Robert Morris University

Robert Morris University (RMU) is a private university in Moon Township, Pennsylvania. It also has a branch campus in downtown Pittsburgh. It was founded in 1921 and is named after Robert Morris, a signer of the Declaration of Independence, Constitution, Articles of Confederation; slave trader;[2][3][4] and, financier of the American Revolution. It enrolls nearly 5,000 students and offers 60 bachelor's degree programs[5] and 35 master's and doctoral programs.[6] Most students are from the Pittsburgh area, while 16 percent of freshmen in 2018 were from outside Pennsylvania.[7]

Robert Morris University
Robert Morris University seal.svg
TypePrivate, nonsectarian
Established1921 (1921)
Endowment$38.2 million (2020)[1]
PresidentChristopher B. Howard
Academic staff
203 full-time faculty
Location, ,
United States

40°31′14″N 80°12′38″W / 40.520579°N 80.210688°W / 40.520579; -80.210688Coordinates: 40°31′14″N 80°12′38″W / 40.520579°N 80.210688°W / 40.520579; -80.210688
CampusSuburban, 230 acres (0.93 km2)
ColorsBlue, White, and Red
AthleticsNCAA Division 1 - Horizon
Robert Morris University logo.svg


Robert Morris University originated in 1921 as the Pittsburgh School of Accountancy, founded by Andrew Blass using a curriculum similar to what he had overseen as dean of the Pace Institute in Washington, D.C.[8] His successor, C.W. Salmond, oversaw an expansion in 1935 that added business and secretarial studies, and the school was renamed the Robert Morris School of Business in honor of the Founding Father popularly known as the "financier of the American Revolution."[9] In 1942, the Robert Morris School moved to the William Penn Hotel to accommodate its growing enrollment, and in 1959 purchased its own Downtown building at 600 Fifth Ave.[9]

In 1962 the school purchased Pine Hill Manor and Farm in Moon Township, Pennsylvania, formerly the home of Oliver Kaufmann, vice president of Kaufmann's department store in Pittsburgh, his wife, Freda, and their children.[10] The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania then granted the school permission to award associate degrees, and the school became Robert Morris Junior College, operating from two separate campuses. The first new buildings on the Moon Township campus, Franklin Center and three residence halls, were erected in 1963.[9]

The school became Robert Morris College in 1969 when it began offering bachelor's degrees in business administration. The first graduate students were admitted in 1978 for master's degree programs in business administration, taxation, and business teacher education; the first doctoral program was offered in 1999. In 2002, the school attained university status and was thus renamed Robert Morris University.[9] In 2010, the university sold its Downtown Center at 600 Fifth Avenue to Duquesne University.[11]

On September 10, 2015, Robert Morris named Christopher B. Howard as its eighth president. Howard, the former president of Hampden-Sydney College, is the first African-American president in RMU's history; he assumed office in February 2016.


The core campus consists of a 230 acres (0.93 km2) tract in Moon Township, Pennsylvania, a suburb of Pittsburgh near Pittsburgh International Airport. The main campus building is Nicholson Center, which houses dining and meeting facilities, classrooms and faculty offices, and a bookstore. It is attached to the Patrick Henry Center, which houses the library, a TV studio, and numerous offices and classrooms. RMU participates in inter-library lending consortia PALINET and PALCI that allow RMU students to borrow books on site from most of the college and university libraries in the Pittsburgh area.[12]

The School of Business building contains the PNC Trading Center, the United States Steel Corporation Video Conferencing and Technology Center, the ATI Center, classrooms, and the President's Office. Scaife Center is the newest academic building on campus, having opened in 2015; it is the home of the Regional Research and Innovation in Simulation Education (RISE) Center. Wheatley Center houses the School of Informatics, Humanities and Social Sciences. John Jay Center is the home of the School of Engineering, Mathematics and Science. Hale Center is the main university classroom building. The nondenominational Rogal Chapel is perched on a small hilltop overlooking campus.

Of 14 residence halls, three are newer apartment-style complexes; the university also has converted a former hotel nearby into Yorktown Hall, now entirely student housing. Nearly 2,000 students live in campus housing, including 85 percent of freshmen.[13]

The UPMC Events Center and Peoples Court is the home of basketball and volleyball teams. The center also has extensive conference, classroom, and meeting facilities and is a venue for concerts, speakers, and other events.[14] Football and lacrosse teams play on campus at Joe Walton Stadium, named for the Colonials' founding head football coach. Soccer teams play on the North Athletic Complex field. A fully equipped Student Recreation and Fitness Center opened in 2018 on campus.

Colonials Arena is the home of the men's and women's ice hockey teams at the RMU Island Sports Center, a 32 acres (130,000 m2) sports and recreation facility at nearby Neville Island in the Ohio River 9 miles (14 km) from Downtown Pittsburgh. The center is open to the public year-round and contains two indoor and two outdoor ice rinks, an indoor hockey arena (home to the Steel City Icebergs), and a dome that accommodates an indoor golf driving range.[15] The center also has an outdoor 18-hole miniature golf course.[16]

The university also has classes online and at its Downtown campus at 339 Sixth Avenue in Pittsburgh, also the home of the Bayer Center for Nonprofit Management at Robert Morris University. The university offers training in additive manufacturing at a 3D printing lab and classroom in the Energy Innovation Center in the Lower Hill District.[17]


RMU offers 60 undergraduate and 35 graduate degree programs.[18]

The School of Engineering, Mathematics, and Science is one of only 17 universities in the country named a Center of Actuarial Excellence by the Society of Actuaries.[19]

