Stevenson University

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Stevenson University
Stevenson University logo.svg
Motto"Pro Discendo, Pro Vivendo"
For Learning, For Living
Endowment$77,419,161 (2014) [1]
PresidentElliot Hirshman
Academic staff
Administrative staff
Students4,185 (Fall 2015) [2]
Other students
460 (adult undergraduates)
Location, ,
United States

39°25′17.37″N 76°42′4.87″W / 39.4214917°N 76.7013528°W / 39.4214917; -76.7013528
Stevenson: 60 acres
Owings Mills: 104 acres
ColorsGreen and White          

Stevenson University is a private, independent, coeducational university that is located in the Greenspring Valley area of Baltimore County, Maryland, United States. The University has three campuses, one in Stevenson and two in Owings Mills,[3] with approximately 4,200 undergraduate and graduate students. Formerly known as Villa Julie College, the name was changed to Stevenson University in 2008.

Stevenson University's Academic Seal



Stevenson University was founded in Maryland as Villa Julie College in 1947 by the Roman Catholic women's religious order Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur as a one-year school training women to become medical secretaries. The college was named for Saint Julie Billiart, foundress of the Sisters of Notre Dame.[4]

Stevenson's Greenspring Valley campus in suburban Baltimore County is located on the 80-acre (320,000 m2) former estate of the George Carroll Jenkins family. The estate's name was "Seven Oaks",[4] a reference to huge old oak trees planted on the property. They were thought to mark a traditional Lenni Lenape burial ground. One of these seven oaks still survived on campus as late as August 2007, when it was deemed potentially hazardous and cut down. The Greenspring and Worthington Valleys, west of the Baltimore-Harrisburg Expressway, (Interstate 83) are part of the "horse country" of northern Maryland and its steeplechase horses with the Maryland Hunt Cup.

Accreditation and expansion (1950s – 1990s)[edit]

School logo until 2008

Villa Julie was approved as a two-year college by the Maryland State Department of Education in 1954,[4] and received its first Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools accreditation in 1962. In 1967, the College established a Board of Trustees and became independent of the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur and the Roman Catholic Church.[4] Villa Julie became coeducational in 1972, admitting its first male student that year.[4]

Bachelor's degree programs were added in 1984, starting with degrees in Computer Information Systems and Paralegal Studies.[4]

Traditionally a commuter college for local residents, by the early 1990s the college started attracting students interested in college housing. Without the proper zoning for such an addition to the Stevenson campus, the college leased off-campus apartments in Pikesville and later in the county seat of Towson, where resident students began living in 1993. Villa Julie was granted admission to the National Collegiate Athletic Association and its NCAA Division III in 1994.

It started offering master's degrees in 1995. A major 1997 campus expansion more than doubled the amount of instructional space on campus, including expanded athletic facilities.

Continued growth[edit]

On October 28, 2000, Villa Julie College inaugurated its fourth president Kevin J. Manning Ph.D., who succeeded Carolyn Manuszak. Under Manning, enrollment continued to increase and the demand for college-owned student housing intensified. The College broke ground on a second campus in Owings Mills in August 2003, opening it a year later. The Owings Mills campus included several major residence complexes. In 2006 Rockland Center, a new student union and dining hall, was completed.[4] The Caves Sports and Wellness Center also opened that same year.[4]

Stevenson University (2007–present)[edit]

In late 2007, the school's leaders decided to make changes needed to attain university status. Meetings were held to help determine whether the name should be changed to Villa Julie University, or something different, given its broader reach. Other names considered were Great Oaks University, Tufton University, Greenspring University, Rockland University, Sagamore University, and Billiart University. On June 11, 2008, the university's Board of Trustees voted to name the school Stevenson University: it referred to the original location of Villa Julie College and Robert Stevenson, a prominent Baltimore grain merchant who married Deborah Owings, the granddaughter of the founder of Owings Mills.[5]

The Howard S. Brown School of Business and Leadership opened for the fall 2008 semester and houses the school's Accounting, Business Administration, Business Information Systems, Computer Information Systems, Marketing, and Legal Studies programs. The school expanded in 2010 with the opening of a 35,000 square foot gymnasium and the 3,500-seat Mustang Stadium on the Owings Mills Campus.

Formerly housed on the Greenspring Campus, the School of Design moved to a new building on a property purchased from Shire Pharmaceuticals in 2013. It has been developed as the Owings Mills North location of the Owings Mills campus. In September 2016, the largest academic building, the Kevin J. Manning Academic Center, opened. The Center is a 200,000 square-foot building that houses the Beverly K. Fine School of the Sciences, the Sandra R. Berman School of Nursing and Health Professions, and additional facilities for the School of Design.

On July 3, 2017, Stevenson University's sixth president, Elliot Hirshman, Ph.D., joined the university after serving as president of San Diego State University (SDSU) since 2011 and previously as provost and senior vice president for Academic Affairs at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC).

