Wagner College

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Wagner College
File:Wagner College Shield.gif
Latin: Collegium Wagnerianum
Former names
Wagner Memorial Lutheran College
Established 1883
Type Private liberal arts college
Religious affiliation
Evangelical Lutheran Church in America[1]
Endowment US$82,141,000 (2014)[2]
President Richard Guarasci
Provost Lily McNair
Academic staff
Students 2,500
Undergraduates 2,000
Postgraduates 500
Location Staten Island, New York, USA
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Campus Suburban, hilltop overlooks New York City skyline.
105 acres (42 ha)
Colors Green and White          
Athletics NCAA Division INEC
Nickname Seahawks
Affiliations CUMU
Website wagner.edu, www.wagnerathletics.com

Wagner College is a private, co-educational, national liberal arts college founded in 1883 with an enrollment of approximately 2,500 total students located atop Grymes Hill in the New York City borough of Staten Island, in the U.S. state of New York. The college is regionally accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools.


Wagner College was founded in 1883 in Rochester, New York, as the Rochester Lutheran Proseminary to train Lutheran ministers. Its six-year curriculum was modeled on the German gymnasium. In 1886, it became the Wagner Memorial Lutheran College after a building in Rochester was purchased for its use by John G. Wagner in memory of his son.

The college moved to the 38-acre (15 ha) former Cunard estate on Grymes Hill, Staten Island (370 feet above sea level), in 1918. Bellevue, the Cunard mansion which dates from 1851, is extant (now Cunard Hall) as is the neighboring former hotel for visitors which also dates from the 19th century (initially named North Hall and is now Reynolds House). The college soon expanded to 57 acres (23 ha) after it acquired the neighboring Vanderbilt estate in 1922. In the 1920s, the curriculum began to move toward an American-style curriculum which was solidified when the state of New York granted the college degree-granting status in 1928. The college admitted women in 1933 and introduced graduate programs in 1951. The college expanded further when it purchased the W.G. Ward estate in 1949 (current site of Wagner College Stadium), and again in 1993, when the college acquired the adjacent property of the former Augustinian High School which has largely remained wooded greenspace and athletic fields. The college now occupies 105 acres (42 ha) on the hill and has commanding views of New York harbor, the Verrazano Narrows Bridge, Downtown Brooklyn, and lower Manhattan.

In the early 1960s, the Wagner College Writer's Conference hosted several prominent writers, including Edward Albee, Kay Boyle, and Kenneth Koch.


Prominent buildings include Main Hall (1930) and Parker Hall (1923) built in the collegiate Gothic style. A group of modern buildings built in the 1960s include the Student Union (1970), Megerle Science Building (1968), and the Spiro Communication Center (1968). The Horrmann Library (1961) contains over 200,000 volumes and holds the collection and personal papers of poet Edwin Markham. 80% of the undergraduates live in one of four residence halls. The Spiro Sports Center (1999) was the most recent major addition, until early 2010 when the college opened Foundation Hall, a residence hall for upper classmen.

In 2007 it was announced that a new academic building is under development for construction on the site of the former Augustinian High School. It will be a state-of-the-art facility that will house the Business, Nursing, and Education departments. It will also house new and state-of-the-art classrooms. The project is now in the final planning stages and construction is scheduled to begin soon. However, the turbulent economic times have called into question the project and advertisements for it are no longer present at the college.

Union Art Gallery

The Union Art Gallery at Wagner College features works from students, faculty and alumni. Located on the main floor of the college union building, the Union Art Gallery serves as a space for visiting artists to directly engage with the student body in this one room gallery.

Admission and tuition

Undergraduate admissions to Wagner College are classified as "more selective" by US News & World Report and The Princeton Review, making admission into Wagner College competitive. The average incoming high school grade point average is 3.45. About 97% of incoming students graduate in the top half of their classes. The average incoming SAT score for critical reading is: 530–640, math: 530–650, writing: 520–650. The average incoming ACT score is between 25 and 28. Important admissions factors are class rank, rigor of secondary school record, academic GPA, application essay, extracurricular activities, recommendations, and standardized test scores.

Tuition, room and board for full-time undergraduate students (9 units) during the 2012–2013 academic year was $48,400.

Wagner College offers various academic and athletic scholarships.


