Improving the Campus and the Environment Skip Navigation

Improving the Campus and the Environment

Section IV of The Third-Century Plan

Sustaining and improving the campus beauty and infrastructure and enhancing life in the village. 
Colgate must carefully steward one of its most precious assets: its campus. The University can take pride in the distinctive beauty of a campus that has shaped the lives of generations of students, faculty, and staff. Alumni carry their sense of this place with them when they graduate, and their affection for the campus strengthens their ties to the University. And the campus is a crucial component of Colgate’s aspiration for excellence: the campus and the Village of Hamilton must be inviting to the students, teachers, and staff who will propel Colgate into the top ranks of liberal arts colleges. Enhancing the beauty of the campus, improving its infrastructure, and preserving its natural and built environment for future generations must remain high University priorities. 

Earlier in this document, a description of the Middle Campus Initiative was offered. That initiative promises a significant change to the very heart of our campus, transforming a part of the campus that now seems ill-defined into a new and exciting campus precinct. Changes to the athletics facilities also hint at a possible revitalization of a part of the campus that is currently marked by parking lots and insufficient public spaces. Joining these two long-term planning efforts are the following initiatives that will surely help make an already beautiful campus that much more appealing, sustainable, and supportive of student, faculty, staff, and local residents’ lives.

1. Campus Development in the Third Century


Long-Term Goals and Vision: The campus environment defines Colgate not only for current students, faculty, and staff, but also for the alumni that continue to carry this place with them years after they are gone. Colgate must sustain and strengthen the natural and built environments, recognizing how the Colgate campus landscape performs as an ecological system, including its impacts on the larger environment and its capacity to become more self-sustaining.

With the guidance of Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates and building on prior long-term planning efforts, Colgate has developed the beginning of a long-term campus development plan. This plan will guide efforts to restore the campus landscape and treescape, improve parking and circulation, utilize the upper campus now expanded with new residence halls, and rationalize and improve the Middle Campus to create a new, engaging precinct for arts, creativity, and innovation.

2. Hamilton Housing Initiative


Long-Term Goals and Vision: Colgate needs to develop a variety of housing stock options that are affordable for faculty and staff from across the salary range.

To attract the best new faculty and staff, and to meet the needs of existing faculty and staff, Colgate will develop a plan to increase the supply of attractive, affordable housing in the village. Housing near the campus will enliven village life and will help sustain Colgate’s tradition of having faculty live in close proximity to one another and to Colgate students. While Colgate can take a leading role in increasing the local housing stock, it must collaborate with community partners. The wider community stands to gain from this initiative, as bringing more residents into the village will improve its vitality and contribute to its economic development.

3. Hamilton Initiative: Part 2


Long-Term Goals and Vision: Colgate must continue to invest in and develop the Village of Hamilton in collaboration with community partners.

Colgate University stands in a symbiotic relationship of mutual support and dependence with the Village of Hamilton. In particular, the ability of the University to recruit its human capital depends on the village being a vibrant, sophisticated, and attractive community. The Hamilton Initiative has been a remarkable success in restoring and enhancing the village. The Colgate Bookstore, new shops, a restored movie theater and inn, and the placement of Colgate professional staff in the heart of downtown have made the Village of Hamilton a true asset to Colgate, and an attraction for the entire region. 

Continued development of Hamilton requires Colgate’s ongoing leadership in collaboration with the Partnership for Community Development, Hamilton Business Alliance, and the Village of Hamilton. Businesses and properties owned by Colgate require renewed attention in order to update their appeal and to improve the quality of retail and culinary options.

4. Campus Sustainability Plan


Long-Term Goals and Vision: Colgate contributes research, fosters innovation, and models environmental sustainability to the community and beyond. Accordingly, Colgate strives to build a responsible and sustainable campus environment. Colgate must continue to mitigate its impact on the climate and to strive to be a model of environmental responsibility.

In 2012, Colgate committed to becoming carbon neutral by the time of the University’s Bicentennial. To meet this goal, the University has adopted green building standards and fuel usage guidelines. It has recently committed itself toward a significant restoration of the campus tree canopy. As part of third-century planning, Colgate will continue its efforts toward environmental sensitivity and green practices.

First Initiatives

  • Continue Developing a Comprehensive Plan for Improving Campus
  • Complete Bicentennial Tree Planting
  • Add Pedestrian Paths near Oak Drive and Improve Traffic Circulation

Developing Initiatives

Spearhead Housing Development in the Village

Related Initiatives (described elsewhere in the plan)

  • Attracting and Supporting Outstanding Students and Faculty
  • Enriching the Student Experience