business in honor of the Founding Father popularly known as the "financier of the American Revolution."[7] In 1942, the Robert Morris School moved to the William Penn Hotel to accommodate its growing enrollment, and in 1959 purchased its own Downtown building at 600 Fifth Ave.[7]

In 1962 the school purchased Pine Hill Manor and Farm in Moon Township, Pennsylvania, formerly the home of Oliver Kaufmann, vice president of Kaufmann's department store in Pittsburgh, his wife, Freda, and their children.[8] The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania then granted the school permission to award associate degrees, and the school became Robert Morris Junior College, operating from two separate campuses. The first new buildings on the Moon Township campus, Franklin Center and three residence halls, were erected in 1963.[7]

The school became Robert Morris College in 1969 when it began offering bachelor's degrees in business administration. The first graduate students were admitted in 1978 for master's degree programs in business administration, taxation, and business teacher education; the first doctoral program was offered in 1999. In 2002, the school attained university status and was thus renamed Robert Morris University.[7] In 2010, the university sold its Downtown Center at 600 Fifth Avenue to Duquesne University.[9]

In 2016, Christopher B. Howard became the university's eighth president. Howard was formerly the president of Hampden-Sydney College and the first African-American president in RMU's history. He was succeeded by Michelle Patrick in 2022, the first woman to serve as RMU president.[10]


The core campus consists of a 230 acres (0.93 km2) tract in Moon Township, Pennsylvania, a suburb of Pittsburgh near Pittsburgh International Airport. The main campus building is Nicholson Center, which houses dining and meeting facilities, classrooms and faculty offices, and a bookstore. It is attached to the Patrick Henry Center, which houses the library, a TV studio, and numerous offices and classrooms. RMU participates in inter-library lending consortia PALINET and PALCI that allow RMU students to borrow books on site from most of the college and university libraries in the Pittsburgh area.[11]

The School of Business building contains the PNC Trading Center, the United States Steel Corporation Video Conferencing and Technology Center, the ATI Center, classrooms, and the President's Office. Scaife Center is the newest academic building on campus, having opened in 2015; it is the home of the Regional Research and Innovation in Simulation Education (RISE) Center. Wheatley Center houses the School of Informatics, Humanities and Social Sciences. John Jay Center is the home of the School of Engineering, Mathematics and Science. Hale Center is the main university classroom building. The nondenominational Rogal Chapel is perched on a small hilltop overlooking campus.

Of 14 residence halls, three are newer apartment-style complexes; the university also has converted a former hotel nearby into Yorktown Hall, now entirely student housing. Nearly 2,000 students live in campus housing, including 85 percent of freshmen.[12]

The UPMC Events Center and Peoples Court is the home of basketball and volleyball teams. The center also has extensive conference, classroom, and meeting facilities and is a venue for concerts, speakers, and other events.[13] Football and lacrosse teams play on campus at Joe Walton Stadium.

Clearview Arena is the home of the men's and women's ice hockey teams at the RMU Island Sports Center, a 32 acres (130,000 m2) sports and recreation facility at nearby Neville Island in the Ohio River 9 miles (14 km) from Downtown Pittsburgh.[14] The center is open to the public year-round and contains two indoor and two outdoor ice rinks, an indoor hockey arena (home to the Steel City Icebergs), and a dome that accommodates an indoor golf driving range.[15] The center also has an outdoor 18-hole miniature golf course.[16]

The university also has classes online and at its Downtown campus at 339 Sixth Avenue in Pittsburgh, also the home of the Bayer Center for Nonprofit Management at Robert Morris University. The university offers training in additive manufacturing at a 3D printing lab and classroom in the Energy Innovation Center in the Lower Hill District.[17]


RMU offers 60 undergraduate and 35 graduate degree programs.[18] It also offers 39 professionally focused certificate programs.[19]

The School of Engineering, Mathematics, and Science is one of only 17 universities in the country named a Center of Actuarial Excellence by the Society of Actuaries.[20]

The School of Business offers a sport management course on the WWE. The course examines "the cutting-edge business and artistic presentation practices of a global leader in live entertainment" and "reviews the history covering the professional wrestling business, its talent development, theatrical influences/production practices, event/facility management operations as well as WWE's innovative branding, marketing and mass media strategies."[21] RMU was the first university in Pennsylvania to join the Amazon Web Service Academy and offer cloud computing certification curriculum.[22][23] On October 7, 2022, the university announced that the school would be renamed the Rockwell School of Business. This was a result of an $18 million gift from the S. Kent Rockwell Foundation and the Kent Rockwell family, the largest personal gift in the university’s history and a tremendous investment in entrepreneurial and business education.[24]

