Robert Morris University

Last updated
Robert Morris University
Robert Morris University seal.svg
Type Private, nonsectarian
Established1921 (1921)
Endowment $38.2 million (2020) [1]
President Christopher B. Howard
Academic staff
203 full-time faculty
Undergraduates 4,005
Postgraduates 890
Location, ,
United States

40°31′14″N80°12′38″W / 40.520579°N 80.210688°W / 40.520579; -80.210688 Coordinates: 40°31′14″N80°12′38″W / 40.520579°N 80.210688°W / 40.520579; -80.210688
Campus Suburban, 230 acres (0.93 km2)
Colors Blue, White, and Red
Athletics NCAA Division IHorizon League
Nickname Colonials
Robert Morris University logo.svg

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, known as the "financier of the [American] revolution." It enrolls nearly 5,000 students and offers 60 bachelor's degree programs [2] and 35 master's and doctoral programs. [3] Most students are from the Pittsburgh area, while 16 percent of freshmen in 2018 were from outside Pennsylvania. [4]



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. [5] 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." [6] 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. [6]

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. [7] 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. [6]

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. [6] In 2010, the university sold its Downtown Center at 600 Fifth Avenue to Duquesne University. [8]

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. [9]

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. [10]

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. [11] 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. [12] The center also has an outdoor 18-hole miniature golf course. [13]

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. [14]


RMU offers 60 undergraduate and 35 graduate degree programs. [15]

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. [16]

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." [17]

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. [18]

Student life

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. [19] Students field 17 club sports teams including ice hockey, bowling, rugby and golf. [20] Greek life is both social and service-oriented, with 14 percent of women joining sororities and 10 percent of men in fraternities. [21] The student-run RMU Sentry Media website includes news and feature stories as well as programming from RMU-TV and RMU-Radio. [22] The Sentry’s sports affiliate, Colonial Sports Network, provides breaking athletics news as well as athlete and coach features, game recaps and more. [23]


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 competed in Atlantic Hockey, the women's ice hockey team was 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. [24]

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. [25]

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). [26]

On May 26, 2021, the university disbanded both the men's and women's varsity hockey programs. [27]

Notable alumni

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Robert Morris Colonials

The Robert Morris Colonials are the athletic teams for Robert Morris University, in Moon Township, Pennsylvania, a suburb of Pittsburgh. The Colonials compete in NCAA Division I. In 2020, the school joined the Horizon League as a full member after leaving the Northeast Conference. Colonials football plays in the Big South Conference. The school colors are RMU Blue, RMU Red, and RMU Gray/Silver.

Robert Morris Colonials football Football team that represents Robert Morris University

The Robert Morris Colonials football program is the intercollegiate American football team for the Robert Morris University located in the U.S. state of Pennsylvania. The team competes in the NCAA Division I Football Championship Subdivision (FCS). Formerly members of the Northeast Conference, the Colonials were originally intended to compete in the 2020 season as an FCS independent before becoming a foothall-only member of the Big South Conference in July 2021. The Colonials would ultimately join Big South football several months ahead of schedule. After COVID-19 caused the Big South to move its fall 2020 season to spring 2021, with two teams playing in the fall and a third not playing at all in 2020–21, the conference brought RMU into its football league for its spring 2021 season.

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The Robert Morris Colonials men's ice hockey team was a National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division I college ice hockey program that represented Robert Morris University. The team played its home games at the Clearview Arena, located at the RMU Island Sports Center in Neville Township, Pennsylvania, United States. The Colonials were a member of the Atlantic Hockey Conference. Until the 2009–10 season, the Colonials were a member of College Hockey America.

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Robert Morris Colonials mens basketball Basketball team that represents Robert Morris University

The Robert Morris Colonials men's basketball team is the basketball team that represents Robert Morris University in Moon Township, Pennsylvania, United States. The school's team currently competes in the Horizon League. The Colonials current head coach is Andrew Toole who is in his eighth season at RMU. Toole was hired when, after three years in charge and 73 wins, head coach Mike Rice Jr. left the program in 2010 to take the head coaching job at Rutgers.

The 2010–11 season was not very successful for the Robert Morris Colonials women's ice hockey team, as they won 5 matches in the College Hockey America (CHA) league and lost 19. Nevertheless, new recruit Thea Imbrogno won multiple CHA awards.

Brittany Howard is a Canadian ice hockey player. She is from St. Thomas, Ontario. Howard played for the Robert Morris University Colonials women's ice hockey team, and was the first Colonial player to win the CHA Player of the Year Award. She was drafted in the third round of the 2017 NWHL draft by the Buffalo Beauts after being named the top prospect in the nation. She chose not to sign with the Beauts, and currently is playing in the PWHPA in Toronto.

2017–18 Robert Morris Colonials mens basketball team American college basketball season

The 2017–18 Robert Morris Colonials men's basketball team represented Robert Morris University during the 2017–18 NCAA Division I men's basketball season. The Colonials, led by eighth-year head coach Andrew Toole, played their home games at the PPG Paints Arena and four games at the Palumbo Center in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania as members of the Northeast Conference. They finished the season 16–17, 9–9 in NEC play to finish in a tie for sixth place. As the No. 7 seed in the NEC Tournament, they upset No. 2 seed Mount St. Mary's in the quarterfinals before losing in the semifinals to No. 1 seed Wagner.

UPMC Events Center is an indoor arena located in the Pittsburgh suburb of Moon, Pennsylvania as a part of Robert Morris University, replacing the old Charles L. Sewall Center. The UPMC Events Center is the new home of the Robert Morris Colonials men's and women's (NCAA) Division I basketball and women's volleyball teams. The UPMC Events Center was originally scheduled to open in January 2019. However, it later opened in May 2019 after the men's basketball team announced all of their 2018-19 games would be played at the North Athletic Complex on campus.

2018–19 Robert Morris Colonials womens ice hockey season

The Robert Morris Colonials women represented Robert Morris University in CHA women's ice hockey during the 2018-19 NCAA Division I women's ice hockey season. The Colonials won their third consecutive regular season title, but lost in the CHA Tournament Championship 6-2 to the Syracuse Orange.

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  13. "Miniature Golf" . Retrieved 2010-01-03.
  14. "RMU bringing 3D printing and Additive Manufacturing Lab to Energy Innovation Center". NextPittsburgh. Retrieved 11 February 2019.
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  18. "University Accreditations". RMU website. Retrieved 11 February 2019.
  19. "Past and present of Colonial Theatre come together for Rent: In Concert". RMU Sentry Media. Retrieved 11 February 2019.
  20. "Club Sports, Robert Morris University". RMU website. Retrieved 11 February 2019.
  21. Common Data Set 2018-19, Robert Morris University. 2018. pp. F. Student Life.
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  23. "Colonial Sports Network" . Retrieved 31 July 2021.
  24. "Robert Morris University Athletics" . Retrieved 11 February 2019.
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  26. "Robert Morris stuns Kentucky". USA Today. Retrieved 11 February 2019.
  27. "RMU Charts Strategic Course Headed into its Centennial Year". Robert Morris University. Retrieved 2 July 2021.
  28. "Charlie Batch, Robert Morris University". RMU website. Retrieved 11 February 2019.