Saint Michael's College is a private, residential liberal arts Catholic college. The 440-acre (1.8 km2) campus is located in Colchester, Vermont, United States. It was founded in 1904 by the Society of Saint Edmund, a French order of Catholic priests.
In 1889, priests from the Society of Saint Edmund fled to the United States after widespread anticlericism seized France. In 1904, they opened Saint Michael's Institute with an initial investment of $5,000. Thirty-four students aged 10 to 22 enrolled, with a tuition and board fee of $105. Slowly, the school discontinued its high school program. Gradually, the school transitioned from an academy to a traditional residential college. In 1939, graduate programs were offered for the first time.
Saint Michael’s Playhouse was opened in 1947, bringing professional summer theater to Vermont, giving students the chance to work behind the scenes.
Before the 1950s, classes at Saint Michael's were small, just a few dozen Michaelmen in any class. In the 1950s, the college expanded to hundreds of students per class. To manage the influx of GI Bill students after World War II, Saint Michael's acquired temporary housing in the form of military barracks from Fort Ethan Allen in Colchester. In the 1950s, the College began a building program which established the red brick architectural style which permeates campus today.
In the 1950s, Freshmen were required to wear a dress shirt, coat and tie to every class and for the evening meal. All dorm students said the rosary before retiring.
Saint Michael's Applied Linguistics Department was started in 1954, focusing on teaching English to students from around the world.
About 130 refugees from the Hungarian Uprising of 1956 came to the college. Most of them, already well-educated, came to learn English.
In April 1970, the Board of Trustees approved a proposal by then-president Bernard Boutin to become a co-educational institution. In 1972, the first four female graduates of Saint Michael's received their degrees.
The college consists of two campuses, Main (also called South) and North.
The main campus is the original and largest, with most of the classrooms, administration buildings and residence halls. The Quad is anchored by Durick Library to the west and the Chapel of Saint Michael the Archangel to the east. The three academic halls, Cheray Hall, Jeanmarie Hall, and Saint Edmund's Hall, along with the McCarthy Arts Center line the Quad to the south. The Alliot Student Center and the four underclass residence halls wall the Quad on the north.
Also located on the main campus are the Doc Jacobs Athletic Fields, Ross Sports Center and Tarrant Recreation Center, Founder's Hall, which houses the administrative offices, and the Hoehl Welcome Center, which houses the Admissions office. Standing at the main gateway of the school, admission interviews with prospective students are held in Hoehl.
North Campus, one mile (1.6 km) from Main Campus, features additional residence halls, some apartments, and the Sloane Art Center, which has studio arts facilities for drawing and painting, the photography darkroom, and some classrooms. Sloane also contains the Knights of the Round Table, a dining hall.
As of the fall of 2012, 1,928 undergraduate students, 52% female and 48% male, were enrolled at Saint Michael's College. The college is comprised of around 80% out-of-state students, 20% in-state students, and 2% international students. Undergraduate students at the college come from 35 states and 17 countries. Saint Michael's has 155 full-time faculty members; creating a 12:1 student to faculty ratio on campus. There are 439 graduate students who attend the college; over 90 percent are from Vermont.
Saint Michael's has taken many steps towards sustainability over the years. It was named the first fair trade school in Vermont. Along with the initiatives in the cafeteria, Saint Michael's has an organic garden that started in 2008 and has grown into a huge project for students and faculty alike. The garden utilizes student volunteers through the MOVE program and also works with summer interns and crew members to prepare the vegetables for Farm Stands that run from mid-summer through the beginning of fall. The school also provides a free CCTA Commuter Pass to all Students, Staff, and Faculty. To improve water conservation, dual flush handles for toilets have begun to be installed in various buildings around campus and all campus showerheads and sink aerators are low flow. Saint Michael's College also took the St. Francis Pledge, a promise and commitment by Catholic individuals, families, parishes, organizations, and institutions to live their faith by protecting God's Creation and advocating on behalf of people in poverty who face the harshest impacts of global climate change. As part of the college's ban on bottled water, the Office of Sustainability has installed several water bottle fill stations throughout campus, allowing students to more easily use their reusable water bottles. Saint Michael's College has been recycling throughout the campus since 1989 and also takes steps toward improving energy such as the Light Bulb Exchange Program (switching out standard light bulbs for energy efficient light bulbs) and 3 Degree Challenge (lowering temperatures in Residence Halls and Academic Buildings) while working to increase the energy and electrical efficiency of campus buildings. Combined with many education programs on energy consumption run by the Office of Sustainability, the college has reduced its carbon footprint by 29% since 2003. Saint Michael's also offers an Environmental Studies Major and Minor for those students interested in further focusing on the environment from the perspective of natural sciences, social sciences, and the humanities.
