This article contains content that is written like an advertisement. Please help improve it by removing promotional content and inappropriate external links, and by adding encyclopedic content written from a neutral point of view. (August 2017) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)
St. Lawrence University
Latin: Universitas Sancti Laurentii
MottoFides et Veritas (Latin)
Motto in English
Faith and Truth
TypePrivate liberal arts college
Established1856; 168 years ago (1856)
Academic affiliations
Annapolis Group
Endowment$378.9 million (2023)[1]
PresidentKathryn A. Morris
Academic staff
175 full-time
CampusRural, 1,000 acres (400 ha)
Colors   Scarlet and brown[3][4]
Sporting affiliations

St. Lawrence University is a private liberal arts college in the village of Canton in St. Lawrence County, New York. It has roughly 2,100 undergraduate and 100 graduate students.

Though St. Lawrence today is nonsectarian, it was founded in 1856 by leaders of the Universalist Church, who were seeking to establish a seminary west of New England and were enthusiastically courted by the citizens of Canton. The church almost did not place the school in Canton, however, as they felt students might be exposed to too much "excitement" within the village limits in 1856. The denomination, which has since merged with the Unitarian faith, was part of the liberal wing of Protestantism, championing such ideas as critical thinking and sex equality — attributes that surfaced in the new Theological School of St. Lawrence University, which was progressive in its teaching philosophy and coeducational from the beginning.


Gunnison Memorial Chapel

The university as it exists today was created as a "Preparatory Department" to provide a foundation for theological study. That department became today's liberal arts university, while the seminary closed in 1965 with the Unitarian/Universalist consolidation.

Richardson Hall

Early in the 20th century, the university's graduate program in education came into being; it has since served hundreds of North Country school teachers and administrators. Following a difficult period during the Great Depression and World War II that included the decision to shut down the Brooklyn Law School,[5] the student population increased quickly, and with it, the physical plant. A four-building campus serving around 300 students in the early 1940s, became a 30-building campus serving 2000 students within 25 years, partly through acquisition of the adjacent state school of agriculture campus when that facility relocated across town. The mid-1960s, also saw the birth of one of St. Lawrence's nationally known programs: its international programs. In 1974, two early campus buildings, Richardson Hall (1855–56), and Herring-Cole Hall (1869–1902), were listed on the National Register of Historic Places.[6] In 1984, structures built before 1930 were listed on the National Register of Historic Places as St. Lawrence University-Old Campus Historic District.[6]

During World War II, St. Lawrence University was one of 131 colleges and universities nationally that took part in the V-12 Navy College Training Program which offered students a path to a Navy commission.[7]

In the 2000s, the university undertook several construction projects. The Newell Field House was completed in 2001. The campus student center was completed in the spring of 2004, and serves as the school's hub at the center of campus. The Johnson Hall of Science opened in the fall of 2007, and expanded learning and lab space in several science disciplines, notably biology, chemistry, biochemistry, neuroscience, and psychology. Johnson Hall received LEED Gold certification for its sustainable design; it was the first Gold science building in New York State. Additionally, the Noble Center underwent major renovations to double the space available for the arts. A new Center for Arts Technology opened in January 2007. In 2020, the university completed an extensive renovation of the Appleton Arena.


For the class of 2025 (enrolled fall 2021), St. Lawrence offered admission to approximately 2900 students, who represent 47 states and Washington, DC, with 86 countries outside the United States. Early Decision came in on target with 200 enrolling students expected, making them well positioned for yielding the rest of the class this spring. Mean SAT of the admitted pool is up 50 points to 1354 compared to 1301 last year; Mean ACT is 31 versus 30, Mean GPA is 92.4 compared to 92 for the class of 2024.

For the class of 2022 (enrolled fall 2018), St. Lawrence received 6,458 applications and accepted 2,975 (46.1%).[8] The number enrolling was 643; the yield rate (the percentage of accepted students who enroll) was 21.6%.[8] In terms of class rank, 36% of enrolled freshmen were in the top 10% of their high school classes; 73% ranked in the top quarter.[8] The average GPA for entering freshmen was 3.55, the average SAT score was 1260, and the average ACT score was 28.[8]

The class of 2018 (enrolled fall 2014) included 34.2% from New York State, 56.2% from 31 other states, and 9% international students representing 63 countries.[9] Of the 643 matriculants in 2018, 52% were female, 48% were male.[8]


Academic rankings
Liberal arts
U.S. News & World Report[10]54
Washington Monthly[11]99
WSJ / College Pulse[13]187
Marie Curie dedicates Hepburn Hall of Chemistry
Engraved stone, facade of the Louvain (Belgium) university library. Commemorates the financial support received from St. Lawrence University (among many others) to rebuild the library after its destruction by fire in 1914.

