Ithaca College

Ithaca College
Motto Commitment to Excellence
Type Private
Established 1892
Endowment $679 million[1]
President Thomas Rochon
Academic staff
Administrative staff
Students 6,769
Undergraduates 6,323
Postgraduates 446
Location Ithaca, NY, USA
Campus Small city, 757 acres (3.06 km2)
Colors Blue and gold          
Athletics NCAA Division IIIEmpire 8
Nickname Bombers
Affiliations NAICU

Ithaca College is a private, nonsectarian, coeducational liberal arts college located on the South Hill of Ithaca, New York, United States. The college was founded by William Egbert in 1892 as a conservatory of music and is set against the backdrop of the City of Ithaca, Cayuga Lake, waterfalls, and gorges. The college is best known for its large list of alumni who have played substantial roles in the media and entertainment industries.

Ithaca College is internationally known for the Roy H. Park School of Communications, which was most recently ranked by several organizations as a top school for journalism, film, and media.[2][3][4] The college has a strong liberal arts core, and offers several pre-professional programs, along with some graduate programs.[5]

Ithaca College has been ranked among the Top 10 Master's Universities in the Northern United States by U.S. News & World Report every year since 1996, and was ranked 6th in 2016.[6][7] Ithaca College is consistently named among the best colleges in the nation by Princeton Review, with the 2015 guide ranking the college #1 for radio, #2 for newspaper and #14 for theater.[8]



Ithaca College was founded as the Ithaca Conservatory of Music in 1892 when a local violin teacher, William Grant Egbert, rented four rooms and arranged for the instruction of eight students. For nearly seven decades the institution flourished in the city of Ithaca, adding to its music curriculum the study of elocution, dance, physical education, speech correction, radio, business, and the liberal arts. In 1931 the conservatory was chartered as a private college. The college was originally housed in the Boardman House, that later became the Ithaca College Museum of Art, and it was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1971.[9]

Modern era

"Textor Ball", a modern art sculpture on the roof of the Textor lecture halls.

By 1960, some 2,000 students were in attendance. A modern campus was built on South Hill in the sixties, and students were shuttled between the old and new during the construction. The hillside campus continued to grow in the ensuing 30 years to accommodate more than 6,000 students.

As the campus expanded, the college also began to expand its curriculum. By the 1990s, some 2,000 courses in more than 100 programs of study were available in the college's five schools. The school attracts a multicultural student body with representatives from almost every state and from 78 foreign countries.[10]


Ithaca College's current campus was built in the 1960s on South Hill. The College's final academic department moved from downtown to the South Hill campus in 1968, making the move complete.

Satellite campuses

Besides its Ithaca campus, Ithaca College has also operated satellite campuses in other cities. The Ithaca College London Center has been in existence since 1972. Ithaca runs the Ithaca College Los Angeles Program at the James B. Pendleton Center. Additionally, there is an Ithaca College Washington Semester Program, and a recently launched Ithaca College New York City Center.[11]

Former programs include the Ithaca College Antigua Program and the Ithaca College Walkabout Down Under Program in Australia.

Ithaca College also operates direct enrollment exchange programs with several universities, including Griffith University, La Trobe University, Murdoch University, and University of Tasmania (Australia); Chengdu Sport University and Beijing Sport University (China); University of Hong Kong; Masaryk University (Czech Republic); Akita International University and University of Tsukuba (Japan); Hanyang University (Korea); Nanyang Technological University (Singapore); University of Valencia (Spain); and Jönköping University (Sweden).[12]


University rankings
Forbes[13] 248
U.S. News & World Report[14] 6
Master's University class
Washington Monthly[15] 104

The college offers a curriculum with more than 100 degree programs in its five schools.