Students at Saint Michael's College live in a variety of different housing facilities. All housing is single-sex by floor or wing.
Scheduled to open in Fall 2013, The Quad Commons is a $30 million structure creating a brand new 40,000 square-foot student center and 43,000 square-foot residence hall on campus. The student center brings new meeting spaces as well as high tech capabilities, Einstein Bros. Bagels, an exercise facility, and meditation room. The residence hall brings beautiful views on four levels providing 105 beds: 15 single rooms, 2 rooms for RAs, and 22 four-person suites.
The most popular majors at Saint Michael's College are Business, Biology, Education, and Psychology. Classes are small and hands-on learning is emphasized, with a student to teacher ratio of 12:1 Saint Michael's houses the following honors: Phi Beta Kappa; Delta Epsilon Sigma, the Catholic honor society; Pi Sigma Alpha for Political Science; Omicron Delta Epsilon for Economics; Phi Alpha Theta for History; Kappa Delta Pi for Education; Psi Chi for Psychology; Sigma Xi for Science and Technology; Pi Mu Epsilon for Mathematics; Beta Beta Beta for Biology; Kappa Tau Alpha for Journalism and Mass Communication (the only KTA chapter nationwide housed at a small college); and Sigma Beta Delta for Business, Management and Administration. Four Saint Michael's professors have been named the CASE/Carnegie Foundation Vermont Professor of the Year. Saint Michael's College is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges.
Undergraduate programs include over 30 majors and minors, combined with a liberal studies curriculum and experiential learning requirement. Emphasis is placed on independent study, independent research, internships and foreign study. Eligible students can also participate in the College's Honors Program.
There are three master's degree programs: Clinical Psychology, Education, and Teaching English as a Second/Foreign Language. There are three post-master's certificates and Vermont teacher licensure programs. The master's degree programs in Administration and Management and in Theology and Pastoral Ministry have been phased out.
Special English as a Second Language programs are offered for international students through the Applied Linguistics Department, including a program that assists international students in the transition to college-level course work.
Students may participate in study abroad programs, which cost the same as a semester on campus. Students can choose from over 100 different programs located around the globe and can choose a program by location or language, or from a variety of special Saint Michael's programs. Over a third of students choose to study abroad.
Nearly 100% of students live on campus in residence halls and townhouses. There are over 40 student organizations. There are no fraternities or sororities. Other activities include the Student Association, Wilderness Program, Campus Ministry, the campus radio station WWPV, club sports, student musical and play productions, the Saint Michael's Chorale, Vermont Gregorian Chant Schola, open mic nights and various instrumental and vocal ensembles. Christmas and spring semi-formal dances are held. Athletics facilities include a fitness room, racquetball and an indoor track and swimming pool. Trails surround the campus for cross-country running or mountain biking.
There are 21 varsity sports (10 for men, 11 for women) and over 20 intramural teams. Saint Michael's varsity sports teams are called the Purple Knights. The school colors are purple and gold. Varsity teams participate in the NCAA's Division II Northeast Ten Conference. Approximately 25% of students participate in a varsity sport. For men: Basketball, baseball, cross country, golf, hockey, lacrosse, skiing (alpine, Nordic), soccer, rugby, swimming and diving, and tennis. For women: basketball, cross country, field hockey, lacrosse, skiing, soccer, rugby, softball, swimming and diving, tennis, ice hockey, and volleyball. Student-led programs include billiards, ping pong, floor hockey, volleyball and indoor soccer. Tournaments are also scheduled throughout the academic year. Yoga, jazzercise, kick boxing, cardio step and pilates courses are offered weekly. First Aid and CPR training/certification is also offered.
