St. John Fisher College
Motto"Teach me goodness, discipline, and knowledge"
TypePrivate liberal arts college
Established1948; 74 years ago (1948)
Endowment$97.7 million (2019)[1]
PresidentMaria G. Wild
Location, ,
United States
CampusSuburban, 154 acres (0.62 km2)
Athletics25 varsity teams
ColorsGold and Cardinal Red

St. John Fisher College is a private liberal arts college in Pittsford, New York. It is named after John Fisher (1469–1535), an English Catholic bishop, cardinal, theologian, and martyr who presided over the Diocese of Rochester in England and is venerated by Catholics as a saint.


St. John Fisher College was founded as a men's college in 1948 by the Basilian Fathers and with the aid of James E. Kearney, then the Bishop of the Diocese of Rochester. The college became independent in 1968 and coeducational in 1971. Today, Fisher is an independent, liberal arts institution in the Catholic tradition of American higher education. It was listed as a census-designated place in 2020.[2]


Academic rankings
U.S. News & World Report[4] 142
Washington Monthly[5] 147[3]

Fisher is made up of five schools. It offers 35 undergraduate majors, as well as a variety of master's and doctoral programs.

School of Arts and Sciences

The School of Arts and Sciences is the largest school within St. John Fisher College. It offers degrees and minors in over 20 undergraduate academic disciplines.[6]

Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. School of Education

The School is named after Ralph C. Wilson, Jr., the founding owner of the NFL's Buffalo Bills. It is accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education and offers undergraduate degrees in Inclusive Adolescence Education and Inclusive Childhood Education. It also offers a master's degree and initial certification program for those areas. Teachers already holding initial certification can earn graduate degrees and professional certification in Literacy Education (B-6 and 5–12), Special Education, and Educational Leadership, as well as an accelerated Doctor of Education in Executive Leadership.

The School of Education is active in community outreach programs including a literacy center that provides tutoring and small group instruction in literacy for elementary through high school students. The School of Education works closely with local school districts including the Rochester City School District, which hosts a number of Professional Development Sites where practicing teachers and pre-service teachers work alongside education faculty to develop best practices.[7]

School of Business

Fisher's business programs are accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB International). When this accreditation was gained, all business programs at the College were brought together in 2003 to form the College's first professional school, the School of Business.

Wegmans School of Pharmacy

The Wegmans School of Pharmacy is one of five pharmacy schools in New York State and is the first pharmacy school in the Greater Rochester community. It opened in fall 2006 and became fully accredited in May 2010. It awards a Doctor of Pharmacy degree to candidates who successfully complete four years of professional study.

The school was made possible by a $5 million gift from the late Robert Wegman, who served for many years as president of Wegmans Food Markets.

Wegmans School of Nursing

This school is also named after Robert Wegman, who contributed $8 million to the college to create the School of Nursing. Fisher's nursing programs are fully accredited by the New York State Education Department and the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education.

The college also offers an online RN to BSN program, master's degrees in both Nursing and Mental Health Counseling, and a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) degree.


Nearly all first-year students receive some form of financial assistance. Need-based and merit-based scholarships, as well as grants, loans, and part-time employment, are available for eligible students. Two unique scholarships are awarded to incoming freshmen.


St. John Fisher College Cardinals
UniversitySt. John Fisher College
ConferenceEmpire 8, Eastern College Athletic Conference, Liberty League, United Volleyball Conference
NCAADivision III
Athletic directorBob Ward
LocationRochester, New York
Varsity teams24
Football stadiumGrowney Stadium
Basketball arenaManning & Napier Varsity Gymnasium
Baseball stadiumDugan Yard
ColorsGold and Cardinal

The College is a founding member of the Empire 8 Athletic Association and competes with other full member schools. It competes at the NCAA Division III level, and is a member of the Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC), the Empire 8, the Liberty League (men's and women's rowing), and the United Volleyball Conference (men's). Its mascot is the cardinal.

