Mount St. Mary's University

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Mount St. Mary's University
Mount St. Mary's University Seal.svg
Latin: Universitas Sanctae Mariae Ad Montes
Motto Spes Nostra (Latin)
Motto in English
Our Hope
Established 1808
Type Private
Affiliation Roman Catholic
Endowment US$47,605,000 (2014)[1]
President Simon Newman
Academic staff
98 full-time, 58 part-time
Students 2,240 (2014)[2]
Undergraduates 1,741 (2014)[3]
Postgraduates 499 (2014)[3]
Location Emmitsburg, Maryland, United States
Athletics NCAA Division INEC, ECAC
Nickname Mountaineers
Mascot Emmit S. Burg
Affiliations ACCU
Mount St Mary's University Logo.svg

Mount St. Mary's University, also known as The Mount, is a private, liberal arts, Catholic university in the Catoctin Mountains near historic Emmitsburg, Maryland. Founded in 1808 by Father John DuBois, Mount St. Mary's has a strong Catholic identity. It is located within the Archdiocese of Baltimore and is endorsed by The Newman Guide to Choosing a Catholic College. Mount St. Mary's offers 30 undergraduate majors and 38 minors in the humanities and liberal arts, fine arts, business, education, human services, criminal justice, science, computer science, and mathematics, as well as pre-law and pre-med programs. The university also offers seven master's degree programs and five postgraduate certificate programs. Mr. Simon Newman is the president of Mount St. Mary's University.

The campus includes the second largest Catholic seminary in the United States. The seminary's rector and president is the former vicar general of the Catholic Diocese of Peoria, Illinois, Monsignor Steven P. Rohlfs. The chancellor of the seminary is the former Archbishop William Henry Keeler.


The entrance sign to Mount St. Mary's University.

In 1805, French émigré Father John DuBois (Père Jean Dubois) laid the cornerstone for Saint-Mary's-on-the-Hill church and bought land with the intention of constructing a school. A log cabin first occupied the property and the church was built in 1807.[4][5] In 1809, Pigeon Hall, a seminary of the French Society of St. Sulpice was transferred to Emmitsburg and marked the beginning of higher education at Mount St. Mary's. DuBois Hall was started in a swampy thicket on the mountain and was completed in 1826.[6] Elizabeth Ann Seton, founder of the Sisters of Charity and the first native born American citizen to be canonized as a saint, came to Mount St. Mary's in 1809 and attended Mass there until her death in 1821.

The first charter for a university was obtained in 1830. Until the early 1900s Mount Saint Mary's also acted as a boarding school. Some remnants of the boarding school, such as Bradley Hall (one of the oldest buildings on campus), still exist.

Merger with St. Joseph's College[edit]

In June 1809, Elizabeth Ann Seton established the first parochial school for girls in Emmitsburg. That school grew to become Saint Joseph's College for women. In 1973, with declining enrollment numbers and rising operating costs, St. Joseph's College closed its doors and merged with Mount Saint Mary’s.[7] Mount St. Mary's has been co-educational since then.

World War II[edit]

During World War II, Mount Saint Mary's College was one of 131 colleges and universities nationally that took part in the V-12 Navy College Training Program which offered students a path to a Navy commission.[8]


Bradley Hall is the main Administration building

Mount St. Mary's University is located on a 1,400 acre campus in the Catoctin Mountains, the eastern ridge of the scenic Blue Ridge Mountains. There are five new or completely renovated residence halls as well as three apartment buildings. Academic classes are held in the Knott Academic Center, the COAD Science Building, and the Borders Learning Center. Bradley Hall is the campus administration building. The fine arts department is located in the newly renovated Flynn Hall, now known as the Delaplaine Fine Arts Center. The ARCC, called "The Ark", is a state of the art sports and fitness complex available to students. It contains the Knott Arena, which can seat up to 5,000 people and is used for athletic events, special events and concerts on campus. The student center and cafeteria are located in the recently renovated McGowan center.

Entrance to the Delaplaine Fine Arts Center.

National Shrine Grotto of Our Lady of Lourdes[edit]

The campus includes The National Shrine Grotto of Lourdes, which draws thousands of religious pilgrims and tourists annually. The Grotto was first established in 1805 by the university's founder, Father John DuBois. In 1875 the Grotto was in need of repair and was refurbished by Father Watterson to be a stone replica of the miraculous Our Lady of Lourdes in France.

