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HWS Charters


Charter of Geneva College

8 February 1825

By the Regents of the University of the State of New York.

Whereas the Trustees of Geneva Academy did by their petition presented to us, on the eleventh day of February, one thousand eight hundred and twenty-two, represent among other things, that they were desirous of founding a College by ingrafting the same on the said Academy at or near the site of said Academy in the Village of Geneva, in the County of Ontario, and that for the accomplishment of that object they had provided considerable funds, and were about providing more for the same purpose; and thereupon praying for a grant from us the said Regents of “College powers to take effect at the expiration of three years thereafter, provided the said petitioners should within that period acquire such permanent funds as we should deem sufficient for the endowment of such College.” And whereas after due consideration of the said petition and the object therein prayed for, we did, on the tenth day of April, in the year of our Lord, one thousand eight hundred and twenty-two under and in pursuance of the Sixth Section of the Act entitled, “An act relative to the University,” passed April 5, 1813 signify our approbation of the plan, on which it was intended to found said College, and did thereupon ordain and declare that if the said petitioners should within the space of three years thereafter provide and satisfactorily secure permanent funds for the use and benefit of such College, which should produce a clear annual revenue of four thousand dollars, they the said petitioners should, on exhibiting evidence satisfactory to us of their having provided and secured such funds, be thereupon incorporated by us as a College according to the Laws of the State and the regulations of us the said Regents. And whereas now at this day, to wit, on the eighth day of February, in the year one thousand eight hundred and twenty-five, the said Trustees have by their petition to us represented that they have fulfilled the conditions on which they were, by our said ordinance in that behalf made as aforesaid, to be incorporated as a College, thereupon praying to be so incorporated by us accordingly; and for that purpose have signified to us that the name of said College shall be, “Geneva College,” and have proposed to us the twenty-four persons hereinafter named for the first Trustees thereof. And whereas it satisfactorily appears to us, that funds have been provided and set apart for the endowment and support of said College to the amount of sixty thousand dollars and upwards, producing a clear annual revenue of four thousand dollars and upwards; which said funds appear to us to be secured in as safe and sufficient a manner as can reasonably be required. And whereas it appears to us that the establishment of said College as prayed for by the said petitioners will promote the cause of science and redound to the public good; and the same being in fulfillment of the aforesaid ordinance heretofore made by us,

