Mount St. Mary's University

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
For other uses:, see Mount St. Mary's (disambiguation).
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 P. 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.

The undergraduate university is divided into four schools: the College of Liberal Arts, the Richard J. Bolte School of Business, the School of Education & Human Services, and the School of Natural Science and Mathematics. The university has more than 40 majors, minors, concentrations and special programs, including bachelor's/master's combinations in partnership with other universities.

The university also offers seven master's degree programs and five postgraduate certificate programs.

The campus includes the second largest Catholic seminary in the United States, where future priests study in the Ordination/Master of Divinity program. Lay students can pursue a Master of Theology Arts at the seminary.

Mr. Simon P. Newman is the university president. The seminary's rector and president is Monsignor Andrew R. Baker. The chancellor of the seminary is the current Archbishop of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Baltimore, the Most Reverend William E. Lori.


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

Mount Saint Mary's was founded by French émigré Father John DuBois.[4] In 1805, Father DuBois bought land near Emmitsburg, Maryland on the mountain that Catholic colonists had christened “St. Mary's Mountain," and laid the cornerstone for Saint-Mary's-on-the-Hill church. Parishioners from two local congregations built a one-story, two room log cabin for Father DuBois, and that cabin was the first structure of Mount Saint Mary's.[5] The church was completed in 1807.[6] Father DuBois first opened a boarding school for children.[7] Then, in 1808, the Society of St. Sulpice closed Pigeon Hill, its preparatory seminary in Pennsylvania, and transferred all the seminarians to Emmitsburg.[8] This marked the official beginning of Mount St. Mary's.[7][9] Father DuBois was appointed president of the college and his first class graduated in 1808. Joined in 1812 by Father Simon Bruté, the man revered as the Mount’s guardian angel, Father DuBois and his small faculty strove to offer a full high school and college course to lay students and potential priests and developed Mount St. Mary's into "one of the most important ecclesiastical institutions of the country." [10] DuBois Hall, named for Father DuBois, was completed in 1826 in what had been a swampy thicket on the mountain.[11] The first charter for a university was obtained in 1830. Until the early 1900s, Mount St. 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.

Saint Joseph College History and Merger with Mount Saint Mary's[edit]

Elizabeth Ann Seton, founder of the Sisters of Charity and the first native born United States citizen to be canonized as a saint, came to Emmitsburg in 1809. She lived on the campus of Mount St. Mary's while her own school was being built.[12] For a while, she lived in the same log cabin that had been built for Father DuBois.[5] In June 1809, Mother Seton established Saint Joseph's Academy and Free School for girls, the first free Catholic parochial school in the United States.[13] This school is considered to be the foundation of the entire Catholic parochial school system in the United States.[14][15][16] Mother Seton wrote classroom textbooks and trained her Catholic sisters to become teachers,[17] and welcomed all students regardless of ability to pay.[18] Saint Joseph's Academy and Free School developed into Saint Joseph College High School (1890-1946), Saint Joseph's High School (1946-1982), and Saint Joseph College (1902-1973), a four-year liberal arts college for women.[5]

There was a long shared history between Saint Joseph and Mount St. Mary's. In 1815, Mother Seton sent several of the Sisters of Charity to manage the Infirmary at Mount St. Mary's.[5] As enrollment at Saint Joseph's Academy grew in the 1800s, some professors from Mount St. Mary's were added to the Saint Joseph's faculty.[19] And, since the campuses of the all female Saint Joseph College and the all male Mount St. Mary's were just a couple of miles apart, the schools historically depended on each other for social life.[20] In 1967, female students at Saint Joseph College began taking some classes at Mount St. Mary's, and men from Mount St. Mary's began taking some classes at Saint Joseph.[21] In 1973, with declining enrollment numbers and rising operating costs, Saint Joseph College closed its doors and merged with Mount St. Mary’s, which has been fully co-educational since then.[22]

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.[23]


Bradley Hall is the main Administration building

Mount St. Mary's University is located on a 1,400 acre campus in a rural mountain setting.