Majors and programs

In total there are 40 majors available and 36 minors. St. Lawrence has 3+2 engineering programs run jointly with five other colleges, and a 4+1 MBA at Clarkson University. Students are also free to take classes at nearby Clarkson University, SUNY Potsdam, and SUNY Canton. Its most popular undergraduate majors, based on 2021 graduates, were:[14]

International studies

St. Lawrence offers international programs in Australia, Austria, Canada, China, Costa Rica, Czech Republic, Denmark, England, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, Kenya, Nepal, New Zealand, Spain, Sweden, Thailand, and Trinidad and Tobago. In addition, the International Student Exchange Program (ISEP) allows students to study at any of over 100 universities on six continents. In the U.S., students can study at The Washington Center [2] in Washington, D.C., in New York City, in the Adirondack State Park, or at Fisk University, a distinguished, historically Black university in Nashville, Tennessee.

Hepburn Hall


Herring-Cole Hall, the university's earliest library

The Owen D. Young Library (ODY) is a spacious research environment offering a multilevel facility of 96,000 square feet (8,900 m2), characterized by an abundance of natural light and a variety of seating for individual and group study. A six-million-dollar renovation of the library was recently completed; the renovations prepare ODY for the twenty-first century. It includes more than 500,000 volumes, over 370,000 government documents, 1986 periodicals, 550,000 micro text units, recipient of 10,000 to 20,000 reports and documents annually and access to over 70 databases through Internet.

In addition to ODY, which houses the college's major collections in the social sciences and humanities, the J. Harold and Ruth C. Launders Science Library opened in January 1994. Home of the major science and technology collections at St. Lawrence, the Launders Science Library occupies the upper two floors of Madill Hall, and triples the space available for science resources and services.

The library's collection of primary scholarly resources may be viewed and used in the Frank and Anne Piskor Special Collections Reading Room, located directly across the atrium from the main entrance of ODY. Each semester the special collections staff offer instruction to classes from a variety of academic departments and programs, including fine arts, French, English, history, environmental studies, economics and the outdoor studies program. In addition, the special collections program includes a book arts collection and a laboratory press. Highlights of St. Lawrence's special collections include the William Rose Benet Collection of American Poetry, the Milburn Collection of Hawthorniana, the Edwin Arlington Robinson Collection, and the Frank P. Piskor Collection on Robert Frost. Other special collections include manuscripts devoted to Frederic Remington, the Adirondacks, the St. Lawrence Seaway and other aspects of northern New York history.

Student life

Arts and cultural offerings

The opportunities described below are augmented by frequent concerts, exhibits, performances and shows provided by outside performers.


The music department supports three vocal and two instrumental ensembles. Laurentian Singers, an undergraduate chorus that tours each spring, University Chorus and the Early Music Singers provide vocal opportunities for St. Lawrence students. Instrumentalists may choose between participation in the String Orchestra, Concert Band, Improv Lab, Early Music Ensemble and Special Productions. The Early Music Ensemble uses the Emily Romer Collection of medieval and Renaissance instruments to perform music of the 12th through 18th centuries. Each semester the department offers a Special Production, focusing on a particular repertory. Recent productions have included a Latin Dance Party, Music for Louis XIV and Traditional Irish Music. Private instruction is available in voice and on keyboard, guitar, brass, woodwinds and strings. Three informal student-directed collegiate a cappella groups, The Saints, The Sinners, and The Upbeats are active both on and off campus. Most students that participate in the Music Ensembles are not Music Majors, but rather have a strong interest in pursuing their musical capabilities.

St. Lawrence University is also home to the Java Barn, an on-campus music venue run by a dedicated group of SLU students. The Java Barn hosts live bands every weekend; shows are open to all SLU students and admission is free.


The Performance and Communication Arts (PCA) department stages annual faculty-directed productions in Gulick Theater, a proscenium theater seating 511. In addition, the flexible 85- to 100-seat Edison Miles Theater (better known as the Black Box) is used for experimental and student productions. Guest artist workshops that address all aspects of theater are offered for interested students. Though some production work is associated with classes, for many productions it is not necessary to be a major, or even currently enrolled in (PCA) classes, to participate.


The university art collection contains nearly 7,000 objects that are frequently displayed in the Richard F. Brush Art Gallery or used for tours and classroom discussions.[15] While the collection dates to the university's founding, its most vital growth has taken place in recent years. Twentieth-century works on paper, such as photographs, prints, drawings and portfolios, are the strength of the collection. Paintings and sculptures by Frank Stella, George Segal, Louise Nevelson, Isamu Noguchi, Milton Avery and Frederic Remington are among the collection's highlights.


