The history of Marist College dates back to the early 1900s when members of the Marist Brothers (a Catholic religious group founded in France) established Saint Ann’s Hermitage, the earliest all-boy predecessor to today’s college, in Poughkeepsie. The Hermitage became the Marist Normal Training School in 1929, offering college-level courses for the first time. Then in 1946, it became a New York-chartered official four-year college called Marian College. Under the leadership of 28-year-old Marist Brother Linus Foy the school became Marist College and started to accept students outside of the Marist Brothers order. 1966 saw the first admittance of female students, then in 1969, the school’s ownership was transferred to an independent corporation unaffiliated with the Marist Brothers or the Catholic Church. Though it isn’t officially affiliated today, religion plays a significant role in campus life and there are a few Marist Brothers who still live and work at the college.
The foundation of Marist College was set by the Catholic order, The Marist Brothers, in the early 1800’s. Originally, the campus acted as an educational training center for young men interested in perusing a life of study, prayer and service. The Catholic training school remained until 1946, when the state of New York granted the religious institution a four-year college charter, under the name Marian College. Marian College’s motto “Orare e Labore,” which means “Prayer and Study” derives from these initial roots of the college, and remains as the motto of Marist even today.
Marian College retained its original function of training Marist Brothers until 1960 when the name was changed to Marist College. Also at this time, the religion education school broadened to include undergraduate male students. In 1969, women were granted admission. The religious affiliation set by the Marist Brothers was lost in 1969 and thus Marist became an independent institution. Despite the change, religion continued to play a major role in the lives of students and professors and the presence of the Marist Brothers on campus remained for many years following.
In 1979, Dr. Dennis J. Murray became president of Marist College. He remains president today, nearly 30 years later. Though Murray has continued to keep the traditions of the Marist Brothers reminiscent, much has changed on Marists’ campus in Murray’s time. In 1987, the Lowell Thomas Communication Center was built and the Dyson Center followed in 1990. 1994 saw the construction of a $27 million dollar Student Center. In 2000, Fontaine Hall was built on the north end of Marist’s campus, followed by the multimillion dollar Marist landmark, The James A. Cannavino Library. In more recent years, the numbers of student residences have expanded to keep up with the increasing student body.
Most recently, Tenney Stadium at Leodinoff Field was completed in 2009. Also, the campus’ waterfront was transformed to house a brand new boat house, gazebo and docks. The New Fulton Townhouses are the newest addition to Marist College. Currently, Marist continues to expand with renovations. Recently, Marist has broken ground on The Hancock Center, the future Information Technology Center that will be completed by the fall of 2010.
Officially, Marist lost all of their ties to the Catholic Church in 2003 and today is a nondenominational, private institution. While religion no longer plays a key role at Marist, the traditional value of Marist College -- its obvious sense of community – remains. This aspect of campus life is what ultimately encourages many students to join the “Marist family.” More importantly, though the original foundations of the college are an obvious component to Marist life, campus has continued to make abounds since the years when these values were set. The recent innovation at Marist including both the campus’ academic buildings and dorms provide students with the best facilities available.
Marist’s sprawling, 180-acre campus sits on the shore of the Hudson River, so the library, dorms, and academic buildings offer scenic views. The Student Center is the main hub of campus, with lounges, classrooms, a performing arts room, theater, music practice rooms, dining options, a game room, student offices, and the student radio and television studios. Recently the campus has seen many improvements with a new riverside park that has a bike path, a fishing pier, renovated boathouse, and gazebo, as well as a new dorm on the East Campus.
Located on the banks of the Hudson River, the campus of Marist College is one of the most gorgeous in New York. The James A. Cannavino Library sits atop a hill in the center of campus and is Marist's beacon, offering breathtaking views of the Hudson River Valley from its floor to ceiling windows. Near the library is the student center, a uniquely-designed building with a domed glass ceiling; the outside of the building bares the institution’s name. All of the academic halls, arranged according to academic schools, are conveniently located near one another and are a quick five-to 10-minute walk from dorms.