Students live in five new or completely renovated residence halls. There are also three apartment buildings where seniors (and some juniors) live in fully furnished apartments complete with bathrooms and kitchens. The student center and cafeteria are located in the recently renovated McGowan center.

Academic classes are held in the Knott Academic Center, the COAD Science Building, and the Borders Learning Center. The fine arts department is located in the newly renovated Flynn Hall, now known as the Delaplaine Fine Arts Center.

Bradley Hall is the campus administration building.

The ARCC, called "The Ark", is a 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.

Entrance to the Delaplaine Fine Arts Center.

Students and faculty[edit]

In 2014-15 the university enrolled 1,741 undergraduate students and 499 graduate students, with a total of 2,240 students.

The student population is about 55% female and 45% male.

Of the 1,689 undergraduate students, 55% are from Maryland and 33% are from other Mid-Atlantic States. 33 total states are represented, as well as 13 foreign countries.[24]

Around 85% of undergraduates live on campus.

The student-faculty ratio 13:1, and 46 percent of classes have fewer than 20 students. The most popular majors at Mount St. Mary's include: Business/Commerce, Criminology, Biology/Biological Sciences, Elementary Education/Teaching, and Accounting. The average freshman retention rate, an indicator of student satisfaction, is 80 percent.[25]

For students who want to graduate early, the university offers a three-year degree option.[26]


Mount St. Mary's University was named one of the top 20 best regional universities by U.S. News and World Report's Best Colleges 2015.[27] The Mount was selected 19th of 138 universities in the Regional Universities-North Division. Additionally, the Mount ranked #3 for best colleges for veterans in the north region.

In 2013 ranked Mount St. Mary's number 21 out of 262 Catholic higher education institutions in America, listing the university as among the "Best Catholic Colleges."

Catholic Identity[edit]

Mount St. Mary's has a strong Catholic identity, which is central to the mission of the university: "to cultivate a community of learners formed by faith, engaged in discovery, and empowered for leadership in the Church, the professions, and the world." All undergraduates complete the Veritas Program, a group of core courses that gives students a solid grounding in the Catholic intellectual tradition of liberal arts, theology and ethics.

Around 70% of students are Catholic.

The university is endorsed by The Newman Guide to Choosing a Catholic College, Catholic Colleges of Distinction, and The National Catholic Register's "Catholic Identity Guide".

National Shrine Grotto of Our Lady of Lourdes[edit]

The campus includes The National Shrine Grotto of Our Lady of Lourdes, which draws thousands of religious pilgrims and tourists annually. The grounds of the Grotto include 60 acres of lush gardens, a pond, rosary paths, paths marking the Stations of the Cross, and St. Mary's Chapel on the Hill (also known as the Glass Chapel). Holy statues and shrines stand throughout the grounds. The Grotto cave was built in 1875 by Father Watterson to be a replica of the miraculous Our Lady of Lourdes in France.[28]

The Grotto was first established high on St. Mary's Mountain in 1805 by the university's founder, Father John DuBois. According to legend, Father DuBois was attracted to a light on the mountain and found a blessed spot and sat down at the foot of a large tree beside a stream. He made a cross of twigs and fixed it to the tree to be the symbol of the holy work he was undertaking. This was the original Grotto.[8] Father Simon Bruté was an early steward of the Grotto. Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton attended Sunday Mass at the Grotto chapel. After Mass, Mother Seton would "invoke the divine blessing by reciting the Canticle of the Three Children, and none that heard her could ever forget the tones of that voice and the fervor of that heart, which in the midst of the wild scenery of nature called upon all creatures to bless and magnify their Creator."[8] Her rosary walks around the Grotto were re-enacted in 2005 to celebrate the Grotto's 200th anniversary.[29] In 1958, The Grotto was refurbished and made more accessible to the public by Father Hugh J. Phillips, who became known as the "Restorer of The Grotto". The Grotto was proclaimed a Public Oratory on December 8, 1965, by Cardinal Lawrence Shehan, archbishop of Baltimore.