Until recently, several cross-disciplinary degree programs along with the Center for the Study of Culture, Race, and Ethnicity were housed in the Division of Interdisciplinary and International Studies; however, starting spring 2011, the division was eliminated and its programs, centers and institutes were absorbed within other schools.[16]

As of the 2012-2013 academic year, Television-Radio and Business Administration were the two most popular majors, while the School of Humanities & Sciences had the most students overall.[17]

Student life

Media and publications

With its top-ranked Roy H. Park School of Communications, Ithaca College is well known for its several prominent student-run media vehicles, including:

Greek life

Historically, various independent and national fraternities and sororities had active chapters at Ithaca College. However, due to a series of highly publicized hazing incidents in the 1980s, including one that was responsible for the death of a student, the College administration removed all but five Greek letter organizations from campus, and adopted a non-expansion policy, prohibiting any new Greek houses from affiliating with the College.[28] As of 2014, three recognized Greek organizations remain on campus, all of which are music-oriented:

A fourth house, performing arts fraternity Kappa Gamma Psi (Iota Chapter) became inactive in 2008. Although there are potentially plans to reactivate the chapter, it is unclear whether this will be permitted or not due to the college's non-expansionist policy.

However, there are various Greek letter organizations at Ithaca College that are unaffiliated with the school, and therefore not subject to the same housing privileges or rules that contribute to the safety of their members such as non-hazing and non-drinking policies. Additionally, while not particularly common, Ithaca College students may rush for Greek houses affiliated with Cornell University, subject to the rules of each individual fraternity or sorority. Some Cornell affiliated Greek organizations actively recruit Ithaca College students.

There are a few unaffiliated fraternities that many Ithaca College students join - ΔKE (Delta Kappa Epsilon), AEΠ (Alpha Epsilon Pi), and KΣ (Kappa Sigma). There is one unaffiliated sorority - ΓΔΠ (Gamma Delta Pi).


The Ithaca athletics nickname "Bombers" is unique in NCAA athletics, and the origins of the nickname are obscure. Ithaca College's sports teams were originally named the Cayugas, but the name was changed to the Bombers sometime in the 1930s. Some other names that have been used for Ithaca College's teams include: Blue Team, Blues, Blue and Gold, Collegians, and the Seneca Streeters.[29] Several possibilities for the change to the "Bombers" have been posited. The most common explanation is that the school's baseball uniforms—white with navy blue pinstripes and an interlocking "IC" on the left chest—bear a striking resemblance to the distinctive home uniforms of the New York Yankees, who are known as the Bronx Bombers. It may also have referred to the Ithaca basketball team of that era and its propensity for half-court "bombs". Grumman Aircraft also manufactured airplanes including bombers in Ithaca for many years. The first “Bombers” reference on record was in the December 17, 1938 issue of the Rochester Times-Union in a men’s basketball article.[30]

The name has at times sparked controversy for its perceived martial connotations. It is an occasional source of umbrage from Ithaca's prominent pacifist community, but the athletics department has consistently stated it has no interest in changing the name. The athletics logo has in the past incorporated World War II era fighter planes, but currently does not, and the school does not currently have a physical mascot to personify the name. In 2010 the school launched a contest to choose one. It received over 250 suggestions and narrowed the field down to three: a phoenix, a flying squirrel, and a Lake Beast. In June 2011, President Rochon announced that the school would discontinue the search due to opposition in the alumni community.[31]

Ithaca is a member of the NCAA's Division III, the Empire Eight Conference, and the Eastern College Athletic Conference. Ithaca has one of Division III's strongest athletic programs. The Bombers have won a total of 15 national titles in seven team sports and five individual sports.

Ithaca College recently remodeled the Hill Center in 2013. The building features hardwood floors (Ben Light Gymnasium) as well as coaches offices. The building is home to Ithaca's men's and women's basketball teams, women's volleyball team, wrestling, and gymnastics. Ithaca also opened the Athletics & Events Center in 2011, a $65.5 million facility funded by donors. The facility is mainly used by the school's varsity athletes. It has a 47,000 square foot, 9-lane 50 meter Olympic-size pool. The building also has Glazer Arena, a 130,000 square foot event space. It is a track and field center that doubles as a practice facility for lacrosse, field hockey, soccer, baseball, tennis, and football. The facility was designed by the architectural firm Moody-Nolan and began construction in June 2009.[32]

