Villa Maria College

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Villa Maria College
Latin: Villae Mariae Buffalensis
Type Private
Established 1961 (1961)
Affiliation Roman Catholic
President Sister Marcella Marie Garus, CSSF
  • Michael Eadie, Business Affairs (interim)
  • Brian Emerson, Enrollment Management and Student Services
  • Dr. Matthew Giordano, Academic Affairs
  • Thomas P. Honan, Development
  • SM Louis Rutowicz, Mission
Location Buffalo, New York, United States of America
42°54′48″N 78°47′50″W / 42.913408°N 78.797223°W / 42.913408; -78.797223Coordinates: 42°54′48″N 78°47′50″W / 42.913408°N 78.797223°W / 42.913408; -78.797223
Colors Blue and white         
Affiliations Accredited through the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools, the National Association of Schools of Music, and the Council for Interior Design Accreditation. Member of the Western New York Consortium of Higher Education.

Villa Maria College is a small, private, Roman Catholic liberal arts college in Buffalo, New York within the Diocese of Buffalo. It was founded in 1961 by the Felician Sisters, and is sponsored by the Our Lady of Hope Province of North America[1] Villa Maria College provides students with the premier student-centered experience in Western New York where enrolled students learn and grow within a diverse population, and a culture that lives the values of truth, charity, and unity.


Villa Maria offers bachelor's and associate degrees in the arts, sciences, and business. Programs include: Animation, Business Administration, Creative Writing & Literature, Fashion Design and Merchandising, Fine Arts, Interior Design, Graphic Design, Music, Music Industry, Natural Science, Photography, and Physical Therapist Assistant.


The College was initially a teacher-training center for sisters in the education apostolate and was established as an affiliate of the Catholic University of America. In 1961, a provisional charter was secured from the Board of Regents of the State of New York to grant Associate in Arts and Associate in Applied Science degrees to women religious.

Major Milestones[edit]

  • 1965 - A charter was extended to include laywomen who wished to pursue an associate degree.
  • 1968 - The college was granted an Absolute Charter and was recognized as a co-educational institution.
  • 1972 - The college became fully accredited with the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools.
  • 2005 - The Absolute Charter was amended to offer a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Interior Design, the first bachelor's degree offered at the college.
  • 2008 - Accreditation reaffirmed by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools.

New Visionary Plan[edit]

Recognizing that students are entering college with varying levels of preparation and academic, professional, and social experiences, Villa implemented a new visionary plan to address these issues, and find a sustainable path forward in the changing higher education landscape.[2] Building on and introducing initiatives that meet students at their skill level, the new initiative aims to provide them with the support and tools to succeed while they are enrolled, and the skills needed after graduation. On June 19, 2014 the college board of trustees approved the implementation of the plan.[3]

The plan also calls for the college to deliver new student life experiences, including athletics[4] and possibly on campus housing.

Campus Buildings[edit]

Main Building[edit]

Felician Hall[edit]

Converted from an infirmary to a mixed-use building including classrooms and administration offices in 2013, the building houses a number of different departments. The Physical Therapist Assistant program, Office of Development, Office of Admission, Office of Communications, and the Archives are currently housed in the building along with a number of faculty offices.

Wood Shop[edit]

Student Center[edit]

The Paul William Beltz Family Art Gallery[edit]

The Paul William Beltz Family Art Gallery[5] is located on the ground floor of the main building on campus. It gives students a professional space to display and share their work on campus. The gallery features exhibitions from students, faculty, as well as local and regional artists.


  1. ^ Felician Sisters of North America.
  2. ^ Villa Maria's Strategic Plan to Stay Ahead of Competition. "Business First" Retrieved June 23, 2014.
  3. ^ Villa Maria Lays Path for Athletics, New Studies. "Business First" Retrieved June 19, 2014.
  4. ^ Villa Maria approves strategic plan that calls for adding sports teams. The Buffalo News Retrieved June 19, 2014.
  5. ^ Paul William Beltz Family Art Gallery. Villa Maria College

External links[edit]