The State University of New York at Buffalo was originally founded as a private medical school in 1846. The first chancellor of the school was Millard Fillmore, a Buffalo, New York resident, and former president of the United States. It was originally situated on the corners of Main Street and Virginia streets in downtown Buffalo. Throughout the next 50 years, UB (the common abbreviation for The State University of New York at Buffalo) incorporated many new programs including law, dentistry and pharmacy.
In the 1920’s, UB bought some land on Main Street where a new campus would be built. (Today it is known as the South Campus). The South Campus is an example of beautiful architecture with some houses dating back to the turn of the century. Today the south campus is home to the university’s medical school, including the school of dentistry, and exercise science. In addition the school of architecture and planning resides on the south campus, providing the SUNY system’s only urban planning and design program.
Rapid growth of the school in the early 1950’s saw skyrocketing enrollment which raised the need for another campus to be built three miles north of the original campus. This new campus would be known as the north campus and would become infamous among students for its layout and “butt-ugly” architecture. It was built in Amherst, New York and was located nowhere near the city of Buffalo (which many would claim was a fatal error). Construction began in 1970, and in only ten years became the central university location. It was chosen over South Campus for the central location because of the wide amount of space for expansion on the large Amherst campus (1,192 acres to be exact). Thanks to the addition of the second campus, UB became the state’s “largest and most comprehensive public university.” Every other program that is not listed as being on the South Campus resides here.
UB offers degrees in nearly every program you can think of. The benefits of being such a large school in the New York public system has made it a very attractive location because of variety and price.
UB’s north campus often receives a lot of criticism over its design. The campus was intended to be riot proof; with the offices of high up officials being put in nearly inaccessible locations preventing students from congregating and protesting outside of their offices. One example is the fifth floor of capen hall; it is nothing more than well carpeted catwalk until you actually enter the various offices. The Ellicott Complex, a dormitory complex, on North Campus has been dubbed the name “Hellicott” by some for its confusing layout and lego-like appearance. In addition students have complained for years about the lack of things to do on North Campus while at school there; however, its not as bad as some students make it seem. UB does provide busing at nearly all hours of the day to the south campus, where the beginning of the Buffalo subway system resides, granting easy transportation in and out of the city for UB students. While the Ellicott complex is poorly designed the University is making efforts to make it better and more attractive with a massive remodeling project.