Jul 15, 2024  
2019-2020 Undergraduate Catalog, Volume 78 
2019-2020 Undergraduate Catalog, Volume 78 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Siena College Mission, History and Facts

Siena College, founded in 1937, is a co-educational, independent, liberal arts college with a Franciscan and Catholic tradition. Situated in the attractive residential community of Loudonville, New York, Siena has an ideal location. It is easily reached from New York City, Boston, and Buffalo, and is in the center of New York State’s Capital District.

The internal growth and development of Siena has been continuous. In response to the changing needs of our times, the Siena curriculum allows flexibility and individual choice for all undergraduates. Students serve with faculty on many campus committees. The College is governed by an independent, self- perpetuating Board of Trustees. An active Board of Associate Trustees serves to strengthen the relationship between the campus and the surrounding community.

Recognizing that its students come from varied racial, ethnic and cultural backgrounds, Siena College supports the creation of a multi-cultural environment for all of its students. In line with this commitment, racism–whether in word or deed–is unacceptable.

Siena College Mission

Siena College is a learning community advancing the ideals of a liberal arts education, rooted in its identity as a Franciscan and Catholic institution.

As a learning community, Siena is committed to a student-centered education emphasizing dynamic faculty-student interaction. Through a blending of liberal arts and professional education, Siena College provides experiences and courses of study instilling the values and knowledge to lead a compassionate, reflective, and productive life of service and leadership.

As a liberal arts college, Siena fosters the rigorous intellectual development of its students through a healthy exchange of ideas both inside and outside the classroom. It provides opportunities to develop critical and creative thinking; to make reasoned and informed judgments; to appreciate cultural diversity; to deepen aesthetic sensibility and to enhance written and oral communication skills. It develops in each individual an appreciation for the richness of exploring knowledge from a variety of perspectives and disciplines.

As a Franciscan community, Siena strives to embody the vision and values of St. Francis of Assisi: faith in a personal and provident God, reverence for all creation, affirmation of the unique worth of each person, delight in diversity, appreciation for beauty, service with the poor and marginalized, a community where members work together in friendship and respect, and commitment to building a world that is more just, peaceable, and humane.

As a Catholic college, Siena seeks to advance not only the intellectual growth of its students, but their spiritual, religious and ethical formation as well. To this end, Siena is composed of and in dialogue with people from different religious and cultural traditions; fosters a critical appreciation of the Catholic intellectual heritage in conversation with contemporary experience; provides ample opportunities for worship and service; explores the moral dimensions of decision-making in business and the professions; and affirms the dignity of the individual while pursuing the common good.

Founding of the College

Siena is a part of the tradition of higher education founded and nurtured by the Franciscan Order, the followers of St. Francis of Assisi.

At the invitation of Bishop Gibbons of Albany, the Franciscan Friars opened Siena in 1937 and placed it under the patronage of St. Bernardine of Siena, the illustrious 15th century Franciscan preacher. St. Bernardine is a fitting patron for a college as he embodies the rich and deep educational tradition that the followers of St. Francis bring to higher education. He stands also as a challenging example for the young, as a man who made the lessons of the classroom take on new life and as a lifelong student who carried his knowledge and wisdom into the busy marketplace and stately halls of government.

St. Bernardine serves then, not only as a patron, but as a model of the Arts and Sciences: above all, of the greatest art, which is the art of right-living, and the greatest science, which is the science of bringing to society the blessings of a truly liberal education.

Siena received its provisional charter from the Board of Regents of the University of the State of New York in 1938. Within four years, when the student population increased to almost 1,000, a permanent charter was granted.

The Franciscan Liberal Arts Tradition

Siena College is a Catholic College with a strong liberal arts tradition, founded by followers of Francis and Clare of Assisi. The Franciscan tradition of the pursuit of knowledge is likened to a dance: between the desire of the mind for understanding and intelligibility, and the longing of the heart for love and salvation. This tradition developed nearly 800 years ago, when four professors at the University of Paris were received into the Franciscan Order. In the early years, scholarship was made a vibrant part of Franciscan life by St. Bonaventure of Bagnoreggio and Blessed John Duns Scotus in the arts, Roger Bacon in the sciences, and Luca Pacioli in business. Contemporary scholars such as Zachary Hayes, Ilia Delio, and many more have kept the dance alive. In light of this Franciscan tradition, which emphasizes intellectual, social and religious dimensions, Siena College seeks to foster scholarship, service and community.

Siena is committed to intellectual development through critical thinking skills, leading to deeper awareness of questions that challenge human beings. To this end, the College encourages students to gain proficiency in scholarly inquiry, to develop their ability to analyze, synthesize and evaluate evidence in pursuit of truth, to make sound judgments, and to refine their skills in spoken and written communication.

The Franciscan tradition endeavors to make people more sensitive to important social, political and ethical issues of today, and more aware of their responsibilities to others. This encourages them to be witnesses to a positive relation between reason and faith, and to the fact that faith must always be engaged in a critical conversation with culture.