Mount Saint Mary's Seminary enrolls on average over 150 full-time residential seminarians each year. They represent more than 25 dioceses from the U.S., as well as overseas. Students must be sponsored by a diocese or religious order before applying to study at the seminary. Some students are co-sponsored by the Archdiocese for the Military Services. It is the second oldest Catholic seminary in the United States, after St. Mary's in Baltimore. The seminary has "a solid tradition of excellence in the formation of candidates for the Catholic priesthood,"[30] and is well known for its more traditional theology, discipline and secluded rural setting.[7]

The seminary has produced over 2600 priests, and it is often referred to as the “Cradle of Bishops,” because 51 of its graduates have shepherded dioceses.[31]

The seminary online blog On Mary's Mountain describes the daily life of the seminary community. Seminarians also write the Seminary Newsletter.

Student publications[edit]

The Mountain Echo[edit]

The Mountain Echo is a print and online newspaper which reports on news and events at the university.

The earliest issues of The Mountain Echo appear to have been published in 1879 and 1880. According to a 1993 article by William Lawbaugh in The Mountain Briefing, these issues were printed on a hand-operated press by Professor Ernest Lagarde from his home. Early issues of the newspaper were four pages long, and reported on education, sports, and significant campus events. 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.

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.

The Mountain Echo was restructured during the academic year 1974-75, and was renamed The Mountain Review. The name was changed back to The Mountain Echo 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 expanded into two other formats. Echo Online was the first incarnation of The Mountain Echo website. And Echo Weekly News with Vince Chesney was a radio show hosted by the newspaper's editor-in-chief on the college radio station, WMTB.

Lighted Corners[edit]

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 year near the end of the fall semester, submissions are collected through email, which are voted on anonymously by staff. The editorial board makes the final selections, and then the staff spends the spring semester 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. In 2015, Lighted Corners received a Gold Crown Award from the Columbia Scholastic Press Association, an honor reserved for the most distinguished collegiate publications.


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.

Mount St. Mary's defeated Sacramento State in overtime 58-57 to win the Division II championship at the 1962 NCAA College Division Men's Basketball Tournament.

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.[32]


In 2008 the University adopted a master plan for the future,[33] much of which has already been completed:

  • The creation of Founders Plaza to memorialize Father John 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 (Completed, Fall 2010)
  • The Delaplaine Fine Arts Center/Theatre and renovations to Flynn Hall (Dedicated, Fall 2010)
  • 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]


  • Simon Bruté, French missionary and the first bishop of the Diocese of Vincennes, Indiana.
  • Germain Grisez, French-American philosopher
  • Jim Phelan, basketball head coach until 2003. Phelan had 830 career wins (currently 14th on the all-time list), and coached a college basketball record 49 seasons at the same school.[34] At the time of his retirement, Phelan had coached more NCAA games than any other coach in collegiate history.[35] He was inducted into the National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame in 2008.[36]


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

Main article: Simon Bruté

French missionary Simon Bruté spent two decades as teacher and pastor in the early formative years of Mount St. Mary's. Then, in 1834, he was appointed the founding bishop of the Diocese of Vincennes in modern day Indiana and eastern Illinois. Bruté was a modest man, leaving no published works behind, yet his influence can be seen in the University of Notre Dame and its sister school Saint Mary's College. Notre Dame followed a similar pattern of early development as Mount St. Mary's, beginning as a multi-faceted institution with religious novitiates, preparatory and grade schools, a manual labor school, and a small number of students in a classical collegiate curriculum. This is a model that Bruté may have impressed on the Holy Cross Brothers who founded the university.