Therefore, We the said Regents, moved by the consideration of the premises, and in virtue of the power in us vested by law have authorized and empowered, and by these presents do authorize and empower the said Trustees of Geneva Academy to appoint a President and the said Academy to become a College pursuant to law, and have granted and declared, and by these presents do grant and declare, that a College for the instruction and education of youth in the learned languages, and liberal arts and sciences shall be, and hereby is founded and established in said Village of Geneva; that the Trustees of said College shall always be twenty-four in number and that James Rees, Samuel Colt, Orin Clark, Daniel McDonald, Abraham Dox, William S. DeZeng, Elnathan Noble, Robert S. Rose, Walter Grieve, David Cook, James Carter, Henry Axtell, Herman H. Bogert, John C. Spencer, Philip Church, Bowen Whiting, David Hudson, Thomas D. Burrall, Henry Seymour, Elijah Miller, Francis H. Cuming, Jesse Clark, Henry Anthon and Lucius Smith shall be the first Trustees of said College; and that the said Trustees and their successors shall be a body corporate and politic, by the name of “The Trustees of Geneva College,” and shall have perpetual succession, and shall be capable to sue and be sued, and to purchase, take, hold, enjoy and have lands, messuages, tenements, hereditaments and real estate whatsoever in fee simple, or for term of life or lives, or years, or in any other manner howsoever, and also goods, chattels, books, monies, annuities and all other things of what nature or kind soever; Provided always, that the clear yearly value of such real Estate shall not exceed the sum of thirteen thousand three hundred and thirty-three dollars and one-third of a dollar lawful money of the United States: And the said Trustees shall have power to appoint a President and Professors and Tutors to have the immediate care of the education and government of the students who shall be sent to and be admitted into the said College for instruction and education, according to such ordinances, rules and orders as shall be made by the said Trustees; and also to appoint a Treasurer and Clerk, and all other needful officers and Ministers, and to assign to them their respective duties; and also from time to time to make such ordinances, rules and orders for the management and disposition of the lands and other real Estate, and of the chattels and monies and other property at any time held and possessed by them the said Trustees to the use of the said College, and for the more orderly and conveniently performing and executing the trusts and authorities herby granted and committed to them, as they the said Trustees (in legal meeting convened) shall deem most fit and beneficial; and also all such ordinances, rules and orders directing and appointing what books shall be publically read and taught in said College, and for the better government of said College and of the President, Professors, Tutors and Students thereof as they the said Trustees think best for the general good of the same: Provided that no ordinance, rule or order be made by the said Trustees, nor any appointment of a President, Professor or Tutor in said College, nor any appointment of a Treasurer, Clerk, or any other Officer or Minister shall have any force or validity unless the same shall be agreed to by the major part of any thirteen or more of them the said Trustees duly convened and met together: and Provided further, that no such ordinance, rule or order shall be repugnant to the constitution or laws of this State, or laws of the United States, neither shall any of them extend to exclude any person of any religious denomination whatever from equal liberty and advantage of education, or from any of the degrees, liberties, privileges, benefits or immunities of said College, on account of his particular tenets in religion: and Provided also, that every such ordinance, rule or order whereby the punishment of expulsion, suspension, degradation or public confession shall be inflicted on any student shall be put in execution only by such major part of any thirteen or more of said Trustees; that the President of said College shall hold his office for and during his good behavior; but that all Professors and Tutors and every Treasurer and Clerk, and all other officers and Ministers of said College shall hold their respective offices at the will and pleasure of the said Trustees. That there shall be two meetings of the said Trustees in the said Village of Geneva every year, on such days and at such place as the said Trustees shall by ordinances to be by them from time to time made in that behalf, appoint to be denominated stated meetings; and until the said Trustees shall have made an ordinance appointing the days and place of such stated meetings, the same shall be held on the first Wednesday in August and on the first Wednesday in February in each year, and in the building hitherto called the Academy; That when any special meeting of the said Trustees shall be deemed necessary, the senior Trustee then residing in said Village, and taking upon himself the exercise of the office, shall upon an application for that purpose in writing under the hands of any five or more of the said Trustees, appoint a time for such Special meeting, at some convenient place in said Village, and cause due notice thereof to be given by advertising the same in one or more of the public newspapers, printed in the aforesaid County nearest to said College, at least twenty days before such meeting; and at such meeting such Senior Trustee before entering on any business shall certify such notification to the Trustees then met; that whenever the said Trustees shall be met together at any meeting, the senior Trustee then present shall preside at such meeting; that the seniority intended in these two several cases shall be determined according to the order in which the said Trustees are herein named and shall be hereafter elected, and not less than thirteen Trustees shall form a quorum for the transaction of any business. That the said Trustees shall also have power at any meeting duly convened, to elect and appoint upon the death, removal out of the State, or other vacancy of the place or places of any Trustee or Trustees, other or others in his or their place or stead, as often as such vacancy shall happen, and also to make and declare vacant the seat of any Trustee who shall absent himself from five successive meetings of the Board. But no Professor or Tutor of said College, or member of the Faculty thereof, other than the President thereof, shall ever be eligible to the office of Trustee. That the said Trustees may, by the President of the said College or any other person by them authorized and appointed, give and grant any such degree and degrees to all such persons thought by them worthy thereof, as are known to and usually granted by any University or College in Europe.

That the said Trustees shall and may have a common seal under which they shall and may pass all grants, diplomas, and all other writings whatsoever, requisite or convenient to pass under such seal, and which shall be engraven in such form and with such devices and inscription as shall be agreed upon by the said Trustees, and to alter the same at their pleasure.

In testimony whereof, we have caused these presents to be signed by our Chancellor, and our common seal to be affixed thereto this eighth day of February in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and twenty-five.

John Taylor, Chancellor

Attest: Gideon Hawley, Secretary

1825 Geneva College Charter (front)

1825 Geneva College Charter (back)

The original Geneva College charter, dated 8 February 1825