Notable artists such as O.A.R., The Roots, Jurassic 5, Carbon Leaf, Wyclef Jean, Lupe Fiasco, Third Eye Blind, Grace Potter and the Nocturnals, and Macklemore have performed on campus in recent years.
One of the extracurricular activities at Saint Michael's is the Fire and Rescue program. Entirely student run, the department provides fire protection and emergency medical treatment to campus and the surrounding community. The EMT program is one of seven college run EMT programs with a full service area in the country.
Saint Michael's Playhouse, the College's professional equity summer theater, draws talent from Broadway, Off-Broadway and regional theaters performing full scale New York caliber theater. The playhouse is a member of the Council of Resident Stock Theaters (CORST). As a CORST theater company, Saint Michael's Playhouse employs members of Actors' Equity Association, as well as directors from the Stage Directors and Choreographers Society and designers from United Scenic Artists.
The playhouse also maintains a Professional Theater Internship Program for college theater students. Acceptance into this program is competitive. Successful candidates work side by side with the professionals in areas of theater production and administration.
The college provides student access to a Saint Michael's sponsored Culture Pass to the Flynn Center for the Performing Arts which enables free entry to world-class arts events in the prime Burlington-area arts venue throughout the academic year.
The College was also a sponsor of the Vermont Mozart Festival, formerly the state's largest classical music festival.
Saint Michael's offers over 40 different student-run clubs and organizations. Clubs range from the arts (e.g. A cappella groups, Drama Club, Chorale) to community groups (e.g. Common Ground, Food Justice, Student Global AIDS Campaign) to academic clubs (e.g. The Defender, French Club, Onion River Review).
The campus also offers various club sports such as Cycling, Dance, Rugby (Men's & Women's), Ski & Snowboarding, Ultimate Frisbee, and Water Polo.
Turtle Underground is a student-run program that promotes student art, music, and performance. There are shows most Saturdays during the semester. These have featured a variety of acts, ranging from DJs to solo singer-song writers to jam bands.
Student publications include The Defender (weekly newspaper), and the Onion River Review a literary magazine.
MOVE (Mobilization of Volunteer Efforts) is the service organization on campus. Over 65 students lead MOVE programs locally, domestically, and internationally under the guidance of the programs director and assistant director. MOVE has the highest participation rate of any organization on campus with over 70% of students volunteering with the program by the time they graduate. In 2011, 560 MOVE volunteers accounted for almost 28,000 service hours. MOVE offers students the opportunity to get involved in a number of programs ranging from mentoring middle school students, to working with Habitat for Humanity, to volunteering at a local shelter. Another unique service the MOVE program provides is the Extended Service Program. Since 1986, Saint Michael's Extended Service Program has offered students an alternative way to spend their breaks during and at the end of the academic year. What began with one trip to New York City's Covenant House, has expanded into service trips to 11 domestic and 2 international sites in areas as close to the school as Hartford, CT and as far as Kolkata, India. Each year more than 125 students, faculty, and staff participate in the Extended Service Program.
The Wilderness Program at Saint Michael's College allows students to get active and take advantage of the New England wilderness. With the Wilderness Program, students at any skill level can go hiking, rock climbing, ice climbing, snowshoeing, kayaking and skiing for as little as $5. The Wilderness Program also offers a $30 season pass to Smugglers Notch as well as vans to shuttle students to the mountain every weekend. During the summer, they put on the Wilderness Orientation Weekend (WOW) for incoming first-year students. It is a three-day field intensive program that allows incoming students to experience the beautiful Vermont wilderness areas and meet future classmates before moving in.
Saint Michael's is ranked #90 in the "Best National Liberal Arts Colleges" category of the "America's Best Colleges: 2013 Annual Guide", published by U.S. News and World Report. Additionally, Saint Michael's is included in The Princeton Review's Guide to 322 Green Colleges. In 2013 Forbes magazine ranked the school #143 in its list of top private colleges in the nation. (#176 overall)
The college has also won regional Society of Professional Journalists awards for its former student online magazine, The Echo. The student newspaper, The Defender, placed third during the 2009 Associated Collegiate Press competition.