Education & History

Education Resources

Rensselaer County is home to a number of distinguished institutions of higher education. 

Some major advantages to businesses are:

  • Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, one of the premier science and technology universities in the world
  • Russell Sage College, one of the nation's first colleges for women, and Hudson Valley Community College (HVCC)
  • A member of the State University of New York System
  • A nationally ranked community college

These institutions offer excellent opportunities for technical assistance, specialized training, and support.

Other Colleges & Universities

Numerous other colleges and universities throughout the Capital Region fortify the educational base of the area, including:

  • Albany College of Pharmacy
  • Albany Law School
  • Albany College of Pharmacy
  • Albany Medical College (associated with Albany Medical Center)
  • The College of St. Rose
  • Siena College
  • Union College
  • The University at Albany

These institutions offer myriad excellent opportunities for technical assistance, specialized training, and support. Not only is Rensselaer County home to terrific colleges and universities, but the public and private high school systems are second to none. The total educational package available in Rensselaer County makes it a wonderful place to raise a family.

Historical Information

Rensselaer County began playing a key role in American history back in 1630. It was then part of the Van Rensselaer patroon holdings, an important part of the great Dutch West Indies Company. In 1824 Stephen Van Rensselaer founded the oldest degree granting engineering school in the English-speaking world. At the same time, the county's proximity to waterpower and markets forged the growth of the region's iron industries, which quickly became legend for the production of such items as the iron plates for the Civil War battleship 'Monitor' and most of the horseshoes for the Union Army. And, in 1876, the 13,000-pound replacement for the cracked Liberty Bell was cast here.

Notable People from Rensselaer County

Congress long ago designated Troy as the home of "Uncle Sam" - Samuel B. Wilson, a meat packer who stamped his barrels bound for U.S. Army troops with "U.S." Local troops soon recognized their meat deliveries as coming from "Uncle Sam." The label stuck and the rest is history! Sam Wilson is buried in Troy's beautiful Oakwood Cemetery, along with a host of Civil War generals, industry powerhouses, inventors, and community leaders. 

The nation's first female labor union, the Collar Laundry Union, was founded in Troy in 1864 by Kate Mullaney and Ester Keegan. Another classic American icon, this one of a musical sort, was created at the old van Rensselaer manor house, Fort Crailo, where 'Yankee Doodle' is rumored to have been written.