During the 2014–15 season, St. John Fisher College won Empire 8 championships for men's indoor track & field, men's basketball, women's basketball, men's outdoor track & field, men's golf, and women's lacrosse.[8]

Growney Stadium is home to Fisher's football, field hockey, soccer, and lacrosse teams. The stadium's all-weather playing field has lighting and a 2,500 seat grandstand. The Manning & Napier Varsity Gymnasium is home to the men's and women's basketball teams. Dugan Yard is Fisher's baseball field. Other outdoor facilities include the Polisseni Track and Field Complex, regulation-sized practice fields (which serve as the home rugby fields), and a softball diamond.

In 2006, Fisher's football team finished the season with a 12–2 record overall and shared the Empire 8 Conference title. Fisher received an at-large bid into the NCAA Division III Tournament, in which they defeated Union College, Springfield College, and Rowan University to reach the national semifinals, which they lost to Mount Union College, the defending national champions, by a score of 26–14.

In 2007, Fisher's men's basketball team won the Empire 8 Conference title for the 5th consecutive year and the 6th time in seven years. In 2006, Fisher advanced to the Elite Eight of the NCAA Men's Division III Basketball Championship Tournament.

The women's basketball program was led for 34 seasons by Phil Kahler, who posted a career record of 797 wins (the most in Division III history) and 175 losses with a career winning percentage of .821. Under Kahler, the women's basketball program reached the NCAA Division III Championship Tournament 14 times and played in the NCAA Women's Division III Basketball Championship game in 1988 and 1990. Kahler retired shortly before the start of the 2008–09 basketball season and was replaced on the bench by Marianne O'Connor Ermi, his top assistant coach for 20 seasons. The women's basketball team is now led by Melissa Kuberka who was hired as a head coach before the 2017-18 season.

Buffalo Bills Training Camp

Since 2000, St. John Fisher College has been home to the Buffalo Bills' NFL summer training camp.

Student life

Many campus clubs and organizations are available to students.[9] Four of the major organizations on campus include the Student Government Association, the Student Activities Board, the Residence Hall Association, and Commuter Council.

Other clubs include music groups, language clubs, cultural organizations, student publications, and intramural sports. Many academic departments also sponsor clubs. Fisher students can contribute to the community through a variety of service organizations including Students With a Vision and Colleges Against Cancer. Numerous service projects occur each year including Project Community Convergence, Relay for Life, the Giant Read, and the Sweetheart Ball.

Teddi Dance for Love

The Annual Teddi Dance for Love is a 24-hour dance marathon started by Lou Buttino in 1983 that benefits Camp Good Days and Special Times, Inc. This project funds a trip to Florida for the children of Camp Good Days and has raised over $1 million since its inception.[10]

In 2015, St. John Fisher College received the Carnegie Community Engagement Classification from the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching and the New England Resource Center for Higher Education (NERCHE).[11]

Notable alumni

See also


  1. ^ As of June 30, 2019. "U.S. and Canadian 2019 NTSE Participating Institutions Listed by Fiscal Year 2019 Endowment Market Value, and Percentage Change in Market Value from FY18 to FY19 (Revised)". National Association of College and University Business Officers and TIAA. Retrieved September 25, 2020.
  2. ^ "State of New York Census Designated Places - Current/BAS20 - Data as of January 1, 2019". Retrieved 2020-02-24.
  3. ^ "2014 National Universities Rankings". Washington Monthly. n.d. Archived from the original on August 28, 2014. Retrieved May 27, 2015.
  4. ^ "2021 Best National University Rankings". U.S. News & World Report. Retrieved September 24, 2020.
  5. ^ "2020 National University Rankings". Washington Monthly. Retrieved August 31, 2020.
  6. ^ "School of Arts and Sciences". Retrieved 14 September 2015.
  7. ^ "Professional Development Schools & Partners Overview". Retrieved 14 September 2015.
  8. ^ "Empire 8 Athletic Conference". Retrieved 14 September 2015.
  9. ^ "Student Clubs and Organizations". Retrieved 14 September 2015.
  10. ^ "Official Site of the Teddi Dance for Love – Teddi Dance for Love". Retrieved 14 September 2015.
  11. ^ "Carnegie Selects Colleges and Universities for 2015 Community Engagement Classification". Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. Retrieved 14 September 2015.

Coordinates: 43°06′58″N 77°30′42″W / 43.11611°N 77.51167°W / 43.11611; -77.51167