Siena College prepares its students for demanding lives and careers in the 21st century. In a world where many perceive education solely as a means for economic advancement, Siena offers a broader and more profound vision of life, with a unique perspective. This perspective is based on the life of Jesus Christ and given unique expression by Francis of Assisi.

Therefore, Siena’s students, faculty, administrators and staff will learn that the greatest power is found in humble service, particularly with the poor and marginalized. The Siena College graduate brings this experience into the world.

The Franciscan intellectual tradition indicates that each person, every creature, and all of nature give reason to praise God. Ultimately, Siena College’s unique liberal arts tradition is revealed in a diverse community, where people join in pursuit of higher learning. People of all faiths and philosophies are called to foster the Franciscan tradition at Siena, with an appreciation and understanding of academic excellence and the essential role of religious faith in human life and destiny.

Growth of Campus Facilities

Siena College broke ground on its signature building, Siena Hall, in 1938. The building, completed in two stages, marked the start of a constant campaign to provide students with facilities designed to complement their learning and living experience. Between 1938 and 1950, Gibbons Hall (now known as Foy Hall), St. Bernardine of Siena Friary (now known as Hines Hall), and St. Mary of the Angels Chapel were added to the campus.

In response to an increased interest in on-campus housing, Siena opened Plassmann and Ryan halls, each housing 275 students, as well as Serra Dining Hall in 1959 and 1962 respectively. In 1968 Hennepin Hall, with accommodations for 300 students, was opened. Roger Bacon Hall, Siena’s first science center, was opened in 1967. The campus continued to expand in 1974 as the Alumni Recreation Center (ARC) was opened. The ARC houses Siena’s indoor athletics program and major social, cultural, and academic programs. In 1992, the ARC expanded to include the Marcelle Athletic Complex (MAC). The addition doubled the space available for student recreational use. The MAC includes a pool, aerobics/dance studio, weight room, indoor track, squash and racquetball courts, as well as a field house.

The MAC and the ARC have undergone a $13.5 million enhancement over the past two-and-a-half years, which is set for completion by the end of the 2018 calendar year. Improvements of the multi-phase project include a new men’s and women’s basketball practice facility, new ARC seating and a new entrance, new student athletes strength and conditioning and sports medicine suites, and an expanded and enhanced student, faculty, and staff fitness center.

In 1981 a new, smaller Friary was constructed for the Franciscan community living at Siena. At the same time, Hines Hall was converted to a residence hall for 200 students, as well as faculty offices and classrooms.

As the college grew in size, so did the demand for on-campus housing. To provide additional living space, the college built a townhouse apartment complex to house 300 students that opened in the fall of 1986. Additional floors were also added to Plassmann and Hennepin halls, increasing their capacities by 200 students each. Additions to Serra Dining Hall were made to accommodate the increased number of residents.

In 1989 Siena’s academic facilities were enhanced with the opening of Kiernan Hall. In 1992 Colbeth Hall and the Clare Center opened, housing faculty offices and classrooms, and the St. Francis House, home to the Development and External Affairs Office, was purchased and renovated. Additional townhouses, known as Cushing Village, were also constructed in 1994 and 1995.

More recently, the College opened the J. Spencer and Patricia Standish Library in September of 1999. The 72,000 square foot building, with more than 20 miles of wire built into the walls, provides access to 100 computer stations, 500 Internet connections, a computer laboratory, and a 40-seat screening room.

In April 2001, the Sarazen Student Union was opened. The Union is home to the Pepsi Cafe, Student Communications Center, Student Senate Offices, Student Affairs Offices, and the Siena College Bookstore. Foy Hall, the previous student center, was renovated and now houses the Office of Career and Professional Development and Creative Arts Department.

The Morrell Science Center opened in September 2001. The building is the home of our Biology, Biochemistry, and Chemistry Departments. The 55,000 square foot science center has 24 research labs, 10 teaching labs, and three support areas on three floors.

In September 2001 Siena College opened Padua Hall. Padua Hall has 96 resident rooms, each equipped with complete bathroom facilities, computer network connections, and air conditioning.

Siena College’s signature building, Siena Hall, was the object of an $8 million phased renovation, which has not only upgraded infrastructure, classrooms, and offices, but also preserved the College’s most prominent architectural asset. The completion of this project restores Siena Hall to its role as a major focal point of teaching and learning. A high-tech suite, the Hickey Financial Technology Center, offers the latest financial technology used every day in the world’s largest financial trading centers. It includes real-world financial products from Bloomberg, Reuters, Morningstar, Compustat, Thompson One Analytics and FARS.

During the summer of 2006, Siena completed a $4.5 million renovation project of Serra Hall. Key features include a new entrance plaza, new entrance lobby, new services, tiered dining with privacy booths, an expanded window wall, updated mechanical and electrical systems, enhanced audio and video connected to a new campus networked TV broadcast system, and all new furnishings.