The library, student center and academic buildings were all recently constructed or renovated and have a contemporary architecture style. Amidst the newer buildings on campus remain historic stone buildings with their roots tied to the founding of Marist College in 1929.
Marist continues to update its academic halls, and a new Information Technology Center, called the Hancock Center, will open in 2010. All student facilities like the 24-hour computer lab in Donnelly Hall and the McCann gym are equipped with state-of-the-art technology and equipment for student use.
The freshman dorms were built around a quad area on the main campus and upperclassmen housing is located across the street in recently-built townhouses, some of which have single bedrooms. The close-knit community of dorms arranged according to class rank is convenient for visits to a friend’s apartment or late-night study sessions with classmates. In the warm weather, Marist’s sprawling campus green is teeming with students getting some sun, studying or playing Frisbee. On these days you’d swear you were witnessing something out a college view book, but a picturesque campus and a thriving student body really do exist here at Marist.
Marist College is located in Poughkeepsie, New York, on prime real estate on the east bank of the Hudson River. The town is college-friendly and students can rub elbows with kids from other local schools like Vassar and the Culinary Institute of America. Though Poughkeepsie doesn’t offer a ton of entertainment venues, Marist keeps students busy with on-campus concerts, comedians, and performances and off-campus retreats. New York City is just a train ride away, so students can hit up the metropolis for a night on the town and many even make the commute for coveted NYC internships.
Marist is located in the town of Poughkeepsie, a suburban area on the banks of the Hudson River. And while the Hudson River Valley may be an absolutely gorgeous place to spend your college years, unfortunately the campus is freezing in the winter months. Students joke that the wind off of the Hudson River is strong enough to knock you over. There are plenty of class cancellations due to bad weather and on these class-free days, students sled down campus hills using cafeteria trays.
While walking around the Poughkeepsie area late at night wouldn’t be a wise decision, campus is a safe area. Marist College is patrolled 24 hours a day by campus security and the area is well-lit and always bustling with student traffic. The area of Poughkeepsie around campus abounds with college life. With Vassar College and The Culinary Institute of America just down the road, the community is brimming with college students who are looking for something to do. Poughkeepsie accommodates its undergraduate inhabitants with restaurants, coffee shops and bars, all close to campus.
Poughkeepsie by no means lacks night life, and Marist students take full advantage of the opportunity to have a good time. Students look forwards to weekend nights -– and the occasional weekday night -– and take a $2 cab rides to nearby bars. Bars offer various themed nights, like karaoke, trivia, happy hour or discounted beer night. For those looking for a more sobering evening out, the area has plenty of other exciting options. Poughkeepsie is home to a drive-in movie theater, a few Indie-inspired coffee shops, authentic diners that are open late, and the Metro North train, which is just down the road and will have you in downtown New York City in 90 minutes.
As reported by Susie Gagnon ’09:
1. No Marist College experience is complete without a plunge into the coffee-colored water of the mighty Hudson River. Most students swim in the Hudson at some point in their four years on campus just so they can say that they are daring enough to have actually tried it.
2. Every spring as the warm weather hits the Marist College campus, the senior class usually crafts a makeshift, giant-sized slip n’ slide on the hill in front of the Marist library. Unfortunately, Marist Campus Security usually breaks up the slip n’ slide before students are hurt, quickly diminishing the senior’s fun. But, getting in trouble for spearheading the creation of the slip n’ slide is just as much of a Marist tradition as the Marist senior slip n’ slide is in itself.
3. Every year, Marist students have the opportunity to take out their pent up computer frustration on old IBM’s that are being retired from the Marist computer system. Students have the chance to take a swing for all of those times they’ve screamed out loud in the library when the computer screen froze and their entire term paper was lost, leaving these old computers in smithereens.
4. Marist students will go out of their way to refrain from stepping on the Marist College official seal. The seal is secured within the marble floor in the center of the Marist Rotunda. Legend has it that one accidental step on the Marist seal will prevent you from graduating, so students usually purposely dodge it just to be safe.