Coached by Jim Butterfield[33] for 27 years, the football team has won three NCAA Division III National Football Championships in 1979, 1988 and 1991 (a total surpassed only by Augustana, Mount Union and Wisconsin-Whitewater). Bomber football teams made a record seven appearances in the Division III national championship game, the Amos Alonzo Stagg Bowl, which has since been surpassed by Mount Union in 2003. The Bombers play the SUNY Cortland Red Dragons for the Cortaca Jug, which was added in 1959 to an already competitive rivalry. The matchup is one of the most prominent in Division III college football.[34] The game alternates locations between Ithaca and Cortland. Cortland has won the Cortaca Jug the past 6 years.

Most recently, the women's crew won back-to-back NCAA Division III championships in 2004 and 2005.

The men's crew saw much success in 2008, receiving 4 medals at the New York State Collegiate Championships.[35]

Women's soccer has won two national championships in Division III and is consistently ranked in the top 20 nationally.

The Men's Wrestling team won NCAA Division III National Championships in 1989, 1990 and 1994.

Women's field hockey won the 1982 NCAA Division III Field Hockey Championship.

This past year in 2013, Paula Miller, head of Woman's Swimming team completed her 30th year as head coach of the Ithaca Bombers. She has led the team to many victories. The past four years the Bombers have been undefeated throughout their season defeating tough competition. Ithaca has finished first or second at 25 of the past 29 state meets. The Bombers have also won the Empire 8 crown in each of the past nine seasons.

The 2013-2014 season ended with regaining the NCAA Division III Championship trophy.

During the 2015-2016 season the Bombers Swimming and Diving team held the UNYSCSA Empire 8 state champion meet in the Athletic and Events center at Ithaca College. The Mens Swimming and Diving team scored 616.5 points finishing 4th in states under coach Kevin Markwardt. The men's team was led by captain Addison Hebert who was injured the first day of the meet and was able to overcome it by the last day helping the rest of the bombers get 3rd place in the 400 Freestyle Relay by .01 seconds. The Girls Swimming and Diving team scored 1227 points winning states under Paula Miller. The bombers are bringing two women divers to South Carolina where they will be competing in nationals in March.

Ithaca is also home to more than 60 club sports, many of which compete regularly against other colleges in leagues and tournaments.

Ithaca Forever

Ithaca Forever is the official alma mater or school song of Ithaca College.[36]

Ithaca Forever
Ithaca, forever shine your light on me
In our hearts together we shall always be
And here's to Ithaca, my Ithaca how beautiful you are,
Your Towers high upon South Hill, reach from stone to star.

Ithaca, forever I'll recall a smile,
Clasp a hand in friendship, walk a snowy mile,
And here's to Ithaca, my Ithaca - Alma Mater true,
Although I leave Cayuga's shore, I'll remember you.

Ithaca, forever guide us on our way,
Like a shining beacon, light our night and day,
And here's to Ithaca, my Ithaca, how bright your vision seems,
May all your sons and daughters dare to live their dreams.


Along with Intercollegiate athletics, Ithaca College has a rather large Intramural sport program. This extracurricular program serves approximately 25% of the undergraduate population yearly. Fourteen traditional team activities are offered throughout the year and include: basketball, flag football, kickball, soccer, softball, ultimate frisbee, ski racing, and volleyball.

For most activities divisions are offered for men’s, women’s, and co-recreational teams. Throughout the year usually two or more activities run concurrently and participants are able to play on a single sex team and co-recreational team for each activity. The most popular activities recently have been 5-on-5 basketball with over forty teams entered for the past three years, for the past two years there have been over thirty indoor flag football teams and teams have been turned away.