In the summer of 2008, a new synthetic turf field located behind the Marcelle Athletic Complex was constructed. The $2.9 million multi-use, all-weather field is used as a venue for lacrosse, field hockey and soccer, as well as numerous intramural sports. The complex features bleacher seating for 1,000, as well as a press box, scoreboard, box office and terrace area.

Also during the summer of 2008, an aggressive renovation program of the MacClosky Townhouses was undertaken. These ongoing renovations are replacing all major systems and include a number of architectural enhancements that have been very well received by the students.

During the summer of 2009, the Fr. Ben Kuhn House as well as a portion of the Roger Bacon Science Center were renovated. The Kuhn House is now the home for the College’s Communications and Marketing Office. In addition, a portion of the unfinished basement in the Morrell Science Center was renovated into faculty and staff office space.

In 2007 the College also purchased the New York State Police property located directly across Route 9 from the College. In 2011, the decision was made to renovate the building and utilize this space for administrative functions and the College’s ROTC program. Starting in the winter of 2012, the old State Police barracks was completely renovated and thanks to a generous donation, named The Trustco Bank Center. This newly renovated space now houses a high percentage of the Finance and Administration Division staff as well as the ROTC program.

Snyder Hall opened in the fall of 2010, provides living space to upper-class students in double rooms that are complete with bathroom facilities in each room. This project included the construction of a second campus dining facility, a student fitness facility and a number of additional student support spaces, as well as additional conference room spaces.

In the spring of 2012 the College approved the construction of a new academic building to house several departments within the School of Liberal Arts. With the help of a generous donation by Joan and Richard Rosetti, construction of Rosetti Hall was undertaken and completed in the summer of 2013. Rosetti Hall will be our first LEED certified building and is equipped with a number of sustainability features as well as state-of-the-art classrooms.

The Siena College campus continues to be improved and to grow through construction of new buildings and renovations. The enhancements provide Siena students with comfortable and efficient learning spaces that are equipped with the latest technology and create a welcoming learning and living environment.

Siena College is also very mindful of the responsibility associated with maintaining the integrity and serviceability of our older facilities and is committed to investing in facility renewal and upgrades that protect the College’s investment in its physical plant. Our goal of continuous improvement in all aspects of facilities management will continue to result in improved facilities for learning, living and working and further enhance Siena College’s competitiveness and standing as a premier college campus in our region and among our higher education peers.


Siena is registered by the Board of Regents of the University of the State of New York. All programs are accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools. The School of Business is accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business. In addition, the Chemistry program is certified by the American Chemical Society, the Social Work program is accredited by the Council on Social Work Education, and the Teacher Certification programs are accredited by the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation.

Retention Rates

Full-time freshmen retention for fall to spring for the class entering in 2017 was 97%. For full-time freshmen entering in 2016, 88% were retained from fall to fall.

Compliance Statement

Siena College is an equal employment opportunity and affirmative action employer and does not discriminate against job applicants or employees on the basis of race/color, religion, sex, age, national and ethnic origin, disability, marital status, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity, predisposing genetic characteristics, domestic violence victim status or any other status or condition protected by applicable Federal or New York State statutes.

Siena College admits students of any race/color, religion, sex, age, national and ethnic origin, disability status, marital status, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity, domestic violence victim status or with a predisposing genetic characteristic to all the rights, privileges, programs, and activities generally accorded or made available to students at the college. It does not discriminate on the basis of race/color, religion, sex, age, national and ethnic origin, disability, marital status, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity, predisposing genetic characteristics, domestic violence victim status or any other status or condition protected by applicable Federal or New York State statutes in administration of its educational policies, admissions policies, scholarship and loan programs, and athletic and other school administered programs.

Pursuant to Federal and New York State law, Siena College’s Equal Opportunity and Employee Relations Specialist/ ADA/504 Coordinator is the designated agent of the College with primary responsibility for coordinating compliance efforts. This administrator is also the Affirmative Action Officer for the College. In broad terms, the Equal Opportunity and Employee Relations Specialist/ADA/504 Coordinator oversees monitoring of Siena’s policy in relation to these laws and other employment law developments; implementation of investigative procedures, including notification, investigation and disposition of complaints; provision of educational materials and training for the campus community; conducting investigations of complaints received pursuant to Federal and New York State laws, ensuring a fair and neutral process for all parties; and monitoring all other aspects of the College’s compliance.

Pursuant to Title IX of the 1973 Education Amendment, Siena College has appointed a Title IX Coordinator who has primary responsibility for coordinating compliance efforts with respect to sexual misconduct, including prevention and investigation of complaints.

Campus Crime Statistics

Pursuant to Federal law, Siena College compiles campus crime statistics, which are reported annually to the United States Department of Education. The Office of Public Safety will provide upon request all campus crime statistics as reported to the United States Department of Education. In addition, you may access the crime statistics here. Contact Public Safety at 518-783-2376.