5. Marist students and other Red Fox fans have an array of songs that they sing at the football and basketball games, including the “Marist Fight Song.” Most students are embarrassed to actually know all of the words to this ridiculous song, but they usually sing along like fools nevertheless.
Bill O’Reilly (1971) is a conservative political commentator and host of The O’Reilly Factor, and has visited campus numerous times for alumni events and campus milestones.
Ed Lowe (1967) is a journalist who wrote for Newsday. While a Marist student, he was editor of The Circle, the Marist College student-run newspaper.
Tim Brier (1969) is the co-founder of Priceline.com
Christopher McCann (1983) is the President of 1-800-FLOWERS. The Marist College gymnasium, called The McCann Center, was built from the alum’s donations and thus named in his honor.
Ian O’Connor (1986) is a sports columnist for Foxsports.com.
Rik Smits (1988) is a former NBA All-Star of the Indiana Pacers.
Jared Jordan (2008) is a basketball player who drafted by Los Angeles Clippers after graduation from Marist. Later, he played in preseason games for the New York Knicks. Jordan is currently playing for the Far Eastern European Team.
The Marist Red Foxes are in NCAA Division I and participate in the MAAC Conference. Marist has been extremely successful in the young conference, taking home the JetBlue Airways MAAC Commissioner’s Cups five times. School sprit surrounds athletic events and students especially get excited for basketball and football games. There are varsity teams in baseball, basketball, crew, cross country, football, lacrosse, soccer, softball, swimming and diving, tennis, track, volleyball, and water polo. For those not interested in varsity, Marist offers an array of intramural sports that many students get involved in.
As reported by Susie Gagnon ’09:
“While Marist may not be UConn when it comes to college basketball, the sport dominates on this campus over all other athletics. Here at Marist, our basketball players are campus legends; everyone knows their face and exactly how many points they scored during their last game against Siena. Die-hard students travel to Albany every March to witness their team dominate in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) Tournament. It’s even safe to say that a select group of students take Marist basketball more serious than their academics.
The McCann Gym, home of Marist College Basketball, is always stuffed with Marist supporters on game nights. The student section, which is guaranteed to be a good time, houses rowdy student fans that lead ridiculous chants for the Red Foxes. The rambunctious student section is famous for their demoralizing chants towards the opposing team. The signature “Safety School!” chant is bound to be heard when Marist is down a few points and the notorious “Start the Bus!” cheer is popular whenever Marist clinches a victory.
The biggest crowds on game nights turn out when the Lady Red Foxes take the court. The Marist College women’s basketball team is ranked 20th in the nation. Just this past season, the ladies won their fourth straight MAAC Tournament title. Marist College fashion merchandising major, Alyssa Miller ‘09 agreed, “The woman’s games are usually more packed than the men’s games. Everyone shows up to show their Red Fox pride and to see the team favorite, junior forward Rachele Fitz play.” And no one wants to miss the Red Foxes battle it out on the court against Siena College – Marist’s biggest basketball rival.
Most of the men’s and women’s basketball games are televised, either on local T.V. networks or ESPNU. Marist Athletics host events like “Pack the House” challenges, attempting to sell every ticket in The McCann Center. Other events aim to “White Out The Gym,” with all attendees wear white t-shirts. Occasionally, sponsors will hand out noise makers which only further encourage the rowdy behavior from student fans. Because of events such as these and the ordinarily loud, often out-of-control crowd, Marist’s McCann Center has been called one of the hardest venues to play at in the MAAC.
Marist hosts 22 other varsity sports that also compete in the Division One MAAC. These sports are popular, but lack the insane student crowds that turn out for the basketball games. Second in popularity to basketball, Marist students attend the football games – though most are in it for the pre-game tailgating festivities. Even still, students sporting their Marist red and white fill the stadium on game nights to show their Red Fox spirit. Students make ridiculous t-shirts or giant signs that profess their love for a certain team member. At half time, Marist students sing along with the traditional songs played at the games, and everyone knows all of the words to the ridiculous Marist College “Fight Song.” While football may be second to basketball on this campus, most students will agree that the exciting atmosphere in Tenney Stadium on game night is a good time too.”
