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Originally, it opened as Genesee Wesleyan Seminary in 1831, then located in Lima, New York. In 1850, the seminary shifted its focus from religion to academics, becoming a college, then called Genesee College. In the later 1850's, the college began looking for a new city to relocate to, which coincided with the time that the town of Syracuse had begun looking for a university to host, having recently failed to convince Cornell University to do just that. After 30 years of land disputes, the university was successfully moved to Syracuse in 1870.