Founded in 1835, SUNY Brockport’s mission is to be an inclusive learning community that inspires excellence through growth, engagement, and transformation.
The completion of the Erie Canal in 1835 helped to create a thriving center for agriculture and commerce in what would become the Village of Brockport. With a donation of cash and land from Heil Brockway, the largest landowner in the area, the village leaders partnered with the New York Baptists to build the first institution of education west of Colgate University. Brockport Collegiate Institute welcomed its first students in its founding year, 1835. In 1866, the institution was renamed Brockport State Normal School. The last Normal School class graduated in 1942 and the school officially became a college. State University of New York (SUNY) Brockport remained a small institution and in 1944 the entire campus consisted of what is now called Hartwell Hall. There were a few hundred students, and the faculty and staff numbered under 50 people. Brockport State Teachers College would then become part of the SUNY system, which was established in 1948. By 1964, there were several thousand students and several hundred faculty and staff members. The campus had expanded, adding residence halls and a college union. It evolved into a liberal arts college with a number of master’s degree programs, with the first graduate degree awarded in January of 1950.
Dr. Heidi Macpherson became the first female president of SUNY Brockport in 2015. She has spearheaded the effort in developing "Building a Better Brockport: The College's Strategic Plan, 2017-2022."