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History

Marymount University, the first Catholic college to be established in Virginia, was founded in 1950. Through the years, it has grown from a two-year college for women into a comprehensive, coeducational Catholic university serving approximately 3,600 undergraduate and graduate students. While much has changed since the early years as a result of greatly expanded programs and services, the University’s core values and mission have held steady.

The name “Marymount” has long been associated with excellence in education. The Religious of the Sacred Heart of Mary, founders of Marymount University, provide Marymount with a heritage, spirit, and tradition that date back all the way to the founding of the RSHM Order in Bezier, France, in 1849 by Father Pierre Jean Antoine Gailhac and the first RSHM member, Mother St. Jean. The learning institutions they began would evolve into a worldwide network of schools and colleges, including Marymount University. The roots of Marymount’s founding Congregation reflect a commitment to education and to serving those in need – a commitment that is still vital at Marymount today.


Historical Timeline

1950
Marymount was founded by Mother Gerard Phelan, RSHM, as a two-year women’s college at the suggestion of Bishop Peter L. Ireton of Richmond. It opened with 13 students, and Sister Elizabeth Gallagher, RSHM, served as the first president. The original property - which included a mansion (now Marymount’s Main House), stone guest house (the Lodge), and two cottages – was formerly the residence of Rear Admiral Presley M. Rixey, White House physician to Presidents William McKinley and Theodore Roosevelt.

1955
Sister Berchmans Walsh, RSHM, became Marymount’s second president.

1960
The institution was incorporated as Marymount College of Virginia, an independent college governed by an autonomous board of directors. Sister M. Majella Berg, RSHM, became president and would serve for 33 years.

1972
Men were first admitted to the Nursing program.

1975
Marymount became a senior college offering the bachelor’s degree in more than 20 fields.

1979
Graduate programs leading to the master’s degree were added; many of these programs were coeducational.

1986
The institution responded to its changing student profile by becoming coeducational at all levels and changing its name to Marymount University.

1992
Marymount’s Ballston Center was established.

1993
Sister Eymard Gallagher, RSHM, became Marymount’s fourth president and served until 2001.

2001
Dr. James E. Bundschuh became Marymount’s fifth president and first lay leader, serving until 2011. He was then named President Emeritus.

2005
Marymount offered its first doctoral degree, the clinical Doctor of Physical Therapy. A second doctoral program, the clinical Doctor of Nursing Practice, was added in 2009.

2007
Marymount opened its Reston Center, which serves adult students primarily through evening and Saturday courses.

2010
Marymount’s new residence hall, Rose Benté Lee Ostapenko Hall, opens in the fall, providing apartment-style living.

2011
The new academic building for the sciences and health sciences, Caruthers Hall, opened in January.
Dr. Matthew D. Shank became Marymount's sixth president on July 1.