The history of Wagner begins over one hundred years ago in 1883 upon the founding of the Lutheran Proseminary in Rochester, NY. With six students and Reverend Alexander Richter as its first director, the school began its mission of training future Lutheran ministers. Wagner received the name it bears today shortly after its founding. With $12,000 for a new campus, John G. Wagner and his wife provided this new name as a memorial to their son, George Wagner, a Lutheran ministerial student who had died before realizing his own ambition to become a minister.
As the school grew in reputation and size, the New York Ministerium, in control of Wagner since 1888, recognized the need to find a new home for the institution and placed Reverend Dr. Frederic Sutter, one of Wagner's first graduates, in charge of the relocation. Reverend Sutter, to become a long time supporter of Wagner College throughout his life, was then in the process of establishing his own ministry on Staten Island. Through his efforts, Wagner College relocated to Grymes Hill on Staten Island in 1918. Reverend Sutter could not have chosen a more beautiful site...
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