Bob Dylan performing at St. Lawrence University in November 1963[citation needed]

St. Lawrence hosts more than 100 student activities groups. St. Lawrence is home to the second oldest collegiate outing club in the nation (next to only Dartmouth College).[16] The club annually sends students to climb all 46 peaks over 4,000 ft (1,200 m) of the Adirondacks during "Peak Weekend". Peak Weekend has recently celebrated its 25th anniversary at St. Lawrence. The Outing Club also has its own residence on campus and is part of the Theme Cottages. The club frequently sponsors trips for skiing, hiking, rafting and other outdoor activities.

Established in 1993 as a student-run coffeehouse, the Java Barn is a well-known venue among touring bands on the East Coast. In 2006 the music venue moved to the former Winning Health Center. In the fall of 2010, Java was moved once again to an area between The Student Center and Admissions Building. Java now occupies a former storage garage, with bright student-created murals spattering the walls.

The Student Government is also very active on campus. The Thelomathesian Society was founded in 1863 by Vasco P. Abbott who became its first President. The Thelomathesian Society, or Thelmo as it is often called, serves as the governing body of the St. Lawrence University Student Body, and is a forum for students to voice their opinions on issues presented by the Administration, Faculty, and Student Body. Thelmo debates and votes on a wide variety of issues, ranging from university policies to St. Lawrence University Student Activities Funding (SLUSAF) requests for different campus groups and organizations.

Theme Cottages are a popular housing option at St. Lawrence. The Women's Resource Center was founded to raise awareness of gender issues on and off campus. WRC members, or "Dub Girls", are trained as sexual assault victim advocates and create education programs to promote safe sexual practices. The Black Student Union and La Casa Latina houses both celebrate racial diversity by exemplifying racially diverse living. The Artists' Guild is a house that focuses on supporting and appreciating the visual arts. Commons College residents focus on charity fund-raising and building a living-learning experience through a house-shared course each semester. The H.O.P.E. (Helping Out People Everywhere) house focuses on community service, as the name suggests. The Java House is the living space for the students who run the campus's concert venue, the Java Barn. The L.I.G.H.T. (Living Inspirationally Growing Healthy Together) House is a theme house where students work to promote a healthy lifestyle centered on balance and self-awareness. The Outing Club House provides a living space for those who are highly involved in the campus's historic Outing Club. The Arts Annex is a space for students who strive for appreciation and support of the arts. Students living in the Arts Annex are members of the St. Lawrence University Performing Arts Collaborative (SLUPAC), and also work closely with TAUNY (Traditional Arts in Upstate New York), a non-profit organization dedicated to documenting, preserving and promoting the traditional folk arts and folklore of New York's North Country. Together, TAUNY and the students of the Arts Annex/SLUPAC work to help sustain a variety of arts throughout the North Country. The Campus Kitchens house is a space allotted for students who partake in St. Lawrence's chapter of the national organization, The Campus Kitchens Project. Students of Campus Kitchens work to cook hot meals for disadvantaged community members by utilizing donated food, by repurposing leftover campus food, and by using food grown on campus itself. The group also packs bagged lunches, which they call "Bear Packs," for disadvantaged Canton schoolchildren. The Greenhouse is home to many environmentally conscious students. Students in the Greenhouse live in an environmentally responsible manner, and provide weekly, healthy, locally sourced dinners. The Habitat for Humanity theme cottage houses students that actively work with the local chapter and national office of Habitat for Humanity. There is also a technology-centric theme house, The Hub, which provides gaming and technology events to the campus.

The Greek System now consists of four sororities and two fraternity chapters. In 1997 the school had five sororities and seven fraternities. The current state of Greek participation levels are substantially lower than in past years, due in part to liability issues and national chapter concerns over various alcohol and code violations. However the remaining chapters still have an active role in campus life.







Residential life

St. Lawrence is a four-year residential university; the residential experience is integral to the educational process. Students are required to live in university residence halls, theme cottages or Greek chapter houses during each semester at the university. Each residential area has a residential coordinator (RC) who provide supervision, leadership and support for the residents in their units and perform administrative duties pertaining to their buildings. Community assistants (CA) are undergraduate students who assist RCs.

The First-Year Program (FYP)

A unique requirement of St. Lawrence's curriculum is the First Year Program. St. Lawrence's first-Year Program is one of the oldest living-learning programs in the country, helping students make successful transitions from high school to college, intellectually and socially, since 1987. Students live together and study in a team-taught FYP, developing the writing, speaking, and research skills needed for college. They continue to develop these skills in a spring First-Year Seminar.[17] All first-year students live in residential colleges of the FYP. These are buildings or wings of buildings where approximately 30 students live together and enroll in a common course. A professional RC and upperclass CAs provide supervision.

