Nyack College changes its name after 50 years

The Manhattan campus of Nyack College.
The Manhattan campus of Nyack College. | Photo courtesy Nyack College

Nyack College, a 140-year-old New York City-based Christian academic institution, is changing its name to Alliance University.

In a video posted to Facebook on Thursday, Alliance University President Rajan S. Mathews and others briefly discussed the new name. Mathews said that while the seasons and name may change, the college's "core" remains the same. 

In comments emailed to The Christian Post on Friday, Mathews said that school leaders started discussing a name change about a year ago because they "wanted a name that represented strength, partnership and a promise that we are better together."

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"Our logo mark, the conjoined AU, represents unified strength and distinction. Two letters merge to create something better than they were before, a new alliance full of possibilities," Mathews said.

The name change has been recognized by the New York State Department of Education and also the Middle States Commission of Higher Education, according to Mathews.

"Our signage has begun transitioning to the new name and brand. Our website is not yet live, but the address will be in two to three weeks," he added.

The name change reflects the academic institution being granted the status of a university by the NYS DOE in the summer, as noted by their graduate and doctoral programs.

"Nyack was the name of our previous location, a small village in Rockland County, New York," said Mathews. "Now that we are in Manhattan we needed a new name to better encompass our vision and mission, not just our location."

In 2018, Nyack College announced the intention to sell its 107-acre campus in Nyack and move its academic programs to its Lower Manhattan campus. The campus was sold in 2020.

Mathews said the institution is also searching for a new mascot for the university "that represents our vision, mission and core values."

Alliance University was launched in 1882 as the Missionary Training Institute, eventually being renamed Nyack College in 1972 in part to reflect its expanded academic programming.

One of its founders was Albert Benjamin Simpson, a Canadian preacher and evangelist who moved to the United States in 1873 and also founded the Christian and Missionary Alliance.

In 2002, Nyack College established a satellite campus in Dayton, Ohio, for its seminary, Alliance Theological Seminary. That campus closed in the summer of 2009 due to poor enrollment.

Nevertheless, the academic institution reported an overall enrollment increase for both the college and its seminary, nearing the 1,700 mark in 2007.

In 2013, Nyack was one of 97 American colleges to receive the Great College to Work For honor from The Chronicle of Higher Education, with then Nyack President Michael G. Scales telling CP that honor is humbling. 

"It says a lot about the kind of people we have and we are very grateful, very humble to get that kind of confidence in our leadership," Scales said.

"We believe that every human was created in the image of God, so we try to give ultimate respect and dignity to everyone. The president is no more important than anyone else in the institution." 

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