"Discover a personalized journey of challenge, commitment and self-fulfillment."
We take your success personally.
Dowling College combines academic excellence with a quality college-life experience as an independent, coeducational college that serves more than 5,000 students at three convenient Suffolk County Long Island campuses: the historic Rudolph-Oakdale Campus on the banks of the Connetquot River, the Brookhaven Campus and aviation facility adjacent to the Brookhaven airport, and the Melville Center in the heart of Long Island's business district. Dowling's community of leading educators and staff personally contribute to the success of every student offering bachelor's and master's degrees in several disciplines through four schools: Arts and Sciences, Aviation, Business, and Education; and a doctoral degree in Educational Administration.
Dowling College originated in 1955 when Adelphi College offered extension classes in Port Jefferson, Riverhead, and Sayville. In 1959, at the urging of community leaders, Adelphi Suffolk College became the first four year, degree granting liberal arts institution in Suffolk County, housed in an old public school building in Sayville. In January 1963, Adelphi Suffolk College purchased the former W.K. Vanderbilt estate in Oakdale and began developing as an important educational force on Long Island.
In 1968, the College severed its ties with Adelphi and was renamed after its chief benefactor, Robert Dowling, a noted city planner, philanthropist, and aviator. In response to increased enrollment, the Racanelli Learning Resource Center was constructed in 1974 to house the library, cafeteria and additional classrooms. One month after the LRC opened, a devastating fire started in the mansion. The ornate ceremonial rooms of the College (the Hunt Room, the Foyer and Ballroom) were substantially damaged. A College committee, led by Dowling Trustee Alan Fortunoff, guided the restoration of the ornate woodwork, precious marble, and the elaborately carved stonework. While many of the fine details were lost, the grandeur and fine proportions remain. The building was named in honor of Max and Clara Fortunoff.
The Restoration Committee for W.K. Vanderbilt's "Idle Hour" continues to raise funds to preserve and restore historic and artistic elements of the Gilded Age such as renown sculptor Karl Bitter's "Diana" in the Hunt Room.
In 2000 the campus in Oakdale was renamed in honor of Trustee Scott Rudolph.