As reported by Susie Gagnon ’09:
“1. In all of Marist’s academic buildings, seniors are reminded of how many days are left until their graduation by Marist’s infamous graduation countdown clocks. The digital clocks mark the remaining days left for Marist seniors, and are a ploy started by Marist College Career Services to encourage seniors to get their post-college plans underway. All Marist College seniors agree that the blaring red digits are a horrible reminder that their college lives are about to end.
2. The Marist College Rotunda sits in the center of campus with a unique domed glass ceiling, serving as Marist’s student center. The interior of the Rotunda is outfitted with the flags of different countries. Each flag symbolizes a nation where Marist students can study internationally through Marist College’s Abroad Program. In total, there are 41 different international programs in 24 different countries offered to Marist students, in addition to multi-country programs like Semester at Sea.
3. Marist College has a longstanding partnership with Poughkeepsie-local, IBM Corporation. Every two years, every computer on campus is replaced and updated with state-of-the-art technology from IBM. The Marist Library, computer labs and classrooms are all equipped with the most recent computers and Internet access available. Because of IBM’s obvious presence in the computer technology at Marist College, students joke that “IBM” stands for “I Bought Marist” rather than “International Business Machine.”
4. In front of the James A. Cannavino Library at Marist there is a bronze statue of a Marist Brother mentoring students. Though this status was intended to serve as a reminder of the foundation of Marist College set by the Catholic order, The Marist Brothers, it has become an infamous Marist photo-op. In these pictures, students pose amongst the bronzed statues as if they were actual people. Often, students place random objects in the hands of the statues for laughs.
5. Pleasant Ridge Pizzeria is located across the street from the south end of the Marist College campus and is a short walking distance from dorms. The pizzeria is open until 4:00am on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays. Students enjoy late night slices after being out at the bars, and love the convenient location, extended business hours and friendly owner at Pleasant Ridge. Most will agree that “P-Ridge,” as the pizzeria is often called by Marist students, is the best late night stop for food.
6. A swim in the Hudson River is on every Marist students’ bucket list. Down by the newly developed waterfront, Marist’s campus hosts a gazebo, docks, boat house and an incredible view of the Hudson River Valley. But a word to the wise – if you’re brave enough to swim in the Hudson keep your mouth shut! That murky brownish-green, once polluted water cannot be healthy.
7. Sheahan Hall, a freshman dorm, is supposedly haunted by “Shelley,” the ghost of a young woman who once lived in Sheahan and was shot and killed in the Marist student center by her jealous ex-boyfriend in 1975. But students report that Shelley is a nice ghost, generally she turns on fans or leaves water running from the faucets in the bathroom.
10. The Steel Plant Studios house Marist’s art department and the Marist College Art Gallery. Equipped with several art studios and a digital media lab, Steel Plant is spacious enough to host classes and provide art students a spot to work independently on projects.
The Marist College Art Gallery is also housed in Steel Plant. Exhibitions are held in the gallery every month showcasing a particular subset of art including the work of local artists, Marist professors and Marist students. The exhibition openings are especially popular amongst the Marist student body, particularly because of the free wine and cheese.
9. Hands down, the best meal served in the Marist cafeteria is turkey dinner night. A replica of Thanksgiving dinner, Marist students know better than to miss out on this feast. Another “d-hall” favorite are the infamous “Cup Cake Tuesdays” where students can decorate their cupcakes in a smorgasbord of frosting and toppings. Cup Cake Tuesdays can be to blame for most Marist students’ freshman fifteen.
10. The Marist mascot, “Shooter the Red Fox” can be spotted at Marist athletic games doing cartwheels and giving fans high-fives. No one seems to know who is hiding inside the ridiculous furry Shooter the Red Fox costume and most of Marist College is dying to solve this campus wide mystery.”
