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Notre Dame of Maryland University Debuts! Campus community celebrates new status, commitment to innovation

September 8, 2011

Amid celebrations of its past, present and future, College of Notre Dame of Maryland today becomes Notre Dame of Maryland University. The new University makes its debut on an historic date, September 9, 2011 – the 116th anniversary of the institution’s first day of class in 1895. 

“At this pivotal moment in the history of Notre Dame of Maryland, I am reminded of the words of our foundress, Mother Theresa Gerhardlinger: ‘trust and dare,’” said Mary Pat Seurkamp, Ph.D., president of Notre Dame. “Trust in the mission handed to us by School Sisters of Notre Dame, to educate women to transform the world. And dare to innovate, so that we may continue to meet the changing needs of our students and community, preparing women and men as leaders.”

A day of campus wide activities is planned. Cardinal William Keeler will preside at a University Mass celebrated by Bishop Denis Madden in Notre Dame’s LeClerc Auditorium, followed by a dedication ceremony where a time capsule will be filled with mementos of the day. Coinciding with the day of its historic move to University, Notre Dame will premiere its new website at www.ndm.edu, featuring the school’s new logo and graphic identity.

The move to University status coincides with a time of great innovation at Notre Dame. The School of Pharmacy, the second founded in the State of Maryland and the first ever on the campus of a women’s college, welcomes its third class of students and prepares for the dedication of a new state of the art facility—G. Avery Bunting Hall. The School of Education is the third largest provider of teachers in Maryland, and continues to expand its offerings with new graduate programs to meet the needs of today’s students—with special focuses on leadership in teaching, science, technology and math education, teaching English as a second language, and special education. The School of Nursing is launching its 4-year BSN program and the School of Arts and Sciences is introducing programs in Environmental Sustainability, Knowledge Management and Digital Communications to prepare students for these highly-engaging careers.

From roots as the first Catholic college for women in the U.S. to offer the baccalaureate, Notre Dame has grown in to a multi-faceted institution with a diverse student body and complex academic structure. The school’s original charter envisioned the progression, authorizing Notre Dame to establish masters’ and doctoral level degrees since its founding. In recent years external sources such as U.S.News & World Report and The Carnegie Foundation have routinely categorized Notre Dame as a university—a reflection of the breadth and depth of its academic programs.

Notre Dame of Maryland University’s dedication ceremony culminates nearly two years of detailed and collaborative study, including a comprehensive survey of graduates, faculty, staff, and current and prospective students. The school’s administrators began to formally review the prospect of University designation in the fall of 2009. Campus focus groups were held in February 2010 to gather the perspectives of faculty, staff and students. In May 2010, the Notre Dame Board of Trustees voted to move toward University designation and the Board unanimously endorsed the name selection at a meeting on October 30, 2010.

Notre Dame of Maryland University, founded as a Catholic liberal arts college in 1895 by the School Sisters of Notre Dame, engages students as confident, capable learners and leaders, thriving in the vibrant, personal community of its distinguished Women’s College, College of Adult Undergraduate Studies and College of Graduate Studies. Rich in tradition, Notre Dame provides students with opportunities in research, study abroad and service to the global community. Notre Dame’s graduates change lives—in their careers, communities and families. Visit www.ndm.edu.