Marywood University

Coordinates: 41°26′01″N 75°38′03″W / 41.4337°N 75.6342°W / 41.4337; -75.6342
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Marywood University
Former names
Marywood College (1915–1997)
MottoSanctitas Scientia Sanitas
Motto in English
Holiness, Knowledge, Health
TypePrivate university
EstablishedSeptember 8, 1915; 108 years ago (1915-09-08)
AffiliationRoman Catholic
(Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary)
Academic affiliations
Endowment$44.9 million (2020)[1]
PresidentSr. Mary Persico, I.H.M.
Administrative staff
Location, ,

41°26′01″N 75°38′03″W / 41.4337°N 75.6342°W / 41.4337; -75.6342
CampusSuburban, 115 acres (0.47 km2)
ColorsForest green, gold and white
Sporting affiliations
NCAA Division IIIAtlantic East, ECAC

Marywood University is a private Catholic university in Scranton, Pennsylvania. Established in 1915 by the Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, Marywood currently enrolls more than 2,800 students in a variety of undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral programs.[2] The university has a national arboretum[3] with more than 100 types of trees and shrubs.[4]


The Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary came to Scranton, Pennsylvania, and established St. Cecilia's Academy in 1878 "for young ladies". Mount St. Mary's Seminary opened in 1902. Mother M. Cyril Conway, IHM superior in 1901, deliberately chose the term "seminary" (roughly equivalent to a high school in present times) to avoid the suggestion of a finishing school – which was a much more common destination at that time for older girls who could afford to continue their education – as it was intended to be "a place where young scholars dedicated themselves to serious study". The Motherhouse was co-located with the seminary. Its buildings suffered major damage during a fire in the 1970s. As a result, the Jesuit Scranton Preparatory School, then a boys' school, became co-educational to accommodate the girls.[5] The arch, now known as "Memorial Arch", which stood at the entrance to the seminary-cum-motherhouse, still stands on the present-day campus and the former seminary's name can be seen engraved on it.

The seminary was the next time step to the sisters' ultimate goal: to open a women's college in Scranton. Marywood College opened on September 8, 1915 with 34 students.[6] Germaine O'Neil served as the first president and treasurer. It was the fifth Catholic women's college in the United States.[7] The first batch of students graduated in 1919 with a Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Science, or Bachelor of Letters. By the 1930s, the college had diversified its curriculum, offering subjects ranging from the social sciences to pre-medical.[8] In 1937, the sisters turned down an invitation to merge with St. Thomas College, then under the Christian Brothers. St. Thomas later came under the administration of the Jesuits after World War II and is now the University of Scranton.[9]

By the 1970s, other single-sex Catholic colleges and universities in the diocese such as College Misericordia and King's College were becoming co-educational and Marywood followed suit, opening its doors to male students in the fall of 1989.[10] In 1997, the college was granted university status by the Pennsylvania Department of Education, officially becoming Marywood University.[11]

Over half the campus is located in Dunmore.[12][13]


Marywood's programs are administered through four degree-granting colleges, with 60 bachelor's degree, 36 master's degree, two doctoral degrees, two terminal degrees by program (MFA, Ed.S.). All students are required to complete a core curriculum in the liberal arts in addition to the courses in their major. Undergraduates may also enroll in double majors, honors, and independent study programs, practicums, internships, and study abroad, as well as Army and Air Force ROTC programs.

The university is structured into three colleges:[14]

  • College of Arts and Sciences
    • Departments:
      • Art
      • Communication, Language and Literature
      • Music, Theatre, and Dance
      • Philosophy and Religious Studies
      • Science, Mathematics, and Computer Science
      • Social Sciences
      • Galleries
      • Undeclared Majors
  • College of Health and Human Services
    • Departments:
      • Communication Sciences & Disorders
      • Nutrition, Athletic Training, and Exercise Science
      • Nursing
      • Respiratory Therapy
      • Physician Assistant
      • Psychology and Counseling
      • Social Work
      • Human Physiology Lab
  • College of Professional Studies
    • Departments:
      • Architecture
      • Business and Global Innovation
      • Education
      • Ph.D. Strategic Leadership and Administrative Studies and MPA Program
      • Professional Continuing Education


Marywood University is an NCAA Division III school and member of the Atlantic East Conference. The official name given is the Marywood Pacers. Marywood competes at the varsity level in baseball, basketball, cross-country, field hockey, golf, lacrosse, rugby, soccer, softball, swimming and diving, tennis, track and field, and volleyball.[15] Students may also choose from more than 30 intramural programs, including club sports, as well as fitness options, recreational classes, and activity clubs. Marywood University's Mascot's name is Maxis Gillet after the Founder of the IHM Sisters, Mother Theresa Maxis and their Chaplain, Fr. Louis Gillet.