Simon Bruté, who later became the first bishop of Vincennes, Indiana, was an early steward of the Grotto, from 1812.

The Grotto was proclaimed a Public Oratory on December 8, 1965, by Cardinal Lawrence Shehan, archbishop of Baltimore. Hugh J. Phillips, a former student and then president of the university, was appointed its chaplain. The library at Mount Saint Mary's is named for him.

Students and faculty[edit]

The university enrolls 1,612 undergraduate students and 513 graduate students with a total of 2,125 students. The student population consists of about 55% females and 45% males. Of the 1,612 undergraduate students, 55% come from Maryland and 33% come from other Mid-Atlantic States, while 35 total states are represented, as well as 16 foreign countries.[9] Of the freshmen who attend the Mount, 90% stated that Mount St. Mary's was either their first or second choice.[citation needed]

Student publications[edit]

The first issues of the Mountain Echo appear to have been published in 1879 and 1880, from Inglewood, near Mt. St. Mary′s College, Emmitsburg, MD. According to a 1993 article in The Mountain Briefing by William Lawbaugh, these numbers were printed on a hand-operated press by Professor Ernest Lagarde from his home, which he named Inglewood. The Mountaineer, which functioned both as a college newspaper and alumni journal, was published sporadically during the latter part of the 1800s, and began regular publication in 1893.

On October 28, 1923, the Mountain Echo was revived and Volume I, Number 1 was published, reporting on news and issues of concern to the College community. Another publication, The Mountaineer, was devoted to alumni news and literary pursuits. The biannual Mount Magazine later replaced the Mountaineer.

Early issues of the newspaper were four pages long, and reported on significant campus events, sports, and education. The issues also contained death notices, news from classes and alumni, campus changes, and personal and other advertisements. The 1878/1880 issues included poetry, literary works, and articles on the history of the College.

During the academic year 1974-75, the paper was restructured under the name of The Mountain Review, but resumed its long-standing name the following year. By the 1995/1996 academic year The Mountain Echo was printing a 24-page issue on a biweekly schedule. That year the Echo also had expanded into other formats with Echo Online, which was the first incarnation of The Mountain Echo website, as well as Echo Weekly News with Vince Chesney, which was a radio show hosted by the newspaper's editor-in-chief on the college radio station, WMTB.

The Internet company that maintained Echo Online folded within a few years; the Mountain Echo Web site was continued in 2002 with a new Internet provider, and continued weekly publishing in print and online.

Lighted Corners, the Mount's award-winning literary and arts magazine, published its first issue in 1981. Lighted Corners is an annual, student-run literary magazine dedicated to art, fiction, creative nonfiction, poetry, and photography. Each academic year near the end of the fall semester, submissions are collected through email, which are voted on anonymously by staff. The editorial board makes final selections, and then commits much of the spring semester to editing and putting the magazine together. Lighted Corners has won many awards from the Columbia Scholastic Press Association (CSPA), the American Scholastic Press Association, and the Society for Collegiate Journalists. Most recently, Lighted Corners received a Gold Medal from the Columbia Scholastic Press Association.


Mount St. Mary's Mountaineers logo

Mount St. Mary's teams participate as a member of the National Collegiate Athletic Association's Division I. The Mountaineers are a member of the Northeast Conference (NEC). Men's sports include baseball, basketball, cross country, golf, lacrosse, tennis and track & field; while women's sports include basketball, cross country, golf, lacrosse, soccer, softball, swimming & diving, tennis and track & field.

On March 18, 2008, the Mountaineers defeated Coppin State University in the play-in game of the NCAA Tournament. This win was Mount Saint Mary's first as a Division I school in the NCAA Tournament.