Upperclass Residential Program

All upperclass students live in one of four housing options: residence halls, cottages, Greek chapter houses, or the senior townhouses. The majority of upperclass students live in residence halls, where most floors are coeducational. Singles, doubles, triples and quads are available and there are suites in a two-building complex. Room assignments are made on a class year priority. Theme suites and cottages are available for groups with special common interests. Groups must apply in the spring semester for the following year.


Main article: St. Lawrence Saints

The St. Lawrence University Saints are a member of the Liberty League Athletic Conference, has ECACHL Division I Hockey teams and fields 32 varsity teams (15 for men, 17 for women) and includes over 40% of the student body. The Skating Saints men's team has twice played for Division I national championships (1961, 1988). The men's soccer program went undefeated at 22-0 to capture the 1999 Division III soccer championship, and women's basketball narrowly was defeated in the 2002 NCAA Women's Division III Basketball Championship. The Men's Squash team has had consistent success nationally. In December of 2014, the men's squash team rose to the rank of the #1 in the College Squash Association national rankings after beating then #1 Harvard University on December 6, 2014. That same season, the Men's Squash team advanced to the College Squash Association's Potter Cup Men's national championship match, which was the first and only time the St. Lawrence Men's Squash team has reached the national championship. They were defeated in the final by Trinity College (CT), securing a #2 final national ranking for the 2014-15 season, the highest in school history. The men's swim team won the 1976 D-3 National Championship. The St. Lawrence equestrian team was national champion in 1973, 1976, 1977 and national champion runner-up in 2001 and 2008. In addition, the SLU Equestrian Team was regional champion in 2001, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2008, 2009 and 2011. The St. Lawrence University wrestling team won the Division III NCAA championship in 1988. The wrestling team was discontinued in 1995. In 2009 women's cross country team placed second at nationals, and in 2010, the women's track and field team placed third at Indoor nationals, bringing home two individual national titles as well. The university sponsors teams for men's football and baseball, women's field hockey, volleyball and softball, and men's and women's basketball, men and women's lacrosse, cross country, golf, crew, ice hockey, riding, Alpine and Nordic skiing, soccer, squash, swimming, tennis and track and field. The University has a strong active rivalry (especially in Hockey) with nearby Clarkson University only 10 miles (16 km) away in Potsdam, NY. Other notable rivalries include Hobart and William Smith, also from the Liberty League. The Nordic and Alpine ski teams are also one of tradition. They compete in EISA with Division-I and Division-III schools.

Intramurals are also a popular option for students, with broomball being one of the more popular. The university also has a rafting/canoeing shack located at the edge of campus.

Ice hockey

2022-23 Saints men

Main articles: St. Lawrence Saints men's ice hockey and St. Lawrence Saints women's ice hockey

Since the program's beginning in 1925 the Saints have had a storied and successful history. The Saints hockey team compete at the NCAA Division-I Level in the ECAC league for both men and women. They play their home games and have additional training facilities in Appleton Arena which has a capacity of approximately 3,000 and was constructed in 1951. Since joining the league in 1951 The Saints were league champions in 1962, 1988, 1989, 1992, 2000 and 2001. They were also regular season champions in 2000 and 2007. Since 1951 the Saints have made the NCAA tournament sixteen times.

In 1988, the Saints played in the NCAA national championship game at the Olympic Arena in Lake Placid, NY, losing to Lake Superior State University 4–3 in overtime. The 1987–1988 season was the most successful in team history, with an overall record of 29-9-0. In 2000, the Saints played in the longest NCAA tournament game on record; a 3–2, quadruple overtime victory over Boston University. The win advanced the Saints to the Frozen Four, where the team eventually lost to Boston College in the national semifinals. The men's program has produced twenty-eight All-American players, seven ECAC tournament MVPs, six ECAC players of the year, four ECAC rookies of the year, and seven Hobey Baker Memorial Award finalists.

The women's team won three consecutive ECAC Division-III tournaments in 1990, 1991, and 1992 before moving to Division-I. Since then the women have won the ECAC championship once in 2012. They were runners-up for the NCAA Championship in 2001 and made appearances at the Frozen Four in 2004, 2005, 2006 and 2007, the last of which they hosted in Lake Placid, New York. The women's program has produced five All-American players, one ECAC tournament Most Outstanding Player, one ECAC player of the year, three ECAC rookies of the year, and two Patty Kazmaier Award finalists.

