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Alverno College is an institution of higher education sponsored by the School Sisters of Saint Francis and dedicated to the undergraduate education of women. The student - her learning and her personal and professional development - is the central focus of everyone associated with Alverno.
Bay Path University was founded in 1897 in Springfield, Massachusetts, as a coeducational business school offering programs in accounting, business administration, secretarial science, and business teacher training. In 1945, Bay Path moved to Longmeadow, Massachusetts, and it restricted its enrollment to young women. Four years later, it received approval to be chartered as Bay Path Junior College. In 1988, the Massachusetts Board of Regents of Higher Education authorized Bay Path Junior College to become a four-year degree-granting institution, and its name was officially changed to Bay Path College. Maintaining its commitment to women-only undergraduate programs, as well as coeducational graduate programs, in 2014 the College became Bay Path University.
Founded as a private institution for the education of women, Brenau began life in 1878 as Georgia Baptist Female Seminary. In 1900 H. J. Pearce purchased the institution and renamed it Brenau, a linguistic blend formed from the German word brennen, “to burn”, and the Latin aurum, “gold”.
When Bryn Mawr College opened its doors in 1885, it offered women a more ambitious academic program than any previously available to them in the United States. Other women's colleges existed, but Bryn Mawr was the first to offer graduate education through the Ph.D.—a signal of its founders' refusal to accept the limitations imposed on women's intellectual achievement at other institutions.
Founded in 1913, the College of Saint Benedict embraces the rich heritage of bold leadership and pioneering spirit of its Benedictine founders, the Sisters of Saint Benedict's Monastery. The college’s dedication to the power of the liberal arts is a cornerstone of the Benedictine wisdom tradition. In addition, the college expresses its Benedictine character through the practice of enduring Benedictine values, including community, hospitality and service.
Catherine McAuley, founder of the Sisters of Mercy and an early 18th century Irishwoman, believed that nothing was more productive of good to society than the careful education of women. Her strength of conviction gave birth to what would become a long line of women's secondary and post-secondary schools around the globe. Mother Mary Leo Gallagher, another Sister of Mercy, carried on the tradition and opened the doors of College of Saint Mary in 1923. In the old Continental Hotel at 15th and Castelar Streets, the work began. In November 1950, the Sisters purchased 80 acres of land next to a dirt road named 72nd Street and what would then become Mercy Road. A $3 million construction project began in March 1953 and by May 1955, College of Saint Mary was a reality. By 1958, College of Saint Mary had become a four-year fully-accredited college. Today, the College continues its affiliation with the Sisters of Mercy and is proud of its tradition of women leading the way.
Founded as Columbia Female College in 1854 by the United Methodist Church, Columbia College is one of the oldest women’s colleges in the country. When General Sherman and his troops marched through Columbia in 1865, the school was saved from being torched when Professor of Music W.H. Orchard, having heard that all unoccupied buildings would be burned, left his home in the middle of the night to protect the College by standing in the doorway where he could be seen by troops. Artist Georgia O’Keeffe was on the faculty in 1915-1916 and described her time at the College as “an important time in my life and some of my most important early drawings were made at that time at Columbia College. It started me on my way.”
Although the doors of Converse opened October 1, 1890, the first step towards the founding of the college was taken in 1889 when a prominent attorney assembled a group of Spartanburg citizens to discuss the project. Among the 13 men was Dexter Edgar Converse, a native of Vermont who had settled in Spartanburg before the Civil War. His contributions to the college were so valuable it was given his name.
Founded as Augusta Female Seminary in 1842 by Rufus W. Bailey, Mary Baldwin University is the oldest institution of higher education for women in the nation affiliated with the Presbyterian Church. Among its first students, totaling 57 young women (paying as much as $60 per semester to attend), was Mary Julia Baldwin.
Meredith College has been educating strong, confident women for more than a century. Chartered in 1891, the College opened with 200 students and a mission to provide a first-rate course of female education. Today Meredith is one of the largest independent women’s colleges in the U.S., graduating nearly 500 students each year who come from across the country and around the world.
In 1852, two years after California was admitted to statehood, the Young Ladies’ Seminary in Benicia, California was established by nine citizens in what became the state capital. Cyrus and Susan Mills bought the Seminary in 1865 for $5,000, renamed it Mills College, and moved it in 1871 to its current 135-acre oasis. We invite you to take a virtual tour of our campus.
Founded by Sarah Worthington Peter in 1848, Moore College of Art & Design is the first and only women’s visual arts college in the nation. Established as the Philadelphia School of Design for Women, the College continues to thrive on the promise of empowering women to achieve financial independence by providing a high-quality, career-focused education.