During 08-09 new records were established for total teams in both 4-person and 6-person volleyball, 3-on-3 basketball, and co-recreational indoor soccer. During the 08-09 year there were 1,559 intramural participants and over 500 female participants. It was estimated that the 2009–10 year and the 2010–11 have even more participants in intramural sports.[37]


Ithaca's School of Business was the first college or university business school in the world to achieve LEED Platinum Certification alongside Yale University, which had the second. Ithaca's Peggy Ryan Williams Center is also LEED Platinum certified. It makes extensive use of day light in occupied spaces. There are sensors that regulate lighting and ventilation based on occupancy and natural light. Over 50% of the building energy comes from renewable sources such as wind power. The college also has a LEED Gold Certified building, the Athletics & Events Center.[38] The College composts its dining hall waste,[39] runs a "Take It or Leave It" Green move-out program, and offers a sustainable living option.[40] It also operates an office supply collection and reuse program,[41] as well as a sustainability education program during new student orientation.[42] Ithaca received a B- grade on the Sustainable Endowments Institute's 2009 College Sustainability Report Card[43] and an A- for 2010.

Environmental record

Commitments to action on climate change

In Spring 2007, then-President Peggy R. Williams signed the American College and University President's Climate Commitment (ACUPCC), pledging Ithaca College to the task of developing a strategy and long-range plan to achieve "carbon neutrality" at some point in the future. In 2009 the Ithaca College Board of Trustees approved the Ithaca College Climate Action Plan, which calls for 100% carbon neutrality by 2050. In 2009, the Ithaca College Board of Trustees approved the Ithaca College Climate Action Plan, which calls for 100% carbon neutrality by 2050 and offers a 40-year action plan to work toward that ambitious goal.[44]

Energy profile

The college purchases 14 percent of its electricity from renewable sources and offsets 3 percent of its energy use with renewable energy credits.[45]

Energy investments

The college aims to optimize investment returns and does not invest the endowment in on-campus sustainability projects, renewable energy funds, or community development loan funds. The college's investment policy reserves the right of the investment committee to restrict investments for any reason, which could include environmental and sustainability factors.[45]

Community impact

While the Ithaca College Natural Lands has issued a statement that Ithaca College should join efforts calling for a moratorium on horizontal drilling and high volume (“slick water”) hydraulic fracturing, or fracking,[46] the college as a whole has refused to issue a statement regarding the issue.


Current president

Ithaca's current president is Thomas Rochon. Thomas Rochon was named the eighth president of Ithaca College on April 11, 2008.[47] Rochon took over as president of the college following Peggy Williams, who had announced on July 12, 2007, that she would retire from the presidency post effective May 31, 2009, following a one-year sabbatical.[48]

During the Fall 2015 semester multiple protests focusing on campus climate and Rochon's leadership were led by students and faculty. After multiple racially charged events including student house party themes, and racially tinged comments at administration lead programs students, faculty and staff all decided to hold votes of "no confidence" in Rochon. Students voted "no confidence" by a count of 72% no confidence, 27% confidence, and 1% abstaining.[49] The Faculty Voted 77.8% no confidence to 22.2% confidence.[50]

On January 14, 2016, Tom Rochon announced his retirement effective July 1, 2017.[51]

Former presidents

President Life Tenure
W. Grant Egbert[52] 1867–1928 1892–1924
George C. Williams[53] 1874–1971 1924–1932
Leonard B. Job[54] 1891–1981 1932–1957
Howard I. Dillingham[55] 1904–1998 1957–1970
Ellis L. Phillips Jr.[56][57] 1926–2006 1970–1975
James J. Whalen[58][59] 1927–2001 1975–1997
Peggy R. Williams[60][61] 1997–2008
Tom Rochon 2008 - 2017


Robert Allen Iger '73, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of The Walt Disney Company

Ithaca College has 49,570 alumni in the United States. There are alumni clubs for Boston, Chicago, Connecticut, Los Angeles, Metro New York, National Capital, N. & S. Carolina, Philadelphia, Rochester (NY), San Diego, and Southern Florida.[62] Alumni events are hosted in cooperation with the specific clubs and also through a program called "IC on the Road".[63]

Following is a brief list of noteworthy Ithaca College alumni. For a more extensive list, refer to the List of Ithaca College alumni.


Following is a brief list of current and former noteworthy Ithaca College faculty.


