Marymount College, Tarrytown

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Coordinates: 41°04′36″N 73°51′02″W / 41.076728°N 73.850449°W / 41.076728; -73.850449

Marymount College of Fordham University
Marymount College Seal
MottoTua Luce Dirige: "Guide Us By Your Light" (college); Sapientia et Doctrina "Wisdom and Learning" (university)
TypePrivate, Independent
Active1907; Fordham University acquisition: 2002–June 2007
PresidentJoseph M. McShane (last)
Location, ,
CampusSuburb, 25 acres (100,000 m2)
ColorsBlue and White; Maroon and White
MascotMarymount Saints (college), Ram (university)

Marymount College, Tarrytown (also known as Marymount College of Fordham University) was a women's college in the United States which eventually became part of Fordham University. The Marymount campus was located in Tarrytown, New York. Enrollment peaked at 1,112 in 1978,[1] but by 2004 it enrolled 844 students. The last class graduated in 2007, and the campus was sold in 2008.

The college was founded as an independent girls' boarding school in 1907 by the Religious of the Sacred Heart of Mary (RSHM). Mother Marie Joseph Butler founded the institution to "create a place of learning where women could grow and where they could receive an education that would prepare them for positions of leadership and influence in the world."[2] Mother Marie Joseph Butler subsequently founded the Marymount School of New York in 1926; The Marymount School of New York is a college preparatory, independent, Catholic day school for girls located on the Upper East Side of Manhattan. Early courses at Marymount ranged from courses in domestic science to political science and law. In 1924, Marymount became one of the first women's colleges in the United States to offer a study abroad program. Students studied at major universities in London, Madrid, Paris, and Rome, living at Marymount schools (London, Paris and Rome).

Marymount College at Tarrytown was the first of several colleges founded by the RSHM (Marymount colleges). Several of these still exist, including Marymount Manhattan, Marymount University, and Loyola Marymount. Marymount College is mentioned in "Valhalla Rising" by Clive Cussler.

Original Motto: Tua Luce Dirige (Direct Us By Thy Light)

Original Mascot: The Saints

Original Colors: Blue and White


Johanna Butler was born on July 22, 1860, in County Kilkenny, Ireland, the daughter of prosperous farmers John and Ellen Forrestal Butler. After attending an Irish national school, she continued her education with the Sisters of Mercy in the town of New Ross. At the age of sixteen, she joined the French congregation of the Religious of the Sacred Heart of Mary at Béziers, taking the name "Marie Joseph". After her novitiate, Butler was sent to teach at a convent school in Oporto, Portugal. In 1881 she was transferred to a convent school in Braga, Portugal, where she became superior in 1893.[3] In 1903, Butler was appointed superior of the congregation's convent and school on Long Island. In 1907, her cousin James Butler donated land near Tarrytown, New York for the founding of the college.[4]

Acquisition and closure by Fordham University[edit]

Marymount College of Fordham University coat-of-arms

In July 2002, Marymount officially consolidated with Fordham University, renaming the college as the Marymount College of Fordham University and becoming the institution's fifth undergraduate school. In 2005, Fordham announced its plans to close the women's college effective June 2007, but to keep the campus, which it renamed the Marymount campus, active as a center for graduate studies. Most of the 798 Marymount students were to finish their education at the 25-acre (100,000 m2) Tarrytown campus, which was to be known as the Marymount Campus of Fordham University, pending the University's decision of whether to keep or sell the property. The Westchester division of the multi-campus Fordham College of Liberal Studies, already housed at the campus, would continue and expand its liberal arts program. Fordham announced that over time, the professional school programs in business administration, social service and education would move their Westchester operations to the Marymount Campus.

In the press release announcing the phase out, the Board of Trustees of Fordham emphasized that Marymount juniors and seniors who graduated by spring 2007 would complete their degrees at Marymount College (and receive a Fordham degree and diploma), while freshmen and sophomores would complete their degrees in programs offered at one of the other four undergraduate colleges of Fordham University, if they indeed decided to remain at Fordham. The Marymount Sisters, are to remain in the residences they occupied at the closing of the school, although their teaching positions no longer existed.[5] The final class of 203 women graduated in May 2007.[6]

In August 2007, Fordham announced it would sell the Marymount campus, to the disappointment of many alumnae, as the university had purchased the college with the promise that it would try to continue to operate it as a women's institution.[7] The University claimed unjustifiable and disproportionate costs to maintain the large campus as reason for closure. Skeptics saw the acquisition of the college as a real estate venture. On February 17, 2008, Fordham announced the sale of the campus for $27 million to EF Education, a chain of private language-instruction schools.[8]

Notable alumnae[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^
  2. ^ Fordham.Edu[permanent dead link]
  3. ^ "Mother Marie Joseph Butler", Marymount University
  4. ^ Andrews, Helen. "Butler, Marie Joseph (Johanna)", Dictionaryr of Irish Biography
  5. ^ Brenner, Elsa (February 17, 2008) "Marymount Being Sold; Village to Gain Taxes" The New York Times;;
  6. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2007-06-09. Retrieved 2007-06-14.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  7. ^
  8. ^ Mytelka, Andrew (February 17, 2008) "Fordham U. Sells Marymount College Campus for $27-Million" Chronicle of Higher Education

External links[edit]