The Bolyai University was the Hungarian half of the current Babeş-Bolyai University in Cluj/Kolozsvár, Transylvania. It was an independent Hungarian University until its merger with the Babeş University in 1959. This merged institution is one of the most important centers of higher education in present-day Romania. However, it has a past that can be traced back to the 16th century within the context of the independent Translvania of John Sigismund and Stephen Báthory. It later evolved into a Habsburg institution, then a Hungarian and a Romanian University. Finally, during World War II it operated as two separate institutions with Hungarian and Romanian faculties respectively. The two were merged by the Gheorghiu-Dej communist government in 1959. Ever since, Hungarian minority intellectuals have called for the restoration of the independent Boylai University. The current paper focuses on the independent Bolyai University between 1944 and 1959. It reflects on its role as the premier institution for the recruitment and training of the Hungarian minority’s cultural and educational elite. The paper links the fate of this institution to the communist transformation of Romania and its consequences for the Hungarians of Transylvania.