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 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. The seminary has produced over 2600 priests. 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.


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. 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."


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

Mount St. Mary's was founded by French émigré Father John DuBois.

In 1805 Father DuBois bought land on a mountain near Emmitsburg, Maryland with the intention of constructing a school and laid the cornerstone for Saint-Mary's-on-the-Hill church . A log cabin first occupied the property and the church was finished in 1807.[4][5]

In 1808 Father DuBois was appointed president of the college and his first class graduated.

In 1809, Pigeon Hall, a seminary of the French Society of St. Sulpice, was transferred to Mount St. Mary's.

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.

DuBois Hall was started in a swampy thicket on the mountain and was completed in 1826.[6]

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 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.

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."

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 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 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 1,689 undergraduate students and 338 graduate students with a total of 2,027 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.[9]

Around 85% of undergraduates live on campus.

The student faculty ratio is 14 to 1.

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 in The Mountain Briefing by William Lawbaugh, 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. 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.

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.[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 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)
  • 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]


  • 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 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