All three schools share Brute's deep devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary and were named in her honor, with Notre Dame meaning "Our Lady', a term of endearment for Mary. And each school's motto focuses on Mary's attribute of Catholic hope. Mount St. Mary's: 'Spes Nostra' (Latin: Our Hope), Saint Mary's College in Indiana: 'Spes Unica' (Latin: the Only/Unique Hope), and Notre Dame: 'Vita Dulcedo Spes' (Latin: Life, Sweetness, 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. ^ 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".
  5. ^ a b c d History of St. Joseph's Roman Catholic Church: Historical Highlights of Saint Joseph's Parish
  6. ^ "Our History - Mount St. Mary’s University". Retrieved 2014-08-23. 
  7. ^ a b c The Archdiocese of Baltimore: Mount St. Mary's Seminary
  8. ^ a b c The Story of the Mountain: Mount Saint Mary's College and Seminary: Mary E. Meline & Edward F. X. McSweeny Published by the Emmitsburg Chronicle, 1911
  9. ^ Spalding, Thomas W., The Premier See: A History of the Archdiocese of Baltimore, 1789-1989
  10. ^ Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James Grant Wilson, John Fiske and Stanley L. Klos. Six volumes, New York: D. Appleton and Company, 1887-1889 and 1999; (available online as "John DuBois: Hall of North and South Americans")
  11. ^ Laura Rich. Maryland History in Prints 1743-1900. 
  12. ^ Spalding, Thomas W., The Premier See: A History of the Archdiocese of Baltimore, 1789-1989.
  13. ^ setonscene: about Mother Seton
  14. ^ Pittedu: Elizabeth Ann Seton
  15. ^ Mother Seton School: A Rich History
  16. ^ "National Shrine of Elizabeth Ann Seton", The Journey Through Hallowed Ground
  17. ^ EWTN: ST. ELIZABETH ANN SETON—1774-1821
  18. ^ Mother Seton School: A Rich History
  19. ^ St. Joseph College History, St. Joseph College Alumnae Association
  20. ^ Morris, Roger: Saint Joseph College is Dying"
  21. ^ Morris, Roger: Saint Joseph College is Dying"
  22. ^ Mount Saint Mary's University
  23. ^ Kelly, Jacques (2007-11-24). "Aloysius Carroll Galvin". Baltimore Sun. Retrieved 2007-12-03. 
  24. ^ "Quick Facts About the Mount - Mount St. Mary's University, MD". Retrieved 2014-08-23. 
  25. ^ US News & World Report: Education: Mount St. Mary's University
  26. ^ US News & World Report: Education: Mount St. Mary's University
  27. ^ US News & World Report: Education: Mount St. Mary's University
  28. ^ Touched by a saint; National Shrine Grotto of Lourdes celebrates its 200th anniversary
  29. ^ Touched by a saint; National Shrine Grotto of Lourdes celebrates its 200th anniversary
  30. ^ Catholic Review: Allentown priest appointed new rector of Mount St. Mary’s Seminary - See more at:
  31. ^ - See more at:
  32. ^ Tom Meany, 1948, "Babe Ruth: Big Moments of the Big Fellow"
  33. ^
  34. ^ Eisenberg, Jeff "No. 5 in the Untouchables: Jim Phelan’s 49 seasons at Mount St. Mary’s"
  35. ^ The New York Times: COLLEGE BASKETBALL; Phelan Coaches His Final Game
  36. ^ Legendary Mount Basketball Coach Jim Phelan to be Inducted into College Basketball Hall of Fame on Sunday
  37. ^ "John Baer". Philadelphia Daily News. Philly Online, LLC. Archived from the original on 2009-08-17. 
  38. ^ "NBA/ABA Players who attended Mount St. Mary's University". Retrieved 2008-04-05. 
  39. ^ Kathy Orton (July 17, 2011). "Whatever Happened to ... the soccer pro who left to become a priest?". Washington Post. 
  40. ^ "madero". Retrieved 2014-08-23. 
  41. ^ "After 50 Years, Mount St. Mary's Head Track and Field Coach Jim Deegan Announces Retirement". Northeast Conference. Retrieved 2014-08-23. 
  42. ^ Nouwen, Henri "Love in a Fearful Land" Orbis Books: Maryknoll, NY; 1985

External links[edit]

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