Campus buildings and landmarks[edit]

The Rotunda The Liberal Arts Center, completed in 1923, is crowned with one of the campus' most distinctive architectural features, the dome of the Rotunda. foreground, Memorial Commons

Marywood University is home to about 20 different buildings on its campus, including the following:[16]

  • The Center for Natural and Health Sciences houses several academic departments, including Mathematics, Science, Nursing, and Administrative Studies.
  • The Swartz Center for Spiritual Life, opened in 2007, contains the Marian Chapel, Campus Ministry, and Conference and Event Services.
  • The Fricchione Day Care Center, built in 1991, is a child development center for children of Marywood staff, faculty, and students.
  • Immaculata Hall was built in the 1950s. It was originally called Alumnae Hall, and it was renamed to honor Sister M. Immaculata Gillespie, Marywood's first dean. It houses the President's Office and the Office of Planning and Institutional Research.
  • The Insalaco Center for Studio Arts, completed in 2001, houses the Kresge Gallery and features drawing and painting studios showcasing naturally-lit rooms with fine views of the campus. There are studios and equipment for woodworking, fiber arts, jewelry-making, ceramics, sculpture, photography, printmaking, a computer Mac lab, and private and semi-private studios for upper level BFA, MA, and MFA students.
  • The Learning Commons, is a 21st Century library that focuses on actively empowering the learner. It is a scholars’ gathering place, where students from all disciplines converge, collaborate, and expand their horizons ever further. The facility includes traditional library services & facilities, a state of the art automatic book-retrieval system, knowledge bar & atrium, regional archives, center for Communication Arts, entrepreneurial launchpad, center for transformational teaching and learning, private and group study rooms, a cafe, audio/visual rooms, seminar rooms, and a memorial garden. It is also home to TV Marywood and VMFM-FM 91.7.
  • The Liberal Arts Center houses many academic departments, including Religious Studies, Philosophy, Social Sciences, English, and Foreign Languages. The Admissions Office is also located here. The LAC also features the Marywood Rotunda.
  • Maria Hall, one of the original campus structures, now houses the University Development/Advancement Office.
  • The Center for Athletics and Wellness includes a 1,500-seat arena, a 5,000-square-foot (460 m2) fitness center, and other athletic facilities. The center also includes the Aquatics Center; opened in 2011, it has an 8-lane NCAA regulation pool, 3-meter diving board, 1-meter diving boards, competition gutters, and seating for 200 spectators.
  • The Memorial Arch, built in 1902, originally held the inscription "Mt. St. Mary's" and marked the entrance to the original Motherhouse, which was the location of Mt. St. Mary's seminary. Even though the Motherhouse was destroyed by fire in 1971, the arch still stands as the welcoming landmark at the entrance of the campus. The statue of the Virgin Mary on top of the arch is often referred to by students as the "Electric Mary" due to its halo encircled by light bulbs. The original stone steps to the Motherhouse are behind the arch.
The Memorial Arch, built in 1902, marks the entrance to the original Motherhouse, which was the location of St. Mary's Seminary.
  • The Michael and Gwen Calabro Delfino Amphitheatre, built in 2017, is an outdoor performing arts space with natural tiered lawn and is used for academics, staged art, outdoor exhibitions, and recreation.
  • The Memorial Commons was built in 1975 as a memorial to the original IHM Motherhouse that burned down in 1971. The Memorial Commons was renovated during the construction of the Learning Commons and was renamed the Motherhouse and Seminary Morgan Memorial Garden, dedicated on Marywood's Centennial Anniversary, September 8, 2015.
  • The Nazareth Student Center, built in 1964, houses the main dining room, a lounge, a game room, the university bookstore, the Office of Student Activities and Leadership Development, and other university offices.
  • The O'Neill Center for Healthy Families, built in 2002, houses academic programs and research facilities.
  • The Sette LaVerghetta Center for Performing Arts, built in the 1950s as Assumption Hall, was rededicated in honor of Sette LaVerghetta in 1998. It houses the Music, Theatre, and Dance department.
  • The Center for Architectural Studies, completed in fall 2009, is a state-of-the-art example of sustainable design. It is a spacious, adaptive re-use of Marywood's former gymnasium. It has two levels of studios, a woodshop, a computer-aided design (CAD) laboratory, and a student lounge. It houses the region's first and only school of architecture.
  • The Tony Domiano Early Childhood Center, built in 2000, provides space for about 60 children in pre-school and kindergarten.
  • The Shields Center for Visual Arts serves Marywood's art students. It has classroom space for the graphic design, illustration, art history, and art therapy programs, as well as a 24-hour drop-in Mac lab. It also houses three art galleries: Mahady Gallery, Suraci Gallery, and Maslow Study Gallery.
  • The McGowan Center for Graduate and Professional Studies, renovated in 1998, was previously known as the Center for Human Services. It houses the College of Professional Studies and the Counseling/Student Development Center.
  • The Veterans Resource Center, formerly Bethany Hall, houses the Office of Military and Veteran Services and provides a gathering place for the Student Veteran Alliance. Student veterans are welcome to use the center's community lounge, quiet study space, and kitchen.


