Mount St. Mary's University, also known as The Mount, is a private, liberal arts, Catholic university in the Catoctin Mountains near Emmitsburg, Maryland. It was founded by French émigré Father John DuBois (Père Jean Dubois) in 1808 and is the oldest independent Catholic college in the United States. (It is the second oldest Catholic college in the United States, after Georgetown.) The school became co-educational in 1972. In addition to its undergraduate school, the university includes five graduate programs, including a seminary. Dr. Thomas H. Powell is the University's president.
As of 2012[update] the seminary's rector and president was the former vicar general of the Catholic Diocese of Peoria, Illinois, Monsignor Steven P. Rohlfs; his immediate predecessor was Bishop Kevin C. Rhoades. The chancellor of the seminary was the former Archbishop William Henry Keeler.
In 1805, DuBois laid the cornerstone for a church Saint-Mary's-on-the-Hill and bought land with the intention of constructing a school. In 1809, Pigeon Hall, a seminary of the French Society of St. Sulpice was transferred to Emmitsburg and marked the beginning of higher education at Mount St. Mary. In the same year, Elizabeth Ann Seton, saint and founder of the Sisters of Charity, came to the Mount. She attended Mass there until her death in 1821.
The first charter for a university was obtained in 1830. However, until the early 1900s, Mount Saint Mary's University also acted as a boarding school. Some remnants of the boarding school, such as Bradley Hall (one of the oldest buildings on campus), still exist.
During World War II, Mount Saint Mary's College was one of 131 colleges and universities nationally that took part in the V-12 Navy College Training Program which offered students a path to a Navy commission.
In June 1809, Seton established the first parochial school for girls in Emmitsburg. That school grew to become Saint Joseph College, for women. In 1973, sagging enrollment numbers and rising operating costs forced St. Joseph's College to close its doors and to merge with Mount Saint Mary’s University.
The university is located on a 1,400 acre (5.7 km²) campus, which includes the National Shrine Grotto of Lourdes, a popular pilgrimage site. The campus contains five, new or completely renovated residence halls and three apartment buildings. Academic classes are held in the Knott Academic Center, the COAD Science Building, and Borders Learning Center. Bradley Hall is the campus administration building. The fine arts department is located in the newly renovated Flynn Hall now known as the Delaplaine Fine Arts Center. The ARCC, the main Division 1 athletic facility, contains Knott Arena and is used to hold athletic and special events on campus. The student center and cafeteria are located in the recently renovated McGowan center.
The National Shrine Grotto of Lourdes draws thousands of religious pilgrims and tourists to the campus of Mount Saint Mary's University annually. It is the oldest known replica of the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Lourdes in France, dating to about 1875, less than twenty years after the reputed Lourdes apparitions. The Grotto was set up in 1805 by the university's founder John DuBois[clarification needed].
Simon Bruté, who later became the first bishop of Vincennes, Indiana, was an early steward of the Grotto, from 1812.
The Grotto was proclaimed a Public Oratory on December 8, 1965, by Cardinal Lawrence Shehan, archbishop of Baltimore. Hugh J. Phillips, who had formerly been a student and then president of the university, was appointed its chaplain. The library at Mount Saint Mary's is named for him.
Students and faculty
The university enrolls 1,612 undergraduate students and 513 graduate students with a total of 2,125 students. The student population consists of about 55% females and 45% males. Of the 1,612 undergraduate students, 55% come from Maryland and 33% come from other Mid-Atlantic States, while 30 total states are represented, as well as 12 foreign countries. Of the freshmen who attend the Mount, 90% stated that Mount St. Mary's was either their first or second choice.
The first issues of the Mountain Echo appear to have been published in 1879 and 1880, from Inglewood, near Mt. St. Mary′s College, Emmitsburg, MD. According to a 1993 article in The Mountain Briefing by William Lawbaugh, these numbers were printed on a hand-operated press by Professor Ernest Lagarde from his home, which he named Inglewood. The Mountaineer, which functioned both as a college newspaper and alumni journal, was published sporadically during the latter part of the 1800s, and began regular publication in 1893.