Marist has an array of excellent housing options ranging from traditional residence halls to apartments and townhouses. Freshmen are required to live in one of the three co-ed residence halls with standard double rooms. Sophomores generally live in suite-style and apartment units with suites accommodating three to seven students, and juniors and seniors live in the sweet townhouses each holding eight to eleven students. Townhouses have living rooms, dining areas, and access to laundry facilities.
Many students may complain about the housing available to students on college campuses. For one, who wants to live in a cinderblock box with one window on the 15th floor of a high rise dorm with 800 other students? Thankfully for Marist College students, no one here has to worry about this kind of living arrangement. While freshman dorms aren’t the most luxurious (though they are an improvement from most other institutions’), the upperclassmen dorms at Marist far surpass the dorms at other schools.
Freshman dorms, Champagnt, Leo and Sheahan are all standard freshman dorms, coed by floor with double bedrooms and a communal floor bathroom. With close quartered living arrangements, the sense of community is much stronger in these dorms; it’s typical to see floor mates socializing with one another in the lounges. Students often leave their doors open, welcoming visitors. After one year of this housing arrangement, most students are counting down the days until they can choose more glamorous digs, and at Marist there are plenty of options.
Marist College housing system is dissimilar from most other schools that require you to pick a lottery number, where unluckily for most, students end up living in the worst dorm simply because of a bad lottery number. Here, the housing assignments work on a “priority point” system. Rather than picking a random number, Marist students gain points for their campus involvement, academic standing and also by refraining from getting written-up every weekend. For the housing lottery, students’ priority points are assigned and if they choose to live with a group of friends, the priority points of those you intend to live with the following year are averaged together. All students then enter housing selection with an averaged priority point number, and the groups are then ranked in descending order.
During housing selection, the New Fulton Townhouses are guaranteed to be the number one pick. Built in 2008, this year marks the first that 264 upperclassmen students inhabit these spacious, three-level townhouses. They accommodate eight occupants, all of which have their own single bedroom. This dorm is complete with two bathrooms, a giant common area and a kitchen equipped with stainless steel appliances. The townhouses also have central air. Students who are lucky enough to live in New Fulton testify that they are “living the dream,” and truthfully, they are.
For students who can’t manage to secure a spot in the New Fulton Townhouses, there’s Upper Fulton – a replica of New Fulton, built three years prior. The other upperclassmen townhouse options aren’t far behind the Fulton Townhouses. Earning a decent number of priority points is the only way to increase your chances of living in college housing that rivals the comfort of your own home, and for those unfortunate students who fail to earn a decent number of priority points, Marist has options for them too.
A few ill-fated sophomores, generally those who failed to earn priority points, live Marian Hall, built in 1983. The rooms, though somewhat spacious, are shared by three students. Marian is the only upperclassmen dorm that has communal bathrooms. A benefit of living in Marian is the dorm rooms’ walk-in closets, which are surprisingly enormous for college living standards. Marian is also located right next to the library, but those students whose priority points grant them a year in Marian don’t usually spend much time in the library anyway.
Foy Townhouses are another last resort option. Built in the early 80’s, each townhouse accommodates ten students who live in five double occupancy bedrooms. Foy has three bathrooms for students to share among their house of ten students, as well as smaller sized kitchens and living rooms. Unfortunately, some Foy inhabitants have experienced the “Foy Flood” in wet weather – the first floors of their townhouses fill with rain water. While Foy certainly doesn’t have the brand-spankin’-new vibe, it does offer an incredible view of the Hudson River – especially from the townhouses’ riverfront balconies. And if you’re lazy, Foy is literally 20 steps away from academic buildings so students who live here can get ten more minutes of sleep in before morning classes.
While the significant majority of Marist College housing surpasses the standard accommodations at other institutions, most students opt to live on campus for the convenience factor as well as to be a part of the college community feel offered by these residence halls. Regardless of which residence hall you live in, the student camaraderie is obvious, as all of these campus dorms exist in what students refer to as the “Marist bubble.