History of St. Edward's

Journey into the New World

In 1841, Father Edward Sorin courageously embarked on a journey across the Atlantic to establish Notre Dame and St. Edward’s universities. For more than 125 years, we’ve carried his passion for educating all who would seek to transform themselves, regardless of societal status, religious affiliation or ability to pay. And, along the way we’ve changed a lot, too. See for yourself how far we’ve come …


U.S. News & World Report ranks St. Edward's #15 in the West in their 2014 list of America's Best Colleges. The technology-rich Munday Library opens, connecting students to information resources around the world. The John Brooks Williams Natural Sciences Center-South opens, completing the university's natural sciences complex. St. Edward's University's partnerships grow to 15 universities in 11 countries, expanding international learning opportunities for students. St. Edward's is named a top producer of Fulbright Students by the prestigious Fulbright Program, sharing first-place honors with two other schools. St. Edward's celebrates 125 years of education, growth and service, and the completion of its 10-year strategic plan. St. Edward's partners with Universite Catholique de l'Ouest to launch its flagship study abroad program in Angers, France. A new 119,000 square-foot residential village opens, adding three new residence halls and two new dining facilities. Enrollment reaches 5,224. The John Brooks Williams Natural Sciences Center-North opens. Basil Moreau Hall, two house-style Casitas and Jacques Dujarie Hall open with ultra-modern amenities for 420 students. Featured in Architectural Digest, award-winning Trustee Hall opens, providing state-of-the-art instructional technology. George E. Martin becomes the 23rd president of St. Edward's and implements a master plan for campus improvements. Ragsdale Center opens as the community center of campus activities.  Enrollment increases to 3,000. Recreation and Convocation Center opens. Patricia Hayes becomes the first woman and the second layperson to lead St. Edward's. New College offers an undergraduate degree program designed to fit the lives of working adults. St. Edward's offers a professionally oriented Theater Arts program and implements the College Assistance Migrant Program. Women arrive at St. Edward's as students for Maryhill College. By 1970, St. Edward's becomes co-educational. Enrollment and curriculum increase substantially as World War II veterans take advantage of the G.I. Bill. St. Edward's renews its state charter - this time as a university. Most of the personnel are Holy Cross Brothers. Main Building is completed. Designed by Nicholas J. Clayton, it is a source of pride in the Holy Cross community. A state charter changes the school's name to St. Edward's College. Plans begin for a grand addition to the hilltop campus. In the school's first year, three farm boys and teachers meet for classes in a makeshift building on the Doyle homestead. Father Sorin founds St. Edward's Academy in Austin on farmland donated to the Catholic Church by Mrs. Mary Doyle. Thirty years after founding the University of Notre Dame, Father Edward Sorin, CSC, plans to establish a school in Texas.

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