History of Cazenovia College

Cazenovia College traces its birth to 1824, when it was founded as the Seminary of the Genesee Conference, the second Methodist seminary to be established in the United States. It opened in what had been the Madison County Courthouse. 

Although sponsored by the Methodists, the seminary was nonsectarian, and its trustees were a mixture of clergy and laymen. Financial support came not only from church members but also from forward-thinking local residents who recognized the seminary’s beneficial effect on employment, the general economy and the cultural life of the village. The community’s continuing interest in the seminary and the College cannot be overestimated.

The seminary was a pioneer in coeducation. From the beginning it welcomed both men and women who wanted to prepare for college or complete their education in Cazenovia. In two years there were 145 students.

Rooms in the residential facilities were 11 feet square and cost students $1 per week. The buildings housed both men and women, but strong doors divided the two areas.

Over the years the seminary changed its name several times, first to the Seminary of the Genesee and Oneida conferences, later to the Oneida Conference Seminary, then to the Central New York Conference Seminary. In 1894 it became Cazenovia Seminary. Between 1904 and 1931 the institution also functioned as a secondary school for young people from the township, an arrangement that ended when Cazenovia Central High School was built.

In the 1940s, facing constantly decreasing enrollment, the trustees decided to add a junior college. This change was not pleasing to the Methodists. They withdrew church sponsorship in 1942 and community leaders stepped in to form a new non-church-related board for Cazenovia Junior College.

When the College received accreditation in 1961 from the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools, it dropped the "Junior" and became Cazenovia College for Women. In 1982 the trustees voted to return to coeducation, aiming for one-third male enrollment. The College’s name was shortened. By 1983 there were men back on campus. In November 1988, the New York State Board of Regents awarded Cazenovia College the right to offer baccalaureate degrees. In May 2019, the State approved a change to the College’s charter to include graduate programs, the first of which was introduced in June 2019, a Master of Science in Clinical Mental Health Counseling.

May 13, 2023, marked the College’s 198th and last commencement ceremony celebrating the Class of 2023. The College officially closed on June 30, 2023.

Legacy of Cazenovia College

Le Moyne College and Cazenovia Public Library are helping to preserve the nearly 200-year legacy of Cazenovia College. 

Le Moyne College
A display of the history of Cazenovia College along with artifacts and memorabilia such as yearbooks dating back to 1881 are located in the Noreen Reale Falcone Library at Le Moyne College, as well as a Cazenovia College named garden near the entrance to the library featuring the bell relocated from the Cazenovia College bell tower. In addition, Le Moyne will have a named space in the W. Carroll Coyne Center for the Performing Arts to honor Cazenovia College’s commitment to the visual arts. For further information, go to Noreen Reale Falcone Library at Le Moyne College 

Cazenovia Public Library
Cazenovia Public Library also has a display of artifacts and memorabilia from Cazenovia College along with a permanent collection of other items from the Frederic and Jean Williams Archives, which includes yearbooks and other records. For further information, go to www.cazenoviapubliclibrary.org


Cazenovia College was accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, an institutional accrediting agency recognized by the U.S. Secretary of Education and the Council for High Education Accreditation.

College Catalog

Cazenovia College Magazine

Read previous editions of the Cazenovia College magazine from 2006 to 2021

Cares Act Quarterly Budget and Expenditure Reporting

  • Quarterly Budget and Expenditure Reporting for HEERF and Institutional Portion 9-30-2020 (PDF) 
  • Quarterly Budget and Expenditure Reporting for HEERF and Institutional Portion 6-30-2021 (PDF) 
  • Quarterly Budget and Expenditure Reporting for HEERF and Institutional Portion 9-30-2021 (PDF) 
  • Quarterly Budget and Expenditure Reporting for HEERF and Institutional Portion 3-31-2022 (PDF) 
  • Quarterly Budget and Expenditure Reporting for HEERF and Institutional Portion 2023

Teach Out Partners

Cazenovia College entered into agreements with 32 higher education institutions to provide pathways for students to continue their studies beginning in the Fall 2023 semester.

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