Wagner Seahawks logo

Wagner College offers athletic scholarships and competes at the NCAA Division I level in all intercollegiate athletics (football competes at the NCAA Division I FCS (Formerly I-AA) level). Wagner is a full-time member of the Northeast Conference (NEC) along with Bryant University, Central Connecticut State University, Fairleigh Dickinson University, Long Island University, Mount Saint Mary's University, Quinnipiac University, Robert Morris University, Sacred Heart University, Saint Francis College, and Saint Francis University. Wagner is the seventh smallest college in the country that participates in NCAA Division I athletics and the third smallest in the NEC. Men's varsity intercollegiate teams are fielded in baseball, basketball, cross country, football, golf, lacrosse, tennis, and track & field. Men's water polo starts in fall 2016. Women's varsity intercollegiate teams are fielded in basketball, cross country, golf, lacrosse, soccer, softball, swimming, tennis, track & field, and water polo. The men's ice hockey team participates in an active club sport schedule. On March 12, 2009, Wagner announced the discontinuation of the men's wrestling and women's volleyball programs.

The football and men's basketball teams are Wagner's most popular and prestigious athletic programs. Walt Hameline, in 29 years as the Director of Athletics and Head Football Coach at Wagner, won the school's only National Championship with a 19–3 victory over the University of Dayton in the 1987 NCAA Division III Championship game, also known as the 1987 Stagg Bowl. He was named NCAA Division III Coach of the Year in 1987. Hameline's 204–122–2 (.624) career record ranks in the top 10 among all Division I-FCS coaches in the United States.

Notable Wagner coaches of the past include former Brooklyn Nets coach and current ESPN analyst P.J. Carlesimo (Head Basketball Coach 1976–1982), former Marquette University and Wagner Head Coach Mike Deane who is currently an Assistant Men's Basketball Coach at James Madison University, Jim Lee Howell (Head Football Coach 1947–1953), and current Mississippi State University Head Football Coach Dan Mullen (Assistant Football Coach 1994–1995). The football team's home venue is Wagner College Stadium, while the basketball team plays its home games at the Spiro Sports Center.

The Wagner College Athletic Department has been cited by the US News & World Report for having the 15th best graduation rate in intercollegiate athletics amongst more than 300 Division I colleges. Wagner also captured its second straight Northeast Conference Institutional Academic Award (Highest Student-Athlete GPA) for the 2007–08 athletic/academic seasons with an average GPA of 3.186 in 19 sports.


Wagner offers several undergraduate degrees in the arts and sciences as well as some pre-professional courses of study. The most popular undergraduate majors at Wagner are Biological Sciences, Business, Psychology, Sociology and Theater.

Majors and concentrations

  • Accounting, B.S.
  • Anthropology, B.A.
  • Art, B.A.
  • Arts Administration, B.S.
  • Biology, B.S.
  • Biopsychology, B.S.
  • Business Administration, B.S.
  • Chemistry, B.S.
  • Computer Science, B.S.
  • Dance (minor)
  • Economics, B.A.
  • Education, B.S.E.
  • English, B.A.
  • Environmental Studies (minor)
  • Film B.A.
  • French Studies, B.A.
  • Gender Studies (minor)
  • History, B.A.
  • Information Systems (minor)
  • International Affairs, B.A.
  • Journalism (minor)
  • Languages (minors and major)
  • Mathematics, B.S.
  • Microbiology, B.S.
  • Music, B.A.
  • Nursing, B.S.
  • Philosophy, B.A.
  • Physician Assistant, M.S. Wagner College Physician Assistant Association
  • Physics, B.S.
  • Government and Politics, B.A.
  • Public Policy and Administration, B.A.
  • Psychology, B.A. and B.S.
  • Religious Studies (minor)
  • Sociology, B.A.
  • Spanish, B.A.
  • Theatre Performance (Musical Theatre, Technical Theatre, Theatre Studies), B.A.

Pre-professional programs

  • Pre-Law
  • Pre-Engineering
  • Pre-Ministry
  • Pre-Health Science Programs
    • Medicine
    • Dentistry
    • Veterinary Medicine
    • Pharmacy
    • Optometry
    • Podiatry

Graduate programs

  • Business Administration
    • M.B.A. (Traditional, Executive, Accelerated)
    • Accounting, M.S.
  • Education, M.S.E.
    • Adolescent Education
    • Childhood Education
    • Early Childhood Education
    • Middle Level Education
    • Teaching Literacy (B-6)
  • Microbiology, M.S.
  • Nursing, M.S.
  • Physician Assistant B.S/M.S. (5-year program) Wagner College Physician Assistant Association


A panorama of the Wagner Union building.

Notable alumni

Filming location

Wagner's campus has been featured in:


  1. "Wagner College - ELCA Colleges & Universities". whygolutheran.org. Retrieved 24 June 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. As of June 30, 2014. "U.S. and Canadian Institutions Listed by Fiscal Year 2014 Endowment Market Value and Percentage Change in Endowment Market Value from FY 2013 to FY 2014" (PDF). 2014 NACUBO-Commonfund Study of Endowments. National Association of College and University Business Officers.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. NAICU – Member Directory

External links