Chemist and educator Mary Lyon founded Mount Holyoke College (then called Mount Holyoke Female Seminary) in 1837, nearly a century before women gained the right to vote. As the first of the Seven Sisters—the female equivalent of the once predominantly male Ivy League—Mount Holyoke has led the way in women's education.
Mount Saint Mary’s University was established in 1925 by the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet. Since their founding in Le Puy, France, in 1650, the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet (CSJs) have been faithful to their original mission of "helping women become all they are capable of being" and of "serving all persons without distinction."
Established by the School Sisters of Notre Dame, Notre Dame of Maryland University has anticipated and met contemporary needs with visionary and pragmatic educational programs since 1895. It was the first Catholic college for women to award the 4-year baccalaureate degree.
Saint Mary’s promotes a life of intellectual vigor, aesthetic appreciation, religious sensibility, and social responsibility. Founded in 1844 by the Sisters of the Holy Cross, Saint Mary’s College’s is a four-year, Catholic, residential, women’s liberal arts college offering five bachelor’s degrees and more than 30 major areas of study. Online and hybrid graduate programs are offered in several in-demand fields.
Believing that women deserved an education comparable to that given men -- a radical view for that era -- the Moravians began a school for girls in 1772. In 1802, it became a boarding school for girls and young women; in 1866, it was renamed Salem Female Academy. Salem began granting college degrees in the 1890s.
Simmons College was founded in 1899 by Boston businessman John Simmons, who had a revolutionary idea — that women should be able to earn independent livelihoods and lead meaningful lives. It was this same spirit of inclusion and empowerment that produced the first African-American Simmons graduate in 1914, and made Simmons one of the only private colleges that did not impose admission quotas on Jewish students during the first half of the 1900s.
Smith College began more than 140 years ago in the mind and conscience of a New England woman. Sophia Smith, who inherited a large fortune at age 65, decided that leaving her inheritance to found a college for women was the best way to fulfill her moral obligation to provide an education for women equal to that available for men.
St. Catherine University is the largest Catholic women's college in the United States with an enrollment of nearly 5,000. St. Kate’s, as it’s commonly known, was founded in 1905. Grounded in the liberal arts and the Catholic traditions of intellectual inquiry and social teaching, St. Kate’s educates women to lead and influence. In 1937, it became the nation’s first Catholic college to be awarded a chapter of the prestigious Phi Beta Kappa honor society. St. Kate’s offers associate, bachelor and advanced degree programs in four schools: the School of Business and Professional Studies; the School of Humanities, Arts and Sciences; the Henrietta Schmoll School of Health; and the School of Social Work. St. Kate's offers nearly 60 fields of study, as well as another 35-plus through the Associated Colleges of the Twin Cities consortium. At every degree level, St. Kate’s serves a diverse student population; developing ethical, reflective and socially responsible leaders. St. Kate’s president is 1976 alumna ReBecca Koenig Roloff.
The West was wild, and for the most part, the frontier unsettled when Col. Richard Gentry called together Columbia’s 14 leading male citizens on Aug. 24, 1833, to discuss the education of their daughters at the Columbia Female Academy. Years later, James L. Stephens endowed the College with $20,000, and the institution was renamed the Stephens Female College.
An act of the 27th Texas Legislature in 1901 founded the Girls Industrial College as a public institution that would become Texas Woman's University in 1957. The school had then and has now a dual mission: to provide a liberal education and to prepare young women "for the practical industries of the age" with a specialized education. TWU continues today as a public university that offers a comprehensive catalog of academic studies, including baccalaureate, master's and doctoral degrees. The university has grown from a small college to a major university. TWU is the largest university primarily for women in the United States, with the main campus in Denton and health science centers in Dallas and Houston.
Over a century ago, Trinity College was founded by the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur as the nation’s first Catholic liberal arts college for women. Beginning with the first graduating class of 1904, the mission of Trinity has been realized in the lives of her graduates.
In 1932, the Sisters of Mercy of Connecticut set out on a remarkable journey. Their mission: to establish the first liberal arts college for women in the Hartford area; one founded on the principles of service and leadership; one determined to develop the potential of women in a complex and evolving world. -
Chartered in 1836, Wesleyan became the first college in the world chartered to grant degrees to women. Since then, we’ve sent scores of women out into the world to do the impossible, the amazing, and the extraordinary, like the first woman to receive a Doctor of Medicine degree in Georgia and the first woman to argue a case before the Georgia Supreme Court.