Russell Sage College

Russell Sage College

Russell Sage College (often Russell Sage or RSC) is a women's college located in Troy, New York, approximately convert|150|mi|km north of New York City in the Capital District. It is one of the three colleges that make up The Sage Colleges. It enrolls approximately 800 undergraduates, plus 150 graduate and doctoral students studying through both Russell Sage and the Sage Graduate School.


RSC was founded in 1916 by Margaret Olivia Slocum Sage, a suffragist, as a "school of practical arts." She named the college after her husband, Russell, who was a Congressman from New York. With Eliza Kellas, head of the Emma Willard School, Mrs. Sage was active in the women’s suffrage movement; in founding the new College, they proposed to offer women the means of independence through the combination of broad education in the liberal arts with preparation for specific professional careers. Initially, the college operated under the charter of the Emma Willard School, granting its first baccalaureate degree in 1918 and graduating its first class in 1920. In 1927, the New York State Board of Regents granted a separate charter for Russell Sage College and reaffirmed the status of Emma Willard as a secondary school.

During World War II, an "emergency men's division" was created, and in 1942 the first graduate degree was conferred. In 1949, an Albany Division was opened, offering two-year, four-year and graduate degrees under the charter of Russell Sage College and extending the College's mission to include the education of men on the second campus. The Sage Junior College of Albany received its own degree-granting powers in 1957. In 1995, the Sage Graduate School became authorized to grant degrees independently, the Sage Evening College became recognized as a separate administrative unit, and the institution was re-chartered by the Board of Regents of the state of New York as The Sage Colleges, often referred to for the sake of convenience as "Sage." The words "Russell Sage College" now refer only to the college for women. In 2001, the Sage Junior College of Albany and Sage Evening College were replaced by a single entity, Sage College of Albany.


Majors offered at the college are:

* Biochemistry (B.S.)
* Biology (B.A.)
* Business & organizational management (B.S.)
* Chemistry (B.S.)
* Communications (B.A.)
* Creative arts in therapy (B.A.)
* Criminal justice (B.A.)
* Education (primary and intermediate) (B.A.)
* English (B.A.)
* Environmental science (B.S.)
* Forensic science (B.S.)
* History (B.A.)
* International studies (B.A. & B.S.)
* Mathematics (B.S.)
* Musical theatre (B.S.)
* Nursing (B.S.)
* Nutrition science (B.S.)
* Political science (B.A.)
* Pre-law (path)
* Pre-medical (including dental and veterinary) (path)
* Psychology (B.A.)
* Sociology (B.A.)
* Spanish (B.A.)
* Theatre (B.A.)

Students can also enroll in dual-enrollment programs leading to post-undergraduate degrees. These programs are the 3-year Bachelor's/2-year Master's in occupational therapy and the 6-year doctorate program in physical therapy. Over 60% of all Russell Sage graduates go on to receive advanced degrees.

The college shares 160 faculty members with Sage College of Albany, its coeducational sibling school.


The self-contained ten acre campus is located in the historic district of Troy, New York with 19th century brownstone residences, formal courtyards and walled gardens. The campus is home to the New York State Theatre Institute (NYSTI), which utilizes the Schacht Fine Arts Center.

Several of the brownstones used for student housing (in place of traditional dormitories) are themed, such as German House, French House and Wool House for students in the honors program. Students are also housed in Sage Hall, formerly housing for the Troy Female Seminary. McMurray, Spicer and Gale houses (also known collectively as MSG) were named for their former owners and also house students. Several of the lounges were fully restored for the filming of The Age of Innocence.

tudent life

There are a variety of student organizations available, such as Phi Kappa Phi and other honor societies, the "Quill" student newspaper,The Sagettes a cappella group and the "Review" literary magazine, and an assortment of cultural, religious, academic, arts, and sports groups.


Russell Sage College has a rich history of student traditions, most notably of which is the rotation of class colors. Even class years are assigned either the title of Golden Horseshoes or Purple Cows, while odd class years are assigned either the title of Blue Angels or Red Devils. After a senior class graduates in May, the incoming first-year class is assigned that color in September.

Other traditions include:

Big Sisters/Little Sisters: When a first-year student enters RSC, she is assigned a big sister in the junior class.

Banner Night: Before the first-year class arrives on campus, their big sister class will create a banner in the color of their class with their class year on it. This banner is presented to the first-year class on Banner Night.

Color Night: First-year class officers are announced on color night. The title of the night is changed every year based on the color of the first-year class (i.e. Gold Night, Blue Night, etc.)

Class Sweaters: First-year students order sweaters in the fall, which are delivered to them at the beginning of Rally (see below). The sweaters are the color of their class and bear the crest of the college as well as their class year on the left breast.

Class Dinners: Each class holds a formal dinner once per academic year.

Ring Dinner: The junior class dinner, traditionally held in the fall semester, is when students receive their class rings. Rally: During this two-to-three-week event, the three lower classes paint banners, write songs, perform skits, collect bottles and cans, conduct raffles or build items (an event known as "Gimmick") and raise money for community charities in a friendly competition, with the winning class getting their class year added to a sheepskin hung on campus. Rally is supervised by the senior class.

Rally Day: The last day of Rally. On Rally Night, the classes perform their skits and find out who won the various events and which class won Rally. Sweater Night: On the eve of Rally Day, students form a chain and parade around campus before first-year students are allowed to wear their sweaters for the first time at the stroke of midnight.

Room Trashing: Big sisters try to sneak into their little sisters' rooms during Rally, and if they manage to gain entry, they are entitled to search for their sister's sweater, hidden somewhere in the room -- and trashing the room is all part of the fun. If they find their sister's sweater, they steal it -- the big sister will hold onto it and wear it around her waist at Rally events, finally giving it back at Sweater Night. (When the little sisters are sophomores, it's more common for them to try to return the favor, stealing their big sister's sweater. However, little sisters aren't allowed to trash big sisters' rooms.) Class Day: At the annual spring moving-up ceremony held at the end of the school year before finals start, all classes "graduate" to their next year of college. Seniors wear their graduation caps and gowns, symbolizing their movement to alumnae status, and the flag of the new senior class is raised in McKinstry Courtyard.


In addition to club and intramural teams, Russell Sage is home to the "Gators", who compete in the NCAA's Division III in basketball, volleyball, soccer, tennis, softball, and lacrosse. RSC is affiliated with the Eastern Collegiate Athletic Association and the New York State Women's Collegiate Athletic Association. They joined the Skyline Conference in 2007. The Gators' volleyball team earned the school's first NCAA Tournament bid by capturing the Skyline Conference championship on Nov. 3, 2007.

Notable people


* Elizabeth Anne Allen, actor
* Prudence Bushnell, diplomat
* Ginny Brown-Waite, U.S. Representative
* Mary Donohue, judge and former lieutenant governor of New York
* Mireya Robles, writer and literary critic

Faculty and staff

* Eric Wollencott Barnes, diplomat and former chair of the English department
* Robert O. Fink, renowned papyrologist and Classicist
* Dean P. Taylor, politician and Russell Sage trustee

Honorary degrees

* Joan Ganz Cooney, businesswoman and television producer
* Edna F. Kelly, Congresswoman
* Anita Roddick, Dame Commander of the British Empire and founder of The Body Shop
* Nancy Roman, astronomer
* Eleanor Roosevelt, First Lady (recipient of the first honorary degree from RSC)
* Roland W. Schmitt, businessman

External links

* [ Russell Sage College]
* [ Russell Sage Athletics]
* [ The Sage Colleges]

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