In summer 2017, Stevenson University reached an agreement with the state of Maryland to acquire the former Rosewood Center property in Owings Mills. The 117-acre site is adjacent to Stevenson’s existing Owings Mills campus and nearly doubles the total acreage of the university.

The Rosewood project has included remediation and demolition of 20 buildings on the site in spring 2018. Grading of the site began in summer 2018.


Undergraduate programs[edit]

Degree programs have a core curriculum in the liberal arts and a career emphasis. The College runs a program called "Career Architecture", which is interwoven throughout the curriculum. It teaches students to plan strategically for their futures by developing resumes, practicing interviewing techniques, meeting with potential employers on-campus, and participating in internships and co-ops. Over the past five years, on average, 92% of graduates have been employed or have started graduate school within six months of graduation.[citation needed]

Online programs[edit]

Stevenson University Online, formerly the School of Graduate and Professional Studies, offers accelerated online master’s, bachelor’s, and certificate programs for working adults and professionals. Areas of study include nursing and healthcare; forensics, cyber forensics, law, and criminal justice; business technology and communications; and teaching.

Traditional undergraduate students can also complete a master's degree program through the university's bachelor's to master's option, designed to allow completion of both degrees in five years.

Student life[edit]


Stevenson University enrolls approximately 4,200 students in more than 40 bachelor's and master's degree programs. Current enrollment makes the school the third-largest private university in the state of Maryland. Stevenson's total enrollment has more than doubled since 2001.

Residence life and activities[edit]

The freshman enrollment and housing enrollments rose dramatically between 2009–2010 and 2010–2011. In the fall semester 2010, there were over 900 freshman students, around 700 of whom were residents. Today, nearly 2,000 students live in 13 residence halls[3] on the Owings Mills campus.

In February 2018, Stevenson opened a Student Activities Commons in Garrison Hall North on the Owings Mills campus to serve as a student club and activities center. The Commons include club sports offices, three meeting rooms, a fitness center, and a console video gaming room.

The center also serves as the home for Stevenson’s esports team, which has its own esports arena.

A reading room, a coffee shop, and the university’s fourth fitness center are coming soon to the Owings Mills campus.

From activism and athletics to education and religion, there are over 80 clubs and extracurricular activities for students. Mustang Activities and Programming (MAP) hosts over 40 student events a year, popular events include: Homecoming, Founder’s Day Talent Show, Rockland Blowout, and Food Truck Rally.


The University's athletic facilities include the Caves Sports and Wellness Center (formerly the training facility of the Baltimore Ravens), the Owings Mills gymnasium, and Mustang Stadium.

Stevenson teams participate as a member of the National Collegiate Athletic Association's Division III. The Mustangs are a member of the Middle Atlantic Conference (MAC). Stevenson used to compete in the Capital Athletic Conference from 2007–08 to 2011–12. Men's sports include baseball, basketball, cross country, football, golf, ice hockey (2016–2017), lacrosse, soccer, tennis, track & field, volleyball and swimming. Women's sports include basketball, cross country, field hockey, golf, ice hockey, lacrosse, soccer, softball, tennis, track & field, volleyball (indoor and sand), and swimming. Men's and women's ice hockey compete in the United Collegiate Hockey Conference.

In 2013, the Stevenson Mustangs men's lacrosse team took home the 2013 Division III national championship, the first National Championship of any kind for the school. They advanced to the finals after defeating their rival Salisbury University. Overall, as of Spring 2018, Stevenson has won 39 conference championships.

Mustang Stadium

Greek life[edit]

In Spring 2018, the university invited two national fraternities, Phi Mu Delta and Phi Beta Sigma, to colonize on campus. The university has two sororities, Alpha Kappa Alpha and Phi Sigma Sigma.

Marching band[edit]

With the induction of the football team in 2011, the university added a marching band.[6] The Stevenson University Marching 100 is a modern-style marching band that plays both contemporary and traditional marching band music. The band uses woodwind, brass, and percussion instruments along with synthesizers, guitars, and color guard. [7] The band plays at football games, open houses, and other university events. It is directed by Mark Lortz.

Notable alumni[edit]


  1. ^ "Stevenson University | Best College | US News".
  2. ^ University, Stevenson. "Facts At A Glance | Stevenson University".
  3. ^ a b "Our Campuses". Stevenson University. Retrieved 2 December 2013.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h "History of the University". Stevenson University. Retrieved 2 December 2013.
  5. ^ Staff (June 12, 2008). "Villa Julie Board Chooses Stevenson University as New Name". Stevenson University. Retrieved 16 December 2012.
  6. ^ "Stevenson University Mustang Marching Band". Retrieved 25 March 2017.
  7. ^ "About the Band «  Stevenson University Marching Band". Retrieved 25 March 2017.

External links[edit]