Thursday, April 21, 2011

Saint Mary's College of California

Saint Mary's College of California is a private, coeducational college located in Moraga, California, United States, a small suburban community about 10 miles (16 km) east of Oakland and 20 miles east of San Francisco. It has a 420-acre campus in the Moraga hills. It is affiliated with the Roman Catholic Church and administered by the De La Salle Christian Brothers. It is known for its liberal arts education, including its Great Books and Seminar programs, its business program, which in recent years has become the college's most popular program, as well as the nursing program, partnered with Samuel Merritt University, whose campus is in Oakland, and the school of education. The college has seen a lot of success, particularly with its NCAA Division 1 athletic program. Recently the college has garnered national attention for its men's basketball program. Academically, Saint Mary's was ranked the 85th best college in the U.S. and ninth-best in California by Forbes and the 13th best college in the West by U.S. News and World report in 2010,
St. Mary's College began in 1863 as a diocesan college for boys established by Most Rev. Joseph Alemany, OP, Archbishop of San Francisco, California. Unhappy with the archdiocese's operation of the college, Archbishop Alemany applied for assistance from Rome and St. Mary's College was handed over to the De La Salle Christian Brothers in 1868.
In 1889, the college moved east across San Francisco Bay to Oakland, California. The location on the corner of 30th and Broadway became affectionately known as "The Brickpile" and Saint Mary's College would call Oakland home until 1928, when it moved further eastward to Moraga after a fire severely damaged the Brickpile. The Oakland site is a California Historical Landmark and is marked by a commemorative plaque. The former San Francisco site is now the site of the St. Mary's Park neighborhood.
During its first years in Moraga, the college nearly went bankrupt, but eventually managed to gain financial security when it was bought by Archbishop John Joseph Mitty, for whom a residence hall is now named. During World War II the college was used by the United States Navy for the training of pilots. Gerald Ford was briefly stationed at the school and served as a naval instructor. The navy erected many buildings, including the world's largest indoor pool, but only one, Assumption Hall, remains on the campus as the school had little use for most of the buildings after the war. Saint Mary's continued to be a male-only school until 1970s, when it became coeducational. Since then, more women have come to the college and by 2004, 60% of the students were women

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