Siena College is an independent Catholic Liberal Arts College situated on US 9 in the suburban community of Loudonville, New York, Town of Colonie, County of Albany, two miles (3.2 km) north of the state's capital (Albany). Founded in 1937 by seven Franciscan friars, the college enrolls nearly 3,000 students. The campus is known throughout the community for its gold-domed building, Siena Hall, which has become both its symbol and signature.
In 1942, St. Bernadine of Siena College received its permanent charter. Also in 1942, Siena changed its program to meet defense needs for World War II, creating a program to train Navy personnel, as well as regular students.
After the war, 75% of the student body were ex-servicemen. The college had to rely on the existing structures and rented facilities to handle the large enrollment which hit a peak of 2,752 in 1948. At this time, the school was primarily a commuter school. Two of the buildings created, called "A" and "B", were later destroyed to make way for the current Roger Bacon Science Center.
In July 1950, the Friary was completed, and that same year, Siena was granted a US Army ROTC detachment. In 1955, the Dawson Memorial Library was erected, containing stack rooms for 150,000 volumes and reading room accommodations for over 400 students. In 1959, Siena built its first residence hall, Plassman Hall, followed closely by another - Ryan Hall (which are both currently still in use). To provide for resident students, Serra Hall (nicknamed "Saga") was also created, which also is still the school's dining facility. In 1967, the Roger Bacon Science Center opened its doors, on top of where building's "A" and "B" once stood. One year later, Hennepin Hall was added, a 300-person dormitory. Also in 1968, the "quad" was beautified and Siena Hall refurbished. It was in 1968 that women were allowed full-time student status.
In the early 1970s the curriculum was extensively revised and a student voice in policymaking was assured by seating a student on each standing committee.
The Alumni Recreation Center, a 55,000 square foot recreational and athletic facility was opened in December 1974. Gibbons Hall, the former gymnasium, was converted into use as Foy campus center (now re-converted into a theater and creative arts center).
In 1981, a new friary was opened to accommodate the Franciscans. The former friary was converted into a residence hall for 200 students - Hines Hall. In 1986, townhouses were erected for 300 upper class residence living. Later that year, floors were added to Hennepin and Plassman Halls, increasing their capacity to 470 and 380 students respectively. To provide for the need of additional classrooms and office space for faculty, Kiernan Hall was constructed between Siena and Hines Halls, and opened at the start of the 1987-88 school year.
The Marcelle Athletic Complex was completed in February 1992 and houses an indoor pool, aerobics/dance/martial arts studio, exercise equipment, racquetball and squash courts, an elevated running track, and full sized basketball, volleyball, and tennis courts. Started in 1993, and completed in 1995, a 300-bed townhouse complex was opened for more upper class students.
The Standish Library was built on the academic quad and opened for use in the fall of 1999. The old Dawson library was constructed into a new student center: the Sarazen Student Union (named after the inventor of the Sand Wedge and honorary alumnus Gene Sarazen), which opened in April 2001.
The increasing number of resident students led to the construction of another residence hall. In 2001, Padua Hall was dedicated. Named after a Franciscan friar, the four story building houses three students per room. Each room is equipped with its own restroom facilities, including a shower, sink and toilet.
In 2004, the college renovated its main building, Siena Hall. The main academic structure was redone to include state of the art technology and classrooms. It is also home to the Hickey Financial Center, which receives a live feed from the U.S. Stock Market. In 2006, the student dining hall, Serra Hall (right) was completely renovated. The project cost over $5 million.
Most recently, the school began work on constructing a state of the art artificial turf field, which was completed in the Spring of 2007. Also in 2007, the Siena College School of Business received AACSB accreditation, a high honor that continues to prove the strength of the college as a top business school.
The Siena Research Institute , founded in 1980, conducts opinion polls that are quoted by the national media including the New York Times and USAToday, and well-known authors such as Betty Boyd Caroli (First Ladies). In 1982, SRI conducted the world's first Ranking of First Ladies. More recently, SRI has conducted studies on a First Woman President and hosted the First Woman President Symposium in March 2005. SRI regularly conducts polls concerning New York's consumer index and polls prior to elections.
Other forms of research are conducted by faculty members of the School of Science.
Siena students participate in the college's regionally popular radio station WVCR-FM.Other activities include: Students In Free Enterprise (SIFE) The Student Events Board (SEB), political activism (Campus Action Club, Democratic Club, and College Republicans), Student Senate, student newspaper (The Promethean), student film society, Gay/Straight Alliance, Habitat for Humanity, Political Science Society, symphony orchestra, choral groups, concert band, dance, drama/theater, art, "The Pendragon" literary magazine, Outing Club, music ensembles, Chemistry and Biology Clubs, Stage III Musical Theater, The Scottish Council of the Students and many other clubs and organizations.
Siena sponsors 18 sports teams that compete at the NCAA Division I level. Seventeen Saints' sports teams compete in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC), with field hockey playing in the Northeast Conference. Siena's Baseball team defeated nationally ranked (#5) Tennessee in 2006. Siena's football team was discontinued after the 2003 season due to multiple losing seasons.]]
Siena offers the lowest pay schedule of ANY coaching program in Division I. In some cases, the competition's assistant coaches receive higher compensation than Siena's HEAD coaches! This was recently pointed out in the Times Union.
In 1989, the Siena men's basketball had a first round NCAA Tournament victory (80-78) over third seed Stanford. On November 17, 2007, Siena again defeated Stanford, this time with a 79-67 victory over the then-20th-ranked Cardinal. The Siena men's basketball team also gained prominence in 2002 with an ESPN-televised opening round NCAA Tournament victory over Alcorn State. The Saints later fell to national champion Maryland before 20,000 fans at the MCI Center in Washington, D.C..
In 2008, the Saints won the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) championship again, and the automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament. Seeded 13th this time, they pulled another upset, this time over Vanderbilt from the SEC, 83-62.
2008 was the team's fourth trip to the "Big Dance". Siena has appeared in five NITs (1988, 1991, 1994, 2000, 2003) and four NCAA tournaments (1989, 1999, 2002, 2008) They reached the 1994 NIT final four, losing to Villanova University in the semifinals before beating Kansas St. in the consolation game.
Siena plays all of their home games at the 17,500 seat Times Union Center in downtown Albany.
Siena is coached by Fran McCaffery, who just completed his third season in Loudonville. Siena is 58-36 under McCaffery in three seasons.
In McCaffery's inaugural season Siena finished the 2005-2006 season at 15-13 in fourth place after being picked to finish unanimously last in the MAAC. Senior captain Antoine "Scoop" Jordan was voted first team all-MAAC.
In 2006-2007 Siena finished 20-12 (tied for third place) reaching the MAAC title game after defeating top seeded Marist 86-78 before losing 83-79 to Niagara. The season was highlighted by the admirable play of underclassmen Kenny Hasbrouck, Edwin Ubiles, Ronald Moore, and Alex Franklin. Hasbrouck won the conference's Rookie of the Year in 2005-2006, while Ubiles shared it in 2006-2007. Senior captain Michael Haddix was voted first team all-MAAC. Hasbrouck also made the second team as a sophomore.
In 2007-2008 Siena won their third MAAC Championship, defeating Rider 74-53 in the championship game. The Saints finished the season with a 23-11 record, and went on to defeat fourth-seeded Vanderbilt in the first round of the NCAA tournament before losing to Villanova 84-72 in the second round. Edwin Ubiles and Kenny Hasbrouck were first team all-MAAC selections, while Alex Franklin made the second team.
Mychal Judge was once an assistant to the president of the college.