Marymount University

Coordinates: 38°54′18″N 77°07′44″W / 38.905°N 77.129°W / 38.905; -77.129
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Marymount University
Top: The university seal
Bottom: Aerial view of the university
Former names
Marymount College (1950–1986)
MottoTua Luce Dirige
Motto in English
"Direct Us by Thy Light"
TypePrivate university
EstablishedApril 26, 1950; 73 years ago (1950-04-26)
Religious affiliation
Roman Catholic (Religious of the Sacred Heart of Mary)
Academic affiliations
Endowment$43 million
PresidentIrma Becerra
Academic staff
162 full-time/201 part-time
CampusSuburban, 21 acres (8.5 ha)
ColorsRoyal Blue and White  
Sporting affiliations
MascotBernie The Dog

Marymount University is a private Catholic university with its main campus in Arlington, Virginia. It was founded as Marymount College in 1950. Marymount offers bachelor's, master's and doctoral degrees. It has approximately 4,257 students enrolled,[2] representing 50 states and 70 countries.


Marymount was founded in 1950 by the Religious of the Sacred Heart of Mary (RSHM) as Marymount College, a two-year women's school. It was a member school of the Marymount colleges operated by the sisterhood in New York, California and several other states. The campus was located on the former estate of Admiral Presley Marion Rixey, Naval Surgeon General and personal physician to Presidents Theodore Roosevelt and William McKinley. Classes and activities were centered around the former Rixey Mansion, renamed as the university's "Main House."

Marymount became a four-year college in 1973. It added master's degree programs in 1979, and its first doctoral program, the clinical Doctor of Physical Therapy, in 2005. Its first male students were admitted into the nursing program in 1972, and the college became fully coeducational and changed its name to Marymount University in 1986.[3]

In October 2010, Marymount celebrated its 60th anniversary with the grand opening and ribbon-cutting ceremony for Caruthers Hall, a 52,000-square-foot (4,800 m2) academic facility focused on the sciences and health sciences, and Rose Benté Lee Ostapenko Hall, a 77,000-square-foot (7,200 m2) residence hall providing apartment-style housing for 239 students. The Malek Plaza is a gathering area between the two buildings and features a statue of Sister Majella Berg, RSHM, who was president of Marymount from 1960 to 1993. A sky bridge connects the new buildings to the rest of the campus.[4]

In August 2017, Marymount opened the Ballston Center. The LEED Gold Certified multi-use complex comprises a nine-story academic office tower and Placemaker Marymount Ballston, a 12-story student housing/extended stay hotel, each boasting multi-level underground parking. Ballston Center is anchored by a public plaza and the Reinsch Pierce Family Courtyard.

During the tenure of current president Irma Becerra, Marymount received designation as the first Hispanic-Serving Institution (HSI) in Virginia. The university has also restructured its academic programs into three highly-focused colleges to create broader educational and research opportunities, launched several fully-online doctorate programs and opened both the Saints Service Network and the ABIDE (Access, Belonging, Inclusion, Diversity, Equity) Hub.[5] As of June 30, 2017, endowments total $43 million.[6]

Academics and accreditation[edit]

Marymount University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award doctoral, master's and bachelor's degrees. It is classified by Carnegie among "Doctoral/Professional Universities."[7]

The school grants bachelor's, master's and doctoral degrees, undergraduate and graduate certification and pre-professional programs in teaching, law, medicine and physical therapy through the College of Health and Education, College of Business, Innovation, Leadership and Technology and College of Science and Humanities.

Marymount is a member of the Consortium of Universities of the Washington Metropolitan Area, which allows students to take courses at any of the other 17 member institutions and to borrow books from their libraries.


