St. Mary's University, Texas

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St. Mary's University
Latin: Universitas Sancti Mariae
Established1852; 170 years ago (1852)
Religious affiliation
Roman Catholic (Marianist)
Academic affiliations
Endowment$200.1 million (2020)[1]
PresidentThomas Mengler
Administrative staff
212 full-time
147 part-time
Location, ,
United States

29°27′11″N 98°33′44″W / 29.4531°N 98.5623°W / 29.4531; -98.5623Coordinates: 29°27′11″N 98°33′44″W / 29.4531°N 98.5623°W / 29.4531; -98.5623
CampusUrban, 135 acres (0.55 km2)
ColorsGold and blue[4]
AthleticsNCAA Division IILone Star Conference
MascotRattler Man

St. Mary's University is a private Marianist university in San Antonio, Texas. Founded by the Society of Mary (Marianists) in 1852, St. Mary's is the oldest Catholic university in Texas and the American Southwest. With a student population of nearly 4,000, St. Mary's is home to a College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences; School of Science, Engineering and Technology; the Greehey School of Business; and the St. Mary's University School of Law.


Founded as St. Mary's Institute, the school opened on Aug. 25, 1852, with a faculty of five and an enrollment of twelve boys.[5] In 1921 all college classes were transferred from downtown to the St. Louis College campus. In 1923, St. Louis College became St. Mary's College with an enrollment of twelve in the freshman class. Grade school and high school students remained at the downtown school, which adopted the name St. Mary's Academy. The new St. Mary's College quickly gained senior college status and in 1927 the first class of bachelor's degree candidates graduated from the newly renamed St. Mary's University.[6]

In 1932, the high school programs at St. Mary's Academy relocated from the College Street campus to become Central Catholic High School.[7] After over a century as an all-male institution, St. Mary's opened its doors to female students in 1963 and became a coeducational university. In 1987, Polish-American silent film star Pola Negri left most of her estate to St. Mary's University, including a collection of memorabilia and several rare prints of her films. St. Mary's University also set up a scholarship in her name.[8]


Academic rankings
U.S. News & World Report[9] 8 (West)
Master's University class
Washington Monthly[10] 20
Forbes[11] 561

St. Mary's is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. In addition, the Greehey School of Business is accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB). Electrical and industrial engineering programs in the School of Science, Engineering and Technology are recognized through accreditation by the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET).

Law School[edit]

In October 1927, the San Antonio Bar Association established the San Antonio School of Law, and for seven years after its founding was administered by a board of governors under the control of the bar association. Until the School of Law became associated with a physical campus, classes were held at the Bexar County Courthouse. In an attempt to maximize educational and material resources of the fledgling institution, the Board of Governors negotiated with St. Mary's University regarding a transfer of the School of Law's administrative control. The transfer was completed on October 1, 1934, and St. Mary's University School of Law was officially established.

The School of Law was then housed at St. Mary's University's then downtown campus at 112 College Street, situated near the San Antonio River Walk. Possessing several military bases, San Antonio experienced a surge of population and industry in the years immediately following World War II. This exponential growth resulted in more law students. To meet these new demands adequately, the School of Law organized itself to meet the requirements of the American Bar Association and the Association of American Law Schools. It received accreditation from the ABA in February 1948 and became a member of the AALS in December 1949.

On December 19, 1967, the School of Law relocated from the College Street campus to join the main campus of St. Mary's. A multimillion-dollar expansion project had provided for the addition of eight new buildings to the main University campus, including a lecture hall, law library, and faculty building comprising the Law Center. The school held its first classes the next month, in January 1968.

Since 1968, the school has had several structures rededicated, renovated, or expanded, including the Law Administration Building, housing the office of the dean; the Law Classroom Building; and the Sarita Kenedy East Law Library, dedicated in 1984 after the John G. and Marie Stella Kenedy Memorial Foundation gave the School of Law $7.5 million to fund its construction in January 1982.


The Rattlers women's soccer team in action against the Texas A&M–Commerce Lions in 2014

St. Mary's University is a member of NCAA Division II and the Lone Star Conference and sponsors 12 men's and women's sports at the varsity level. St. Mary's has won four team national championships in men's basketball (1989), baseball (2001), softball (1986 and 2002), and one individual national title in men's golf (2006).[12] In 2020, St. Mary's launched an E-Sports team.[13]

Athletic honors[edit]

Buddy Meyer has also been inducted into the Heartland Conference Hall of Fame.[14]


The Rattler mascot has its own stories of how it came to be. Legend holds that the football practice field had to be cleared of diamondback rattlesnakes on a regular basis, thus leading to the designation. The truth is that Brother Kinsky thought "Rattlers" would be fitting because there was already on campus Rattler Club whose members had recently begun The Rattler newspaper. There was debate as to whether the name was being run into the ground, but the students quickly said they wanted the Rattler nickname.[15]

Alton Seekatz (B.S.C. '32), a member of the Rattler Club, described the organization as a spirit and social organization. "It was called the Rattler Club when I got here in 1926, and I'm not sure how it got its nickname," he said, although his stories of the club members' antics and efforts to raise school spirit would certainly "rattle" some and "shake" up others.

Student organizations[edit]

There are a total of 68 registered organizations:

Notable alumni[edit]

Politics, law, and service[edit]




Arts, entertainment, and media[edit]



  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 20, 2021.
  2. ^ As of Fall 2020 "U.S.News". Retrieved January 12, 2022.
  3. ^ As of 2020-2021 "St. Mary's Consumer Information". Retrieved January 12, 2022.
  4. ^ St. Mary's University Branding Guide (PDF). St. Mary's University. 2013-10-30. Retrieved 2015-12-08.
  5. ^ "History in a Timeline". Retrieved January 12, 2022.
  6. ^ "St. Mary's History in a Timeline – St. Mary's University". Retrieved 2015-12-08.
  7. ^ [1] Archived January 1, 2013, at the Wayback Machine
  8. ^ "CHALUPEC, BARBARA APOLONIA [POLA NEGRI] | The Handbook of Texas Online| Texas State Historical Association (TSHA)". Retrieved 2015-12-08.
  9. ^ "Best Colleges 2021: Regional Universities Rankings". U.S. News & World Report. Retrieved September 24, 2020.
  10. ^ "2020 Rankings -- Masters Universities". Washington Monthly. Retrieved August 31, 2020.
  11. ^ "America's Top Colleges 2021". Forbes. Retrieved September 9, 2021.
  12. ^ "Heartland Conference – StMU's Roberts drafted by Cleveland Indians in 29th round of MLB Draft". Retrieved 2015-12-08.
  13. ^ "St. Mary's University launches first-of-its-kind varsity esports program in San Antonio". St. Mary's University. 2020-01-21. Retrieved 2020-02-13.
  14. ^ "Heartland Conference – Heartland Conference Hall of Fame". 2003-08-01. Retrieved 2015-12-08.
  15. ^ "St. Mary's University History". Retrieved 2011-01-19.
  16. ^ "About Rick Galindo". Archived from the original on November 29, 2014. Retrieved December 10, 2014.
  17. ^ Morton, Neil (2012-12-11). "Stehling, Taco Cabana founder, dies at 87". San Antonio Express-News. Retrieved 2013-01-05.

External links[edit]