Rosary Hill Daemen College photoPeople often ask, “How did the College go from Rosary Hill to Daemen?”

That path, while sometimes seeming mysterious, is really anything but. In fact, it came about in a very straightforward fashion.

The college began in the minds of Sisters Gonzaga Miller and Antoinette Reinhart of the Sisters of St. Francis during the late 1930’s and early 1940’s. The Order was founded in Holland in 1835 by Mother Magdalen Damen, and sent missionaries to the Americas in 1874. The Sisters began their work in Buffalo, and by 1946 had spread across the United States.

When it came to naming the school, the name Rosary College was suggested by some within the Order, but there was already a well-established college in Chicago with that name. Daemen College was considered in honor of the founder of the Order but was passed upon as administration thought that students of the all-girls college may be called “The Dames”. Noting the site under consideration had once been known as “College Hill,” it was suggested adding “Hill” to differentiate the proposed college from the one in Chicago, making it Rosary Hill College.

By the early 1970’s, College trustees including many of the Sisters and administrators decided to change the name, after it was discovered that Rosary Hill College would prove a drawback in marketing the school to men. After College trustees voted to change the name, they received 84 suggestions, submitted by alumni, faculty, administrators, and students. After thoughtful consideration, four names were chosen as finalists and sent to the Board of Trustees for a vote. Daemen College was chosen, and sent to the New York State Education Department for approval.

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