Main Campus[edit]

Marymount's Main Campus is located on 21 acres (85,000 m2) in the North Arlington area of Arlington, Virginia. The campus includes six residence halls: Rose Benté Lee Ostapenko Hall, Rowley Hall, Butler Hall, St. Joseph's Hall, Berg Hall and Gerard Phelan Hall; three academic buildings: Rowley Academic Center, Caruthers Hall and Gailhac Hall; St. Joseph's Hall computer labs; the Rose Benté Lee Center, which includes two gyms, Bernie's Cafe, mail facilities and recreational and meeting spaces; the Gerard Phelan Cafeteria; the Emerson G. Reinsch Library and Auditorium; The Lodge; Ireton Hall; the Administration Building; the Chapel of the Sacred Heart of Mary; and a synthetic-turf practice field.[8] In 2023, the first Amazon Just Walk Out store on any university campus in the U.S. was established in the Gerard Hall lobby,[9] and Ireton Hall is being renovated to create a new Campus Hub.[10]

Ballston Center[edit]

The primary, modern facility of Marymount University's College of Business, Innovation, Leadership and Technology is located in the Ballston neighborhood of Arlington, Virginia south of Main Campus.[11] Across the courtyard, Placemakr Marymount Ballston offers space for student residential apartment housing as well as extended stay hotel rooms.[12]

Ballston–MU station is within walking distance from the Ballston Center. Additionally, free shuttle services operate between the Ballston-MU Metro Station, Main Campus, 4040 Center, and Ballston Center.

4040 Center[edit]

Marymount University

Marymount's 4040 Center houses its physical therapy doctoral program and MedStar Clinic. The clinic, a partnership between Marymount and MedStar NRH Rehabilitation Network, provides physical therapy services to the community while allowing for an enriching environment in which Marymount physical therapy students gain valuable clinical education experience.

The 4040 Center location is just minutes from Main Campus and within walking distance of the Ballston-MU Metro Station. Students travel to and from locations on free Marymount shuttles.

Athletics and recreation[edit]

Marymount's athletic teams, known as the Saints, compete in NCAA Division III in the Atlantic East Conference and sponsor 22 sports. Men's sports include baseball, basketball, cross country, golf, lacrosse, soccer, swimming, tennis, track & field, volleyball and wrestling. Women's sports include basketball, cross country, golf, lacrosse, soccer, softball, swimming, tennis, track & field, volleyball and wrestling.[13]

After nearly 29 years as a founding member of the Capital Athletic Conference, Marymount joined with six other institutions in the region to form a new league, the Atlantic East Conference, which received NCAA approval to begin competition on September 1, 2018.[14]

In 2020, a record 50 percent of Marymount student-athletes were named to the Atlantic East Conference All-Academic Team.[15] Additionally, six student-athletes earned a spot on the Virginia Sports Information Directors (VaSID) Academic All-State team.[16]

Marymount also offers recreation and intramural programming throughout the year. Intramural offerings include basketball, volleyball, soccer, ultimate frisbee, kickball, wiffleball and canoe battleship.

A variety of fitness classes are offered free to students.

Clubs and student organizations[edit]

Marymount University has over 30 clubs and student organizations,[17] which are created based on the interests of Marymount students, and include groups dedicated to community service or philanthropy, cultural appreciation or specific academic interests.

The Student Government Association, Association for Campus Events and Marymount University's student-run newspaper The Banner[18] provide students with additional organizational management experience. In addition, students have the opportunity to engage in leadership development opportunities through participation as an Orientation Leader or Resident Assistant.

Community engagement[edit]

Each year, Marymount students provide more than 16,000 hours of service in the local and global community. From tutoring children, providing health-assessment services, conducting food drives and cleaning up parks to building a chapel in the Dominican Republic or raising funds for a well in Sierra Leone, Marymount students actively seek out ways to make a difference.[19]

In 2018, Marymount University established the Saints Service Network[20] to implement a framework for sustainable service programming. The center supports, promotes and coordinates service opportunities across campus, leveraging Marymount University's commitment to service and providing further opportunities for Marymount's students and faculty to work together on service projects, both inside and outside the classroom.