To support students from underrepresented groups who want to pursue careers in technology or math, Netflix co-founder and CEO Reed Hastings made a $3 million gift in January 2021 to fund 20 full scholarships for RMU Next Century Scholars. The 20 scholarships were open to qualified applicants pursuing degrees in computer and information systems; cybersecurity; data analytics; actuarial science; mathematics; statistics and predictive analysis; computer science; and user experience user interface design (UX-UI).[25]

In October 2022, Robert Morris University was one of two recipients of a record-setting $8.82 million gift from the Peirce Foundation for dyslexia education, the largest gift of its kind ever made in the state of Pennsylvania. The Peirce family previously committed $2 million to Robert Morris University in 2017 to establish the Bob and Joan Peirce Center for Structured Reading Teacher Training, which trains teachers to work with children with dyslexia and other learning disabilities.[26]

Each semester, Robert Morris University hosts one Rooney International Visiting Scholar in residence on campus, who can teach a course, deliver presentations and guest lectures, and collaborate with RMU faculty on joint research projects.[27] Past Rooney Scholars include Ambassador Robin R. Sanders, Andrea Jeftanovic, and Misha Segal.[27]

Robert Morris University is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education. The School of Business is accredited by AACSB International. On June 29, 2022, Robert Morris University announced that it earned the AACSB Accounting accreditation, the first university in Western Pennsylvania to do so.[28] B.S. programs in information sciences and computer information systems are accredited by the Computing Accreditation Commission of ABET, while B.S. programs in engineering and manufacturing engineering are accredited by ABET's Engineering Accreditation Commission. Initial teacher preparation and advanced educator programs are accredited by the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP). Nursing programs are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education, and nuclear medicine by the Joint Review Committee on Education Programs in Nuclear Medicine Technology; the Regional Research and Innovation in Simulation Education (RISE) Center at Robert Morris University is accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Healthcare Simulation Programs.[29]

Student life

RMU offers more than 160 student organizations, clubs, and activities on campus. The Colonial Theatre program stages several productions annually, including some that have won honors at the Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival.[30] The RMU Bands and Performing Ensembles features a marching show band, pep band, jazz band, wind ensemble, and fife & drum corps.[31] The band's auxiliary includes a color guard, dance team, and majorette squad.

Students field 17 club sports teams including ice hockey, bowling, rugby and golf.[32] There are several fraternities and sororities on campus.

Army ROTC is an elective program that serves in conjunction with students' existing degree programs began at Robert Morris University in the spring of 2006, and it is part of the Three Rivers Battalion hosted at the University of Pittsburgh.[33] Currently, the Pittsburgh ROTC program has more than 250 students from 13 different universities in western Pennsylvania.[33]

The student-run RMU Sentry Media website includes news and feature stories as well as programming from RMU-TV and RMU-Radio.[34] The Sentry's sports affiliate, Colonial Sports Network, provides athletics news.[35]


Main article: Robert Morris Colonials

Robert Morris' sports teams, nicknamed "the Colonials", wear the school colors of blue, white, and red. The Colonials compete in NCAA Division I (FCS, formerly Division I-AA, in football). Most of the school's teams play in the Horizon League, though the football team plays in the Big South Conference (Football and Men’s Lacrosse are returning to the NEC in 2024), the men's ice hockey team competes in Atlantic Hockey, the women's ice hockey team is a member of the College Hockey America, and women's rowing competes in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference. Men's teams are basketball, football, golf, ice hockey, lacrosse, cross country, and soccer. Women's teams are basketball, cross country, ice hockey, lacrosse, rowing, soccer, softball, track and field, and volleyball.[36]

The Colonials officially joined the NCAA in 1976 and appeared in its first NCAA tournament in 1982, in men's basketball. Robert Morris men's and women's teams have won 45 league championships in NCAA Division I.[37]

