Mount Ida College is a private college in Newton, Massachusetts offering professional undergraduate and graduate degrees.
The Mount Ida School for Girls was a private all-female high school founded in 1899 by George Franklin Jewett, named after the hill on which it was located in Newton Corner, Massachusetts. The first junior college level courses were offered at Mount Ida in 1907, but the first associate degrees were not awarded until 1967. After encountering severe financial difficulties, it was forced to close during the Great Depression, but was purchased by William Fitts Carlson in 1939 and relocated to its present location in Oak Hill section of Newton.
The school was later renamed as Mount Ida Junior College, and became a co-educational institution in the Autumn of 1972. Several Boston-based institutions also merged with Mount Ida on the Newton campus, including Grahm Junior College (1979), the Boston operations of Bryant & Stratton College (1979), Chamberlayne Junior College (1988), New England Institute of Funeral Service Education (1989), and Coyne Electrical and Technical School. A senior college division awarding bachelor's degrees was added in the 1980s, with an emphasis on career and professional education. In 2012 Barry Brown was appointed president of the college.
The campus of Mount Ida College is located on a tract of land in Oak Hill, Newton, that once belonged to William Sumner Appleton (1840 – 1903, father of William Sumner Appleton Junior). The estate was transferred after Appleton's death to Robert Gould Shaw II. Shaw commissioned Boston architect James Lovell Little Junior to build a carriage house and horse stable in 1910; this building was subsequently refurbished and is now known as Holbrook Hall. The building now known as Shaw Hall, which became the nucleus for the new Mount Ida campus, was also commissioned by Shaw and designed by Little in 1912. The building now known as Hallden Academic Support Center was also constructed in 1912, presumably by Little.
The Shaw fortune had collapsed during the Depression, which enabled Dr. Carlson to purchase the vacant and decaying Shaw Estate and reopen Mount Ida Junior College in 1939. In 1956, a two story dormitory designed by architect Albert C. Rugo was added to Shaw Hall. Rugo designed several other buildings that were added to the complex in the 1950s and 1960s.
The college has approximately 1,500 students enrolled as of the 2007–2008 academic year. Approximately 60% of students live in campus housing.
Mount Ida College consists of five schools:
The Gallery at Mount Ida College holds exhibitions of regional, national, and international fine artists and designers. The Gallery has featured works in photography, painting, sculpture, video, and a variety of other art forms. The Gallery opened in 1999, allowing artists and designers to have a showcase for traditional and alternative media works as an innovative part of the Mount Ida College Learning Community.
Mount Ida's athletes compete as the Mustangs in the Great Northeast Athletic Conference in eleven NCAA Division III varsity sports (men's & women's basketball, cheerleading, men's & women's cross country, equestrian, football, men's & women's lacrosse, men's & women's soccer, softball, tennis and men's & women's volleyball), as well as IHSA equestrian competition and club baseball. Other student activities include Student Government, a campus newspaper, over 20 clubs and organizations as well as many one-day events sponsored by student activities.
Marlene M. DeChane, a New Hampshire State Representative from Strafford County, New Hampshire from 1994 - 2007, is a 1976 graduate of Mount Ida College. Thomas Menino, Mayor of Boston from 1993 – present, earned his associate degree in 1963 from Chamberlayne Junior College, which later became part of Mount Ida College. Wine critic Gary Vaynerchuk is also a graduate of Mount Ida College. Tony Frias, a professional soccer player, and Enid A. Haupt, a publisher and philanthropist attended Mount Ida.