Academic journal article The Catholic Historical Review

The Rainbow Never Fades: Niagara University, 1856-2006

Academic journal article The Catholic Historical Review

The Rainbow Never Fades: Niagara University, 1856-2006

Article excerpt

The Rainbow Never Fades: Niagara University, 1856-2006. By John B. Stranges. (New York: Peter Lang Publishing, Inc. 2007. Pp. xiv, 256. $42.95 paperback.)

Niagara is the oldest, but least well known, of the nation's three Vincentian universities. It is also the smallest, with a student body roughly a quarter the size of St. John's in New York (est. 1870) or DePaul in Chicago (est. 1898). Niagara's relatively out-of-the-way location is partly responsible for the difference, but its seminary orientation was also a major factor. It began in 1856 as the seminary of Our Lady of Angels and, though chartered as a university in 1883, the seminary was the tone-setting element in the whole operation through much of the twentieth century. It was not finally separated from the university until 1961. The author is mistaken in saying that it was "untypical, though precocious," to combine collegiate and seminary instruction. On the contrary, that arrangement was quite common before the Civil War; thereafter it rapidly became outdated. Its long persistence at Niagara reinforced the institution's commitment to residentiality (day students were not admitted until 1911) and to curricular conservatism. …

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