The Sage Colleges Mission + History

The Sage Mission

Sage is a community of scholars committed to empowering students:

  • To Be: To provide the individual student with the opportunity and means to develop and advance personally and professionally, and thus to be successful in achieving life goals;
  • To Know: To contribute to the larger society a group of diverse, thoughtful and competent citizen-leaders who continue to be engaged in the pursuit of lifelong learning; and
  • To Do: To translate learning into action and application, recognizing the obligation of educated persons to lead and to serve their communities.

Source: Strategic Plan, May 27, 2009


History of The Sage Colleges

Russell Sage College was founded in Troy, New York, in 1916 by Margaret Olivia Slocum Sage and named in honor of her late husband, who had left her his considerable fortune. 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.

In 2009 Sage restructured its graduate programs around three key areas of strength and expertise to create the Esteves School of Education, School of Health Sciences, and School of Management.

The schools capitalize on Sage's leading professional degree and certificate programs at the post-baccalaureate, master's, post-master's, and doctorate levels. The schools will also draw from the bachelor's programs at Sage's two undergraduate colleges.

Today, The Sage Colleges consists of:

  • Russell Sage College, a comprehensive four-year college for women offering bachelor's degrees in the liberal arts and sciences as well as selected professional fields. Russell Sage bachelor's degrees typically lead to further study and more than 50% of graduates each year pursue advanced degrees. This College is integrally connected to the Sage Graduate School through accelerated bachelor's/master's programs.
  • Sage College of Albany, a coeducational college of applied studies, offering bachelor's degrees. This College prepares students for direct entry into the professional workplace with the future option of graduate study.
  • Through its School of Professional and Continuing Education, the Sage College of Albany offers bachelor's degree completion programs designed specifically for an audience of part-time, working adults.
  • The Sage Graduate Schools of Education, Health Sciences and Management are coeducational environments offering advanced study for professional practice and leadership through master's degrees and post-master's certification in a wide variety of applied disciplines. They serve both recent college graduates, including Russell Sage students in accelerated bachelor's/master's programs, and individuals already at work in their professions.