Notable alumni


  1. ^ As of June 30, 2020. U.S. and Canadian Institutions Listed by Fiscal Year 2020 Endowment Market Value and Change in Endowment Market Value from FY19 to FY20 (Report). National Association of College and University Business Officers and TIAA. February 19, 2021. Retrieved February 21, 2021.
  2. ^ Logos and Identity | Robert Morris University. Retrieved March 18, 2023.
  3. ^ "Undergraduate Programs / Robert Morris University". RMU website. Retrieved 8 February 2019.
  4. ^ "Graduate Programs / Robert Morris University". RMU website. Retrieved 8 February 2019.
  5. ^ Common Data Set 2018-19, Robert Morris University. 2018.
  6. ^ "Past Presidents, Robert Morris University". RMU website. Retrieved 8 February 2019.
  7. ^ a b c d "University History, Robert Morris University". RMU website. Retrieved 8 February 2019.
  8. ^ "Hands of time doom mansion". Beaver County Times 5/24/91 p. A8 on Google. Retrieved 25 August 2014.
  9. ^ "Robert Morris sells building to Duquesne University". Pittsburgh Business Times October 1, 2010. Retrieved 25 August 2014.
  10. ^ "Robert Morris University Names Dr. Michelle Patrick Its Next President | Robert Morris University". Retrieved 2023-01-10.
  11. ^ "Frequently Asked Questions". Retrieved 2010-01-03.
  12. ^ Common Data Set 2018-19, Robert Morris University. pp. F. Student Life.
  13. ^ "UPMC Events Center, Robert Morris University". RMU website. Retrieved 11 February 2019.
  14. ^ TribuneReview (2020-10-13). "Robert Morris Island Sports Center rink renamed Clearview Arena". Retrieved 2023-01-10.
  15. ^ "Robert Morris University Island Sports Center". Retrieved 11 February 2019.
  16. ^ "Miniature Golf". Retrieved 2010-01-03.
  17. ^ "RMU bringing 3D printing and Additive Manufacturing Lab to Energy Innovation Center". NextPittsburgh. Retrieved 11 February 2019.
  18. ^ "Schools | Robert Morris University". Retrieved 3 September 2019.
  19. ^ "Certificate Programs | Robert Morris University". Retrieved 2023-01-10.
  20. ^ "Universities & Colleges with Actuarial Programs (UCAP)". Society of Actuaries. Retrieved 11 February 2019.
  21. ^ "Robert Morris University – Course Catalog". Retrieved January 12, 2018.
  22. ^ "Reputation and Outcomes | Robert Morris University". Retrieved 2023-01-10.
  23. ^ Mayer, Brittany. "RMU first PA university in Amazon Web Services' Academy program". RMU Sentry Media. Retrieved 2023-01-11.
  24. ^ "S. Kent Rockwell Foundation and Kent Rockwell Make $18 Million Dollar Gift To Name The Rockwell School of Business at Robert Morris University | Robert Morris University". Retrieved 2023-01-10.
  25. ^ Staff Reports. "Netflix CEO gifts $3 million to RMU to fund 20 full scholarships". Beaver County Times. Retrieved 2023-01-11.
  26. ^ "Peirce Family Makes Record Gift to Support Dyslexia Education | Robert Morris University". Retrieved 2023-01-10.
  27. ^ a b "Rooney International Visiting Scholar Program | Robert Morris University". Retrieved 2023-01-11.
  28. ^ "Robert Morris University: Accounting for Success | Robert Morris University". Retrieved 2023-01-10.
  29. ^ "University Accreditations". RMU website. Retrieved 11 February 2019.
  30. ^ "Past and present of Colonial Theatre come together for Rent: In Concert". RMU Sentry Media. Retrieved 11 February 2019.
  31. ^ "RMU Bands | Robert Morris University". Retrieved 2023-01-10.
  32. ^ "Club Sports, Robert Morris University". RMU website. Retrieved 11 February 2019.
  33. ^ a b "Army ROTC | Robert Morris University". Retrieved 2023-01-10.
  34. ^ "RMU Sentry Media". Retrieved 11 February 2019.
  35. ^ "Colonial Sports Network". Retrieved 31 July 2021.
  36. ^ "Robert Morris University Athletics". Retrieved 11 February 2019.
  37. ^ "Historic Highlights, Robert Morris University". RMU website. Retrieved 11 February 2019.
  38. ^ "Charlie Batch, Robert Morris University". RMU website. Retrieved 11 February 2019.
  39. ^ Davis, Alexis (2021-09-30). "#FormerColonialWatch: Kirsten Welsh to make history as first female linesperson in OHL | Colonial Sports Network". Retrieved 2023-01-11.