The University of Bridgeport was founded in 1927 as the Junior College of Connecticut – the first junior college chartered by any legislature in the northeastern states. In the words of its founders, the college’s purpose was to develop in students “a point of view and a habit of mind that promotes clear thinking and sound judgment in later professional and business experience.” Although UB has changed in many ways since then, its commitment to student preparation and community service remains central to its mission.
The Junior College of Connecticut became the University of Bridgeport in 1947, when the governor of Connecticut chartered the institution as a four-year university with authority to grant the baccalaureate degree. By that time, the former estate of famed circus owner P.T. Barnum at Bridgeport’s picturesque Seaside Park had been purchased. Growth in students, faculty, programs and buildings was rapid. Strong growth continued throughout the 1960s and ’70s.
In January 1979, the University was licensed to offer the doctoral degree in Educational Leadership (Ed.D.). In 1991 the College of Chiropractic was established, thereby becoming the first affiliation of a chiropractic school with a university in the United States. Significant financial support from the Professors World Peace Academy (PWPA), a non-profit organization of academicians dedicated to world peace through education, enabled the University of Bridgeport to continue its programs in the aftermath of great challenges for both the University and the City of Bridgeport. In 1996 the University established the College of Naturopathic Medicine, which grants the Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine (N.D.). In fall 2006, the University began enrolling students in a Ph.D. program in Computer Science and Engineering.
The University maintains its primary commitments and holds fast to its values. Academic programs are offered through twelve schools, colleges, and institutes. Concern for student development and support predominate. A career-oriented focus in academic programs is complemented at the undergraduate level with a state-of-the-art core curriculum that helps students secure competencies for lifelong learning and knowledge about our world. The graduate, professional, and health sciences programs offer career-oriented master’s and doctoral degrees.
Co-operative education opportunities, accelerated learning (through the University’s IDEAL Program), commitment to teaching, and a strong tradition of “students first” are a few of the reasons over 5,300 students are enrolled at the University.
—Adopted by the Board of Trustees on April 23, 2004.