Awards and acknowledgments[edit]

In the U.S. News & World Report's 2023 Best Colleges Rankings, Marymount University was listed among 'Best National Universities' for the first time in the institution's history. Previously, it was listed with 'Regional Universities of the South.'[21] Marymount's newest rankings include:

  • #299 overall among Best National Universities[22]
  • #23 nationally for Campus Ethnic Diversity[23]
  • #20 nationally for Schools with the Most International Students[24]
  • #2 Undergraduate Nursing Program among private institutions in Virginia[25]

Additional recognitions include:

  • Designated a Hispanic-Serving Institution (HSI) and certified by the U.S. Department of Education.[26]
  • Named 2017 Educator of the Year by The World Affairs Council, Washington, D.C.[27]

Notable alumni[edit]


  1. ^ "Marymount University". Marymount University.
  2. ^ "Marymount at a Glance". Marymount University. Retrieved 2021-01-14.
  3. ^ "Marymount University - History". Retrieved 2015-08-25.
  4. ^ Marymount University Release. "Marymount University Celebrates Blessing of Cornerstones" May 3, 2010. Archived 2011-11-03 at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved on 2011-11-13
  5. ^ "Our History". Marymount University. Retrieved July 15, 2022.
  6. ^ "U.S. and Canadian Institutions Listed by Fiscal Year 2009 Endowment Market Value and Change in Endowment Market Value from FY 2016 to FY 2017" (PDF). 2017 NACUBO-Commonfund Study of Endowments. National Association of College and University Business Officers. Retrieved February 8, 2018.
  7. ^ "Marymount University". The Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education. Retrieved September 29, 2022.
  8. ^ Marymount University Website. "Campus Map." Archived 2019-08-26 at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved on 2009-02-16
  9. ^ Denham, Hannah (March 10, 2023). "Marymount University opens campus store with Amazon's checkout-free tech". Washington Business Journal.
  10. ^ Denham, Hannah (March 1, 2023). "Marymount University gets private donation to renovate historic campus building". Washington Business Journal.
  11. ^ "Map & Directions". Marymount University. Retrieved 2021-02-24.
  12. ^ Hertzfeld, Esther (September 20, 2022). "Placemakr, Marymount alliance offers students real-world experience". Hotel Management.
  13. ^ "Marymount University". Marymount University. Retrieved 2021-02-24.
  14. ^ "Atlantic East has name, formal announcement". March 1, 2018. Retrieved September 7, 2018.
  15. ^ "Marymount has 131 honored on the Atlantic East All-Academic Team". Marymount University. 2020-07-13. Retrieved 2021-03-01.
  16. ^ "Six Saints honored on VaSID Academic All-State team". June 15, 2020.
  17. ^ "Organizations". MUEngage. Retrieved April 19, 2023.
  18. ^ "The Banner". Academics - Marymount University. Retrieved 2021-02-24.
  19. ^ "Marymount University - Community Engagement". Retrieved 2015-08-24.
  20. ^ "Saints Service Network". Marymount University. Retrieved April 19, 2023.
  21. ^ "MU ranked as a national university for first time in institution's history". Marymount University. September 12, 2022.
  22. ^ "Marymount University". U.S. News & World Report. September 12, 2022.
  23. ^ "Campus Ethnic Diversity". U.S. News & World Report. September 12, 2022.
  24. ^ "Most International Students". U.S. News & World Report. September 12, 2022.
  25. ^ "Best Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) Programs". U.S. News & World Report. September 12, 2022.
  26. ^ Munson, Nicholas (2020-11-18). "Marymount listed as first Hispanic-Serving Institution in Virginia". Marymount University. Retrieved 2021-02-24.
  27. ^ "Marymount Honored by World Affairs Council". Marymount University. April 4, 2017.
  28. ^ "70 People You Should Know". Marymount University. Retrieved 2021-03-22.

External links[edit]

38°54′18″N 77°07′44″W / 38.905°N 77.129°W / 38.905; -77.129