College Search

Report Abuse

Saint Mary’s College-Notre Dame

Saint Mary's College is a private Catholic liberal arts college founded in 1844 by the Sisters of the Holy Cross. It is located in Notre Dame, an unincorporated community northeast of the city of South Bend, in St. Joseph County, Indiana, United States — as are the University of Notre Dame and Holy Cross College. The name of the school refers to the Blessed Virgin Mary. Saint Mary's has been educating women for more than 170 years and is one of the oldest institutions of higher education for women. It was the first school to offer graduate degrees in Theology for women. Known as The Nation's Premier Catholic Women's College, Saint Mary’s College consistently ranks among the best Liberal Arts schools in the U.S. News & World Report annual survey of American colleges and universities, ranking 76th in 2014.

The college combines a strong liberal arts program with a spiritual foundation and a dedicated alumnae family.Saint Mary's College is a private Catholic liberal arts college founded in 1844 by the Sisters of the Holy Cross. 


St Mary"S College
Notre Dame
Zip/Post Code

Contact Information


Total Undergrad enrollment
In State Tuition Fees
Out State Tuition Fees
ACT Score
SAT Score
Grade Point Average(GPA)
Male Female Ratio
Acceptance Rate
Student Faculty Ratio

Additional Information

College Type
Religious Affiliation
Roman Catholic Church
Campus Housing
Mission Statement
Blue and White
Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association

College History

In 1843, University of Notre Dame founder Father Edward Sorin wrote to his superior, Father Basil Anthony Moreau, to request that he send sisters to a new mission in the wilderness of northern Indiana “to look after the laundry and the infirmary…and also to conduct a school, perhaps even a boarding school.” Four Holy Cross sisters answered the call and, after a 40-day voyage from Le Mans, France, they arrived on May 30, 1843. They established the first school and novitiate in 1844 just north of South Bend, Ind., in Bertrand, Mich.
Answering the needs of their community, the sisters taught orphan girls and ministered to the poor and the sick. Under Mother Angela Gillespie, the first American to head Saint Mary's Academy, the school moved to its present site in northern Indiana in 1855.
In 1908, the charter for Saint Mary’s Academy was amended to authorize the legal existence of a college, and Mother Pauline O’Neill, then director, became the College’s first president. Known as the “builder for God” because of the unprecedented growth during her tenure, Mother Pauline’s most notable accomplishment—LeMans Hall—still stands as the most recognizable symbol of Saint Mary’s.
The distinguished tenure of Sister Madeleva Wolff began in 1934. She reminded leaders that “the essence of our college is not its buildings, its endowment fund, its enrollment, or even its faculty; the essence is the teaching of truth.” Some of her most tangible contributions included the establishment of the School of Sacred Theology and the construction of the Moreau Center for the Arts. Sister Madeleva was known for her poetry, her eloquence and her outspokenness. The Madeleva Society, composed of special benefactors of the College, bears her name, as does the Madeleva Memorial Classroom Building and the Madeleva Lecture Series.
Through more than 160 years and 11 presidents, Saint Mary’s College has embraced the mission envisioned by Father Moreau and has continued to make real in the lives of students and alumnae its core values: learning, community, faith and spirituality, and justice. From modest beginnings as a boarding school teaching and ministering to orphans, to offering five bachelor’s degrees and boasting more than 18,000 living alumnae, the College has continued to grow and prosper as a Catholic women’s college in the liberal arts tradition.

College Specialty

The John F. Henning Institute is founded on the conviction that authentic philosophical discourse and scholarship are essential to the practical development of the common good.  The Institute seeks to contribute to that discourse and scholarship by promoting the scholarly exploration of Catholic Social Thought, as it is developed in the Papal Encyclicals from Rerum Novarum to present.
The Institute directs its efforts to all aspects of Catholic Social Thought, and promotes discourse between scholars and practitioners in labor relations, business, science and technology, the arts, the communications media, higher education, and other areas. The Institute is particularly attentive in all connections to the transcendent dignity of the human person and to the centrality of human work in the realization of the common good.
The Institute is inspired in its orientation and its efforts by the life and work of John F. Henning.  As labor leader, diplomat, statesman, educator and family man, John F. Henning has passionately pursued the common good in light of the principles of Catholic Social Thought.  He is a forceful advocate in the world of affairs who has always remembered that civil discourse at the level of first principles can transcend political and ideological differences to the benefit of all.


Martha Black, the second woman ever elected to the Canadian House of Commons (1935), Kathleen Buck, General Counsel of the Department of Defense during the Reagan Administration. Donna M. Christian-Christensen, non-voting delegate from the United States Virgin Islands in the U.S. House of Representatives (1997–present) Denise L. Cote of the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York, Mary Daly, feminist theologian, author, teacher at Boston College (1966–1999).


With its 57 acres (230,000 m2) of landscaped campus along the St. Joseph River, located within the 278 acres (1.13 km2) owned by the Congregation of the Sisters of the Holy Cross, Saint Mary's College enjoys natural and cultivated beauty and the ideal quiet setting for a college.