The College of Saint Rose was founded in 1920 by the Sisters of Saint Joseph of Carondelet as a Roman Catholic college for women. Its founders selected the name of Saint Rose to honor the first canonized saint in the Americas. An evening division was developed in 1946 to meet the needs of World War II veterans and, in 1949, a graduate school was added to provide master's degree programs. Men were admitted to both the original evening and graduate divisions, and in 1969 the College became fully co-educational. In 1970, the Board of Trustees was expanded to include laypersons in addition to the Sisters of Saint Joseph. Thus, The College of Saint Rose became an independent college.