Why Geneva?


Circular published by the Rutgers Medical Faculty of Geneva College, 1830.

To save his investment on Duane Street, Dr. Hosack had to find another diploma granting institution. This time he contacted Geneva College. Dr. Hosack likely picked Geneva College because of his longstanding friendship with Bishop Hobart. According to some accounts, the idea of forming an affiliation with the Rutgers Medical College was informally presented to individual board members as a personal favor to Bishop Hobart.

The proposed affiliation also offered a very real financial opportunity that was desperately needed by Hobart College. As Warren Hunting Smith writes in his history of Hobart and William Smith Colleges, during these early years “the College led a hand-to-mouth existence” because it lacked a large student body, a major endowment, or any significant state or federal aid.

Whether as a personal favor to Bishop Hobart or as a financial decision, when the official proposal to affirm the connection between Dr. Hosack’s medical school was put before the Board of Trustees of Geneva College in 1827, it received affirmative votes from all but two voting members (Henry Seymour and David Hudson).

The board decided that “there shall be two branches of the said faculty; one of which shall be at Geneva, the other at the city of New York.” Geneva College provided the ability to grant diplomas from New York State, and Rutgers College and Dr. Hosack contributed both the medical professionals and the apparatus needed to host the medical school.


List of faculty and graduates from Rutgers Medical Faculty of Geneva College, 1827-1828.