On October 28, 1923, the Mountain Echo was revived and Volume I, Number 1 was published, reporting on news and issues of concern to the College community. Another publication, The Mountaineer, was devoted to alumni news and literary pursuits. The biannual Mount Magazine later replaced the Mountaineer.
Early issues of the newspaper were four pages long, and reported on significant campus events, sports, and education. The issues also contained death notices, news from classes and alumni, campus changes, and personal and other advertisements. The 1878/1880 issues included poetry, literary works, and articles on the history of the College.
During the academic year 1974-75, the paper was restructured under the name of The Mountain Review, but resumed its long-standing name the following year. By the 1995/1996 academic year The Mountain Echo was printing a 24 page issue on a biweekly schedule. That year the Echo also had expanded into other formats with Echo Online, which was the first incarnation of The Mountain Echo website, as well as Echo Weekly News with Vince Chesney, which was a radio show hosted by the newspaper's editor-in-chief on the college radio station, WMTB.
The Internet company that maintained Echo Online folded within a few years; the Mountain Echo Web site was continued in 2002 with a new Internet provider, and continued weekly publishing in print and online.
Lighted Corners, the Mount's award-winning literary and arts magazine, published its first issue in 1981. Lighted Corners is an annual, student-run literary magazine dedicated to art, fiction, creative nonfiction, poetry, and photography. Each academic year near the end of the fall semester, submissions are collected through email, which are voted on anonymously by staff. The editorial board makes final selections, and then commits much of the spring semester to editing and putting the magazine together. Lighted Corners has won many awards from the Columbia Scholastic Press Association (CSPA), the American Scholastic Press Association, and the Society for Collegiate Journalists. Most recently, Lighted Corners received a Gold Medal from the Columbia Scholastic Press Association.
Mount St. Mary's teams participate as a member of the National Collegiate Athletic Association's Division I. The Mountaineers are a member of the Northeast Conference (NEC). Men's sports include baseball, basketball, cross country, golf, lacrosse, soccer, swimming & diving, tennis and track & field; while women's sports include basketball, cross country, golf, lacrosse, soccer, softball, swimming & diving, tennis and track & field.
On March 18, 2008, the Mountaineers defeated Coppin State University in the play-in game of the NCAA Tournament. This win was Mount Saint Mary's first as a Division I school in the NCAA Tournament.
Babe Ruth was discovered at Mount St. Mary's by Joe Engel, a student and baseball player at the school, when the St. Mary's Industrial School for Boys of Baltimore (which Ruth attended) team came to Emmitsburg to play. Engel informed minor-league Baltimore Orioles manager Jack Dunn of Ruth and his prodigious pitching ability.
In 2008 the University adopted a master plan for the future, much of which has already been completed:
Connection to the University of Notre Dame and Saint Mary's College in South Bend, IN
In 1834 Simon Bruté was appointed the founding bishop of the Diocese of Vincennes, modern day Indiana and Eastern Illinois. His experience of developing Mount Saint Mary's would have been highly prized as Notre Dame was being formed. Like the Mount, in its early years Notre Dame was a university in name only. It encompassed religious novitiates, preparatory and grade schools and a manual labor school, but its classical collegiate curriculum never attracted more than a dozen students a year in the early decades. This is a model that Bruté could have impressed on the Holy Cross Brothers who founded the university. Again, there is a French connection in the Congregation of the Holy Cross and Bruté who both held deep devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary. While Bruté was a modest man, leaving no published works behind, his influence can be seen in the University of Notre Dame and its sister school Saint Mary's College.
There is the obvious parallel between the three school's names (Notre Dame is 'Our Lady,' a term of endearment for Saint Mary). Second, and less obvious is a parallel between the three school's mottos. Mount Saint Mary's in Emmitsburg has the motto 'Spes Nostra' (Latin: Our Hope) similar to Saint Mary's College in Indiana's motto 'Spes Unica' (Latin: the Only/Unique Hope) and Notre Dame's motto 'Vita Dulcedo Spes' (Latin: Life, Sweetness, Hope). Mount Saint Mary's in Emmitsburg, Notre Dame and Saint Mary's in Indiana are all unique in their use of focusing on their patron's attribute of a Catholic's hope.