Babe Ruth was discovered at Mount St. Mary's by Joe Engel, a student and baseball player at the school, when the St. Mary's Industrial School for Boys of Baltimore (which Ruth attended) team came to Emmitsburg to play. Engel informed minor-league Baltimore Orioles manager Jack Dunn of Ruth and his prodigious pitching ability.[10]


In 2008 the University adopted a master plan for the future,[11] much of which has already been completed:

  • The creation of Founders Plaza to memorialize Fr. DuBois in the front of Terrace (Completed)
  • The construction of a Residence Hall for 180 students on North Campus - Bicentennial Hall (completed)
  • Renovations and additions to the Terrace - Renovations (Completed, Fall 2010)
  • The Delaplaine Fine Arts Center/Theatre and renovations to Flynn Hall (Dedicated, Fall 2010)
  • Better distinction between pedestrian walkways and drive-ways
  • Constant landscaping improvements
  • Addition of a Visitors Center to the Grotto (Completed Spring 2013)
  • Addition of a new area of Residence Halls - a new form of living. The Cottages (Beginning Summer 2013)

Notable people[edit]


  • Jim Phelan, basketball head coach until 2003. Phelan had 830 career wins and, as of 2010, stood fifth in wins among NCAA Division I college men's basketball coaches.[citation needed] Phelan coached more NCAA games than any other coach in their history.[citation needed] NCAA College Hall of Fame, 2008.[citation needed]



Connection to the University of Notre Dame and Saint Mary's College in South Bend, Indiana[edit]

Main article: Simon Bruté

In 1834 Simon Bruté was appointed the founding bishop of the Diocese of Vincennes, modern day Indiana and Eastern Illinois. His experience of developing Mount Saint Mary's would have been highly prized as Notre Dame was being formed. Like the Mount, in its early years Notre Dame was a university in name only. It encompassed religious novitiates, preparatory and grade schools and a manual labor school, but its classical collegiate curriculum never attracted more than a dozen students a year in the early decades. This is a model that Bruté could have impressed on the Holy Cross Brothers who founded the university. Again, there is a French connection in the Congregation of the Holy Cross and Bruté who both held deep devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary. While Bruté was a modest man, leaving no published works behind, his influence can be seen in the University of Notre Dame and its sister school Saint Mary's College.

There is the obvious parallel between the three school's names (Notre Dame is 'Our Lady,' a term of endearment for Saint Mary). Second, and less obvious is a parallel between the three school's mottos. Mount Saint Mary's in Emmitsburg has the motto 'Spes Nostra' (Latin: Our Hope) similar to Saint Mary's College in Indiana's motto 'Spes Unica' (Latin: the Only/Unique Hope) and Notre Dame's motto 'Vita Dulcedo Spes' (Latin: Life, Sweetness, Hope). Mount Saint Mary's in Emmitsburg, Notre Dame and Saint Mary's in Indiana are all unique in their use of focusing on their patron's attribute of a Catholic's hope.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ As of June 30, 2014. "U.S. and Canadian Institutions Listed by Fiscal Year 2014 Endowment Market Value and Percentage Change in Endowment Market Value from FY 2013 to FY 2014" (PDF). 2014 NACUBO-Commonfund Study of Endowments. National Association of College and University Business Officers. 
  2. ^
  3. ^ a b
  4. ^ "Our History - Mount St. Mary’s University". Retrieved 2014-08-23. 
  5. ^ The university's Latin name Universitas Sanctae Mariae Ad Montes Fundata Ab Joanne DuBois literally means "Mount St. Mary's University founded by John DuBois".
  6. ^ Laura Rich. Maryland History in Prints 1743-1900. 
  7. ^ Mount Saint Mary's University
  8. ^ Kelly, Jacques (2007-11-24). "Aloysius Carroll Galvin". Baltimore Sun. Retrieved 2007-12-03. 
  9. ^ "Quick Facts About the Mount - Mount St. Mary's University, MD". Retrieved 2014-08-23. 
  10. ^ Tom Meany, 1948, "Babe Ruth: Big Moments of the Big Fellow"
  11. ^
  12. ^ "John Baer". Philadelphia Daily News. Philly Online, LLC. Archived from the original on 2009-08-17. 
  13. ^ "NBA/ABA Players who attended Mount St. Mary's University". Retrieved 2008-04-05. 
  14. ^ "madero". Retrieved 2014-08-23. 
  15. ^ "After 50 Years, Mount St. Mary's Head Track and Field Coach Jim Deegan Announces Retirement". Northeast Conference. Retrieved 2014-08-23. 
  16. ^ Nouwen, Henri "Love in a Fearful Land" Orbis Books: Maryknoll, NY; 1985
  17. ^ Kathy Orton (July 17, 2011). "Whatever Happened to ... the soccer pro who left to become a priest?". Washington Post. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 39°40′55″N 77°21′11″W / 39.682°N 77.353°W / 39.682; -77.353