College of New Rochelle

The College of New Rochelle (CNR) was a private Catholic college with its main campus in New Rochelle, New York. It was founded as the College of St. Angela by the Ursuline Order as the first Catholic women's college in New York State in 1904, when women were generally excluded from higher education. The name was changed to The College of New Rochelle in 1910. The college was composed of four schools and was fully coeducational. In early 2019, Mercy College and College of New Rochelle announced that College of New Rochelle would be absorbed into Mercy College before Fall 2019, including College of New Rochelle's students, faculty, programs, some facilities, as well as transcripts, history, and legacy of CNR alumni. Mercy College became the repository of CNR documents.[2]

The College of New Rochelle
Latin: Collegium Novae Rupellae
MottoWisdom for Life
Academic staff
Undergraduates3,000 (total at 5 campuses)
Location, ,
United States

40.901664°N 73.781197°W / 40.901664; -73.781197
CampusSuburban, 20 acres
ColorsBlue & White[1]
AthleticsNCAA Division III (independent)
Sports8 varsity teams
MascotBlue Angels

On September 20, 2019, the college declared bankruptcy due to $80 million in liabilities. The campus was subsequently sold in an auction and purchased by Freemasons for $32 million.[3]


The College of New Rochelle was chartered by the Regents of the State of New York and was accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools. The School of Nursing & Healthcare Professions [4] was accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education.

The college offered undergraduate degrees including Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Fine Arts, Bachelor of Science, and Bachelor of Science in Nursing. Graduate degrees include Master of Arts, Master of Science, and Master of Science in Education.

Of the faculty, 89% held doctoral degrees or the highest degree available in their field. The student-faculty ratio was 11:1.[5]


Following the university model, The College of New Rochelle is composed of four separate schools:

  • School of Arts & Sciences
  • School of Nursing & Healthcare Professions
  • School of New Resources (for adult learners)
  • Graduate School

Financial challenges

On February 22, 2019, the college announced its intention to close at the end of summer 2019. The college under President Judith Huntington had failed to pay federal payroll taxes and owed the IRS an estimated $20 million. Following that discovery, the college fired faculty and staff, resulting in a lawsuit from dismissed tenured faculty. A New York State judge ruled that those dismissals were improper.[6] On March 28, 2019, the SEC charged Keith Borge, the former controller of the college, with "defrauding municipal securities investors by fraudulently concealing the college's deteriorating finances." The U.S. Attorney's Office also brought criminal charges against Borge, who pleaded guilty.[7] The SEC did not file charges against the college because it cooperated with the investigation.

Later that same year, in September, the college declared bankruptcy as it had $80 million in liabilities. The campus and related materials were sold in an auction and purchased by Freemasons for $32 million.[3]


The main campus was located in New Rochelle, a suburban Westchester city about 16 miles (26 km) north of Manhattan. In 1896, the college's founder, Mother Irene Gill, traveled to New Rochelle to explore the possibility of establishing a seminary there for young women. It was during this trip that she came across Leland Castle, an 1850s gothic revival structure and former vacation home of wealthy New York hotelier Simeon Leland. The castle was purchased in 1897 and became the first structure of the College. It has since been placed on the National Register of Historic Places. The castle is part of the campus quadrangle and currently houses the "Castle Gallery".[8]

The campus consisted of 20 main buildings including a $28M athletic, recreational and educational complex called The Wellness Center (completed in 2008), which featured an NCAA competition-sized swimming pool, basketball court, fitness center, indoor running track, yoga studio, roof garden and meditation garden, and volleyball court; The Mooney Center with computer and photography labs, and TV production studio; the 200,000-volume Mother Irene Gill Memorial Library; the Student Campus Center; the Rogick Life Sciences Building with many laboratories; four residence halls; and the Learning Resource Center for Nursing.


The College of New Rochelle Blue Angels, who made their home in the College's new Wellness Center, were an NCAA Division III athletic program and a member of the Eastern College Athletics Conference (ECAC), Association of Division III Independents (D3 Independents) and locally the Hudson Valley Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (HVIAC).

The college offered a varied and competitive varsity program with women's athletics in Basketball, Cross Country, Soccer, Softball, Swimming, Tennis and Volleyball and men's athletics in Baseball, Basketball, Cross Country, Soccer, Swimming, and Tennis. Cheerleading was also offered as a year-round program.

Student activities

The College of New Rochelle had more than 15 clubs and organizations that pertain to interests such as sports, gender/ethnicity, and major of study, among others.[9]

Notable alumni

College of New Rochelle's alumni were merged into Mercy College's alumni community in 2019.


  1. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2010-10-27. Retrieved 2010-10-04.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  2. Mitchell, Alex (February 28, 2019). "Mercy College student swell/Absorbs failed sister school, College of New Rochelle". Bronx Times. Retrieved July 17, 2019.
  3. Lungariello, Mark (November 25, 2019). "Sold! Masons' $32M bid for College of New Rochelle campus approved in bankruptcy court". Rockland/Westchester Journal News. Retrieved December 1, 2019.
  5. "CNR Facts". Archived from the original on 2010-01-16. Retrieved 2009-09-02.
  6. Jaschik, Scott (February 22, 2019). "Another Private College May Close". Inside Higher Education. Retrieved 2019-02-23.
  7. "SEC Charges College Official for Fraudulently Concealing Financial Troubles from Municipal Bond Investors". United States Securities and Exchange Commission. April 2, 2019. Retrieved April 2, 2019.
  8. Leland Castle [College of New Rochelle]. National Register of Historic Places designation report. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of the Interior/National Park Service, 1976.
  9. "Clubs and Organizations". The College of New Rochelle. Retrieved 2017-09-12.
  10. "New England News Forum". New England News. May 24, 2007. Archived from the original on July 27, 2011. Retrieved September 4, 2008.
  11. "Pat Modell, actress and wife of former owner Art Modell, dies". October 12, 2011. Retrieved 2011-10-12.
  12. "CNR Report". Archived from the original on May 27, 2010. Retrieved July 17, 2019.
  13. "Biography". Duke Realty. Archived from the original on 10 July 2012. Retrieved 18 February 2016.
  14. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2009-08-09. Retrieved 2009-09-02.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  15. "CICU: Mary Donahue Biography". Archived from the original on May 18, 2011. Retrieved July 17, 2019.
  16. NY
  17. Disney Corporate Website Archived 2008-09-15 at the Wayback Machine

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