  • Loughran Hall is a residence hall for freshman students only and accommodates up to 324. Room doors are secured through a card access system and a staffed security desk is located on the terrace level of the building. There are ADA compliant rooms which are handicap accessible. Laundry rooms, study rooms, TV rooms, and public use microwaves are located on several floors. This building is connected to the Swartz Center for Spiritual Life.
  • Madonna Hall is an upperclassmen residence hall with co-educational floors. Room doors are secured through a card access system and a staffed security desk is located on the first floor of the building. There are ADA compliant rooms which are handicap accessible. Laundry rooms are located on each floor of the building. Study areas are located on multiple floors. Madonna Hall has a professional kitchen and a small movie theatre for resident use.
  • Regina Hall, originally named O'Reilly Hall, was the first student residence built at Marywood in the late 1920s. After the Motherhouse was destroyed by fire in 1971, the area that had once been the formal dining room was converted for use as a chapel. The chapel was then converted to what is now the Liguori Center. Regina Hall is still a residence hall today.
  • Immaculata Hall,(Closed) originally built in the 1950s and named Alumnae Hall, was later renamed Immaculata Hall to honor Sister M. Immaculata Gillespie, Marywood's first dean. Immaculata has two floors of single-room dorms for resident students.
  • Emmanuel Hall(Closed) provides specialty housing for 25 upperclass students in primarily 4-person rooms. The residence includes a kitchen and large common area.
  • Perpetual Help Hall(Closed) houses up to 14 male resident students. and includes a living room, kitchen, study area, and laundry room.
  • McCarty Hall,(Closed) dedicated in November 1941, was once used as a practice house for students majoring in vocational home economics. The hall burnt down and is no longer used for residents.
  • The Woodland Residences provide apartment-style living for sophomores, juniors, and seniors. Each unit houses between four, five or ten upperclass students.

Notable alumni[edit]


Marywood University Arboretum

Marywood University was declared an arboretum in 1975 in honor of Sister Maria Laurence Maher, then Professor of Biological Sciences, and received its official designation as such in 1997. It now contains 42 species of trees (103 varieties) and a comparable collection of shrubs, ornamental grasses, and flowers.[18]


  1. ^ As of June 30, 2020. U.S. and Canadian Institutions Listed by Fiscal Year 2020 Endowment Market Value and Change in Endowment Market Value from FY19 to FY20 (Report). National Association of College and University Business Officers and TIAA. February 19, 2021. Retrieved February 21, 2021.
  2. ^ "Marywood University".
  3. ^ "New Arboretum Sets Down Roots at Wilkes". 27 June 2012.
  4. ^ "About the Arboretum".
  5. ^ "Scranton Prep History".
  6. ^ "History". Marywood University. Retrieved 25 September 2023.
  7. ^ Steadfast in the Faith: The Life of Patrick Cardinal O'Boyle. CUA Press. 2006. p. 17. ISBN 9780813214290.
  8. ^ Dunn, Josephine Marie; Kashuba, Cheryl A. (2007). Images of America — The Women of Scranton: 1880-1935. Arcadia Publishing. pp. 59–61. ISBN 9780738538587.
  9. ^ "President's Page: Road to the Centennial". Archived from the original on 2014-04-09. Retrieved 2014-05-02.
  10. ^ Gallagher, John P. A second century begins: the Diocese of Scranton, 1968-1993. Roman Catholic Diocese of Scranton. p. 62.
  11. ^ "Chronological History of Marywood: 1997".
  12. ^ "Dunmore". Google Maps. Retrieved 17 November 2018.
  13. ^ "Campus Safety: Parking Map". Marywood University. Marywood University. Retrieved 17 November 2018.
  14. ^ "Marywood University Organization of the University". Marywood University. Retrieved 2020-01-03.
  15. ^ "Marywood University Pacers". Retrieved 2017-07-15.
  16. ^ "Marywood University Marywood University Building Directory". Marywood University. Retrieved 2020-01-03.
  17. ^ Butler, Michael P. (March 5, 2014). "Former Wilkes-Barre mayor Namey dies". The Citizens' Voice. Retrieved March 30, 2014.
  18. ^ "Marywood University Arboretum". Marywood University. Retrieved 2017-07-15.

External links[edit]