  1. End of fiscal year 2014-2015. "Ithaca College Facts in Brief 2015-2016" (PDF). Ithaca College.
  2. Survey: The Top 20 Journalism Schools - TV Week. 2013.
  3. "Hollywood Reporter Names Ithaca College One of the Top 25 Film Schools", 2013
  4. "LinkedIn: Best Schools for Media Professionals", 2014
  5. Carnegie Classifications: Ithaca College Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching.
  6. Maley, Dave (2016-09-13). "U.S. News & World Report Ranks Ithaca College in Top 10". Ithaca College. Media Relations - Ithaca College.
  7. "Ithaca College". U.S. News & World Report. Retrieved February 21, 2016.
  8. "Ithaca College | Admissions, Average Test Scores & Tuition | The Princeton Review". Retrieved 2016-10-14.
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  14. "Best Colleges 2017: Regional Universities Rankings". U.S. News & World Report. September 12, 2016.
  15. "2016 Rankings - National Universities - Masters". Washington Monthly. Retrieved September 6, 2016.
  16. "Interdisciplinary Programs at Ithaca College to be Restructured".
  17. "Authors". Tableau Public.
  18. The Ithacan. "The Ithacan".
  19. The Ithacan Online - Awards The Ithacan
  20. ACP Contests Associated Collegiate Press
  21. "Washington Square News wins Pacemaker".
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  23. "Awards". ICTV.
  24. WICB-FM. "92 WICB Ithaca".
  25. "VIC Radio Celebrates 25th 50 Hour Marathon".
  26. "Buzzsaw Magazine - History". Buzzsaw Magazine.
  27. "Music fraternities break stereotype" The Ithacan, November 11, 2004
  28. "Ithaca College Library".
  29. The Ithacan. "The Ithacan".
  30. "IC Mascot Search".
  31. "Athletics and Events Center".
  32. "Ithaca College Quarterly, 2003/No. 1".
  33. "Media gear up for Cortaca Jug", The Ithacan Online, 8 November 2007
  34. "Men's Crew History".
  35. Ithaca College Commencement 2011 - Part 2. 25 May 2011 via YouTube.
  36. "Office of Recreational Sports - Student Affairs and Campus Life - Ithaca College".
  37. "New School of Business Building An International First for Highest "Green" Standard". Ithaca College. Retrieved 2009-06-08.
  38. "Compost Facility to be Expanded". Ithaca College. Retrieved 2009-06-08.
  39. "Sustainability at Ithaca College". Ithaca College. Retrieved 2009-06-08.
  40. "Office Supply Collection and Reuse". Ithaca College. Retrieved 2009-06-08.
  41. "Sustainability Education for Orientation". Ithaca College. Retrieved 2009-06-08.
  42. Green Report Card 2009 - Ithaca College Sustainable Endowments Institute
  43. "Ithaca College Sustainability". Retrieved 1 April 2013.
  44. 1 2 Retrieved 1 April 2013. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  45. Retrieved 1 April 2013. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  46. "Media Relations - Ithaca College".
  47. "Intercom - Important News to Share".
  48. Kyle Arnold, Max Denning. "UPDATE: Ithaca College students vote no confidence in Rochon - The Ithacan".
  49. Faith Meckley, Kyle Arnold. "Ithaca College faculty vote no confidence in President Rochon - The Ithacan".
  50. Aidan Quigley. "Ithaca College President Tom Rochon will step down July 2017 - The Ithacan".
  51. "Office of the President - Ithaca College".
  52. "Office of the President - Ithaca College".
  53. "Office of the President - Ithaca College".
  54. "Office of the President - Ithaca College".
  55. "Office of the President - Ithaca College".
  56. College’s fifth president dies The Ithacan, October 05, 2006
  57. "Office of the President - Ithaca College".
  58. "Media Relations - Ithaca College".
  59. "Office of the President - Ithaca College".
  60. "Media Relations - Ithaca College".
  61. "Alumni, Parents, and Friends".
  62. "Ithaca College".
  63. "Colonel Gabriel".
  64. "Ithaca College Quarterly".
  65. Hines, Ree. "First 'Grease: Live' pics released: See Danny, Sandy and Rizzo in costume". Retrieved 2016-02-26.

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