Mount St. Mary’s is a Catholic university committed to education in the service of truth. We seek to cultivate a community of learners, formed by faith, engaged in discovery, and empowered for leadership in the Church, the professions, and the world. In order to enable individuals to understand and to challenge or embrace the cultural forces operating on them, Mount St. Mary’s in all its curricular and cocurricular programs encourages each student to undertake free and rigorous inquiry leading to a reflective and creative understanding of the traditions that shape the communities in which we live. Mount St. Mary’s strives to graduate men and women who cultivate mature spiritual life, who live by high intellectual and moral standards, who respect the dignity of other persons, who see and seek to resolve the problems facing humanity, and who commit themselves to live as responsible citizens.
Mount St. Mary’s University: A Proud History
With a letter of introduction from Lafayette, Father DuBois came to America in 1791 to escape the French Revolution. He landed at Norfolk, Va., and was received by Patrick Henry, James Monroe and other American patriots. He immediately made himself subject to the only bishop in the United States at the time, the Most Rev. John Carroll of Baltimore, and continued his spiritual labors in the vicinity of Norfolk until 1792, when he was transferred to a pastorate in Frederick, Md. Among his missions were the church in Emmitsburg and the chapel maintained by the Elder family, who, to escape religious persecution, had left southern Maryland in 1728 and settled in the area about three miles south of Emmitsburg, which they named Saint Mary’s Mount.
Soon after his arrival, Father DuBois opened his first school for the children in the neighborhood and later accommodated boarding students who sought admission.
In 1805, when the congregation outgrew the little chapel in the Elder homestead, Father DuBois bought land, built a church, and purchased another 64 acres of land to begin construction of a college. At the end of the first school year in 1809, the student body numbered 50 young men.
Thus began the actual academic organization of Mount St. Mary’s University. The institution was dedicated to the honor of the Mother of God, for whom Father DuBois always cherished a special devotion, and to memorialize the name of Saint Mary’s Mount, which had been given to the locality by the early settlers.
In 1830, the college received its first charter from the legislature of the State of Maryland. The charter was revised in 1838 and has been amended several times since that date.
Mount St. Mary’s Seminary was established by Father John DuBois at the same time that he founded the college, and the history of this combined institution is closely interwoven with the history of the Catholic Church in the United States after the establishment of the American hierarchy. Numbered among the sons of the seminary are the first American cardinal, John Cardinal McCloskey of New York, Archbishops Hughes, Purcell, Elder, Corrigan, and Seton, and many bishops and priests.
In 1972, the college opened its doors to its first female students; in 1999, the college began offering degree completion programs for non-traditional undergraduate students in Frederick, Md.; in 2004, the college became a university; in 2008, the university celebrated its 200th birthday; and in July of 2009, instituted a College of Liberal Arts, School of Business, School of Education and Human Services, and a School of Natural Science and Mathematics. In 2017, the School of Education and Human Services became the Division of Education.
Mount St. Mary’s University offers programs on two campuses:
16300 Old Emmitsburg Road
Emmitsburg, MD 22727
5350 Spectrum Drive
Frederick, MD 21703
Mount St. Mary’s Seminary, also located on the Main Campus, provides formation of men for the Roman Catholic priesthood.
For more information about the Seminary, see the Seminary Academic Catalogs.