Sweet Briar was established in 1901 in the will of Indiana Fletcher Williams. Williams founded the school in memory of her daughter, Daisy, who had died at age 16. The College opened in 1906 with 51 students. The A.B. degree was immediately recognized by graduate programs at leading universities — and three of the College’s first five graduates went on to pursue advanced degrees.
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Sweet Briar is a private liberal arts and sciences college for women of consequence with an ABET-accredited engineering program and a core curriculum focused on leadership in the 21st century. Reduced tuition, a new academic calendar and research funding for experiential learning opportunities make it one of the nation’s Most Innovative Schools (U.S. News). The College’s unique community and campus life foster strength and resilience in every student by surrounding her with excellent faculty, coaches and staff who challenge her to bring her best self forward — and to own it with confidence, courage and grit..
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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.
Points of pride
College of Saint Mary – educating leaders since 1923. Founded for women by the Sisters of Mercy, CSM is a Catholic university that provides access to affordable education. CSM fosters potential and leadership through academic excellence, scholarship and lifelong learning. The University offers undergraduate and graduate degrees in many of today’s in-demand fields, including physician’s assistant studies, occupational therapy, nursing, science, education, business and legal studies. CSM offers its student body an enriching collegiate experience that includes competitive athletics and a wide range of fine arts opportunities. Located in the heart of Omaha, home of four Fortune 500 companies, CSM’s 40-acre campus is adjacent to Aksarben Village’s vibrant and bustling retail and entertainment space, as well as the new Baxter Arena. CSM is minutes from world-class attractions such as the Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium, Joslyn Art Museum, Lauritzen Gardens and CenturyLink Center Omaha.