Athletic facilities

Indoor facilities include two field houses with track and five tennis courts; two regulation basketball courts; competition swimming and diving pool; ten squash courts; fitness center and weight room; climbing wall; ice arena; equestrian arena. Outdoor facilities include competition and practice fields for soccer, softball, baseball, football, lacrosse and field hockey along with a lighted artificial turf field; six lighted tennis courts; lighted all weather track and lighted football/track stadium; 18-hole championship golf course and a boathouse on the St. Lawrence River in Waddington. Recreation facilities include jogging/walking trail, cross country/mountain bike trails, intramural fields, outdoor basketball and volleyball courts. Since 1996 the almost all of the athletic facilities have been renovated, replaced or recently constructed. In 2008 the Princeton Review ranked St. Lawrence with the 20th best athletic facilities in the country and was the only Division III institution ranked.

The campus

The 1,000 acres (400 ha) campus is located on the south side of the Village of Canton. The main developed area consists on only 20% of the total campus area, and is centered along Park Street. Most of this area is a "walking campus" that is off-limits to motorized vehicles. Parking lots are located on the edge of campus and cross campus traffic is limited to Park Street (north-south) and Romoda Drive and University Avenue (east-west). Roads such as Park Street, Hillside Avenue, College Street, Lincoln Street, and Maple Street connect the school to downtown Canton and main roads such as US Route 11, NY Route 68, NY Route 310, and County Route 27. The university maintains 30 academic residential, sports and other buildings.

The North Country Japanese Garden, funded by grants and donations, was designed by students who had visited Zen gardens in Japan. It is symbolic of elements found in Upstate New York as well as traditional Japanese symbolism.[18]

The North Country Zen Garden within Sykes Quad

Campus buildings

Herring-Cole Hall's interior
Johnson Hall of Science

Campus residence halls

Notable alumni and faculty

Main article: List of St. Lawrence University people


  1. ^ As of June 30, 2019. [1]
  2. ^ "St. Lawrence University faces $11.5M deficit". WWNY TV. Retrieved 2023-12-18.
  3. ^ "St Lawrence University Identity Guide" (PDF). Retrieved September 26, 2014.
  4. ^ "PMS Color Chart". Retrieved September 26, 2014.
  5. ^ "Our History". Archived from the original on 2010-08-14. Retrieved 2010-09-13.
  6. ^ a b "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. March 13, 2009.
  7. ^ "2LT Edward Lawrence "Larry" Phelan". Canton (village), New York: St. Lawrence University. 1998. Retrieved September 29, 2011.
  8. ^ a b c d e "St. Lawrence University Common Data Set 2018-2019" (PDF). St. Lawrence University.
  9. ^ "Where Does Your Freshman Class Come From?". The Chronicle of Higher Education. 16 August 2016. Retrieved 2019-07-02.
  10. ^ "Best Colleges 2024: National Liberal Arts Colleges". U.S. News & World Report. Retrieved September 20, 2023.
  11. ^ "2023 Liberal Arts Rankings". Washington Monthly. Retrieved September 25, 2023.
  12. ^ "Forbes America's Top Colleges List 2023". Forbes. Retrieved September 22, 2023.
  13. ^ "2024 Best Colleges in the U.S." The Wall Street Journal/College Pulse. Retrieved January 27, 2024.
  14. ^ "St. Lawrence University". U.S. Dept of Education. Retrieved February 18, 2023.
  15. ^ "Collection - Richard F. Brush Art Gallery".
  16. ^ "St. Lawrence University: St. Lawrence Magazine". Archived from the original on 2015-04-02. Retrieved 2015-03-26.
  17. ^ "First-Year Program".
  18. ^ Ezarik, Melissa (November–December 2009). "The North Country Japanese Garden at St. Lawrence University". University Business. 12 (100). Norwalk, Connecticut: University Media, Inc.: 16. ISSN 1097-6671. Archived from the original on 2009-12-31. Retrieved January 7, 2010.
  19. ^ "St. Lawrence Receives Gifts to Move Appleton Renovation Forward". STLAWU.
  20. ^ "Renovated Academic Support Hub to be Named in Honor of President Fox". Retrieved 2022-07-05.
  21. ^ "University Renames Building in Honor of Bill and Lynn Fox". Retrieved 2022-07-05.
  22. ^ "Michelle A. Smith will continue as Assistant to the Board and Director of Office of Board Members". Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System. Retrieved 2022-07-05.
  23. ^ "NCPR: North Country Public Radio". NCPR.

Further reading

44°35′34″N 75°9′37″W / 44.59278°N 75.16028°W / 44.59278; -75.16028