Fordham University is an independent university in the Jesuit tradition. It was established in 1841 as St. John's College by the Right Rev. John Hughes, Coadjutor-Bishop (later Archbishop) of New York, on old Rose Hill Manor in the village of Fordham, then part of Westchester County. The name Fordham is derived from the Anglo-Saxon words “ford” and “ham,” meaning a wading place or ford by a settlement. Rose Hill is the name given to the site in 1787 by Robert Watts, a wealthy New York merchant, in honor of his family's ancestral home of the same name in Scotland. The College, which opened with a student body of six, was originally staffed by diocesan clergy. In 1846, the year the New York State Legislature granted the School a charter, Bishop Hughes recruited five Jesuits from St. Mary's College in Kentucky and other communities, and the Society of Jesus then assumed the administration of the College. The name was officially changed to Fordham University in 1907. In 1969 the board of trustees was reorganized to include a majority of non-clergy members.
Fordham's 10 schools enroll 14,448 students. There are 7,652 undergraduates, of whom 3,842 live in University-managed housing either on-campus or in the local community. The entering class includes 1,784 traditional full-time freshmen.
The Fordham University libraries contain more than 2.2 million volumes and have access to 373,807 print and electronic titles online. Fordham's main library is the William D. Walsh Family Library at Rose Hill. Branches are the Gerald R. Quinn Library at Lincoln Center and the Gloria Gaines Memorial Library in Westchester. The Law Library is at Lincoln Center.
Insured replacement value of building and grounds is roughly $909 million.
Research University (High Research Activity). This classification is based on number of doctoral degrees awarded, research expenditures, and numbers of research staff. Fordham is one of about 277 universities in the US that is classified as a research university.
Fordham's traditional colors are maroon and white.
With 22 men's and women's varsity sports teams, the Fordham Rams are members of the NCAA Division I and compete in the Atlantic-10 conference in all sports except football (Patriot League, NCAA I-AA).