The School of Business offers a sport management course on the WWE. The course examines "the cutting-edge business and artistic presentation practices of a global leader in live entertainment" and "reviews the history covering the professional wrestling business, its talent development, theatrical influences/production practices, event/facility management operations as well as WWE's innovative branding, marketing and mass media strategies."[20]

Robert Morris University is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education. The School of Business is accredited by AACSB International. B.S. programs in information sciences and computer information systems are accredited by the Computing Accreditation Commission of ABET, while B.S. programs in engineering and manufacturing engineering are accredited by ABET's Engineering Accreditation Commission. Initial teacher preparation and advanced educator programs are accredited by the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP). Nursing programs are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education, and nuclear medicine by the Joint Review Committee on Education Programs in Nuclear Medicine Technology; the Regional Research and Innovation in Simulation Education (RISE) Center at Robert Morris University is accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Healthcare Simulation Programs.[21]

Student lifeEdit

RMU offers more than 100 student organizations, clubs, and activities on campus. The Colonial Theatre program stages several productions annually, including some that have won honors at the Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival.[22] Students field 17 club sports teams including ice hockey, bowling, rugby and golf.[23] Greek life is both social and service-oriented, with 14 percent of women joining sororities and 10 percent of men in fraternities.[24] The student-run RMU Sentry Media website includes news and feature stories as well as programming from RMU-TV and RMU-Radio.[25]


Robert Morris' sports teams, nicknamed "the Colonials", wear the school colors of blue, white, and red. The Colonials compete in NCAA Division I (FCS, formerly Division I-AA, in football). Most of the school's teams play in the Horizon League, though the football team plays in the Big South Conference, the men's ice hockey team competes in Atlantic Hockey, the women's ice hockey team is a member of the College Hockey America, and women's rowing competes in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference. Men's teams are basketball, football, golf, ice hockey, lacrosse, and soccer. Women's teams are basketball, cross country, ice hockey, lacrosse, rowing, soccer, softball, track and field, and volleyball.[26]

The Colonials officially joined the NCAA in 1976 and appeared in its first NCAA tournament in 1982, in men's basketball. Robert Morris men's and women's teams have won 45 league championships in NCAA Division I.[27]

On March 19, 2013, the Colonials men's basketball team defeated the Kentucky Wildcats, the defending national champions, in Moon Township by a score of 59-57 in the first round of the National Invitation Tournament (NIT).[28]

Notable alumniEdit


  1. ^ As of June 30, 2020. U.S. and Canadian Institutions Listed by Fiscal Year 2020 Endowment Market Value and Change in Endowment Market Value from FY19 to FY20 (Report). National Association of College and University Business Officers and TIAA. February 19, 2021. Retrieved February 21, 2021.
  2. ^ "Tales From the Vault: Founding Father of Finance | American Numismatic Association". Retrieved 2020-12-20.
  3. ^ "Robert Morris". American Battlefield Trust. 2017-07-27. Retrieved 2020-12-20.
  4. ^ elaskowski (2015-04-19). "Updated: Robert Morris". The Founders & Slavery. Retrieved 2020-12-20.
  5. ^ "Undergraduate Programs / Robert Morris University". RMU website. Retrieved 8 February 2019.
  6. ^ "Graduate Programs / Robert Morris University". RMU website. Retrieved 8 February 2019.
  7. ^ Common Data Set 2018-19, Robert Morris University. 2018.
  8. ^ "Past Presidents, Robert Morris University". RMU website. Retrieved 8 February 2019.
  9. ^ a b c d "University History, Robert Morris University". RMU website. Retrieved 8 February 2019.
  10. ^ "Hands of time doom mansion". Beaver County Times 5/24/91 p. A8 on Google. Retrieved 25 August 2014.
  11. ^ "Robert Morris sells building to Duquesne University". Pittsburgh Business Times October 1, 2010. Retrieved 25 August 2014.
  12. ^ "Frequently Asked Questions". Retrieved 2010-01-03.
  13. ^ Common Data Set 2018-19, Robert Morris University. pp. F. Student Life.
  14. ^ "UPMC Events Center, Robert Morris University". RMU website. Retrieved 11 February 2019.
  15. ^ "Robert Morris University Island Sports Center". Retrieved 11 February 2019.
  16. ^ "Miniature Golf". Retrieved 2010-01-03.
  17. ^ "RMU bringing 3D printing and Additive Manufacturing Lab to Energy Innovation Center". NextPittsburgh. Retrieved 11 February 2019.
  18. ^ "Schools | Robert Morris University". Retrieved 3 September 2019.
  19. ^ "Universities & Colleges with Actuarial Programs (UCAP)". Society of Actuaries. Retrieved 11 February 2019.
  20. ^ "Robert Morris University – Course Catalog". Retrieved January 12, 2018.
  21. ^ "University Accreditations". RMU website. Retrieved 11 February 2019.
  22. ^ "Past and present of Colonial Theatre come together for Rent: In Concert". RMU Sentry Media. Retrieved 11 February 2019.
  23. ^ "Club Sports, Robert Morris University". RMU website. Retrieved 11 February 2019.
  24. ^ Common Data Set 2018-19, Robert Morris University. 2018. pp. F. Student Life.
  25. ^ "RMU Sentry Media". Retrieved 11 February 2019.
  26. ^ "Robert Morris University Athletics". Retrieved 11 February 2019.
  27. ^ "Historic Highlights, Robert Morris University". RMU website. Retrieved 11 February 2019.
  28. ^ "Robert Morris stuns Kentucky". USA Today. Retrieved 11 February 2019.
  29. ^ "Charlie Batch, Robert Morris University". RMU website. Retrieved 11 February 2019.

External linksEdit