History

  • Carlow University is a Catholic liberal arts university founded in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA, on September 24, 1929, by the Sisters of Mercy from Carlow, Ireland. Originally called Mount Mercy College, the name was changed to Carlow College in April 1969. In 2004, Carlow College achieved university status and is now Carlow University. It was originally a women's college until 1945 when men were admitted.

  • History of Carlow, Mount Mercy and Carlow College - Woman at Graduation 30 years ago

  • 1843 
    > On December 21, the Sisters of Mercy from Carlow, Ireland, arrived in Pittsburgh.

    1894
    > The Sisters of Mercy purchased a 13-acre site in Oakland as the location of a new motherhouse and Our Lady of Mercy Academy for K-12 students.

    1929
    > On September 24, the Sisters of Mercy opened Mount Mercy College. 
    > Mother M. Ireneaus Dougherty becomes the institution’s first president. She remained in this position until 1947.

    1933
    > The first Commencement ceremony for Mount Mercy College was conducted, and the college’s seal and motto—Ad Superna, non Superba (“To the Eternal, not the Perishable”)—was established.

    1936
    > Aquinas Hall was built to house the library and administrative offices.  

    1941
    > Trinity Hall opened as the science center for the college.
    > Following World War II, men were admitted to the school under the G.I. Bill.  One of these men was the late Pete Flaherty, former mayor of Pittsburgh and Allegheny County Commissioner.  

    1947
    > Mother M. Francella McConnell is named president and served in this role until 1952.

    1948
    > Antonian Hall opened with office, classroom, and theater space.

    1952
    > Mother Margaret Mary Corbett is named president and served in this role until 1960.

    1960
    > Sister M. Muriel Gallagher is named president and served in this role until 1963. 

    1961
    > The Frances Warde Hall dormitory was opened.  Prior to this, students lived in houses or halls on Darragh Street, Terrace Street, and on Fifth Avenue. 

    1963
    > Sister M. Elizabeth (Thomas Aquinas) Carroll is named president and served in this role until 1967.

    1967
    > Sister Jane (Camillus) Scully is named president and served in this role until 1982.

    1968
     
    > Grace Library opened.  
    > The college offered the first Black Studies course.

    1969
    > Mount Mercy College’s name was changed to Carlow College.

    1970
    > Curran Hall was renovated to house the nursing school.

    1975
    > Carlow’s mission statement was drafted.

    1978
    > The Women’s Studies program and a weekend college were established.

    1982
     
    > Sister Marylouise Fennell is named president and served in this role until 1988.

    1983
    > The Carlow Hill College (also known as the Hill Education Center) opened in the Hill House Association.  In 1994, it moved to its own office space on Bedford Avenue, and, ten years later in 2004, it moved onto the Carlow campus.

    1988
    > Sister Grace Ann Geibel is named president and served in this role until 2005

    1989
    > Carlow began offering an accelerated learning program for working adults.

    1999
    > The AJ Palumbo Hall of Science and Technology opened.

    2004
    > Carlow College officially became Carlow University.

    2005
    > Carlow appointed its first lay president, Dr. Mary Hines. She served in this role until 2013.

    2006
    > The National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics named Carlow a "Champion of Character" school for the fourth consecutive year.

    2007
    > Carlow received approval from the Pennsylvania Department of Education to offer its first doctoral program, the PsyD in Counseling Psychology.
    > Carlow received approval to offer an MBA program.
    > A revision of the Carlow mission statement was approved by the Board of Trustees.

    2008
    > Carlow’s Adult Degree Center celebrated its 30th anniversary.
    > Carlow University announced its new Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) program.
    > Carlow University was selected for the U.S. President's Community Service Honor Roll

    2009
    > Carlow University became a sponsor of the Yellow Ribbon Program.
    > Carlow Laureates awards program was created and its first recipients were honored.
    > Margaret McLaughlin, PhD, was appointed provost.
    > Carlow University was again selected for the U.S. President's Community Service Honor Roll.
    > The National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics was named Carlow a "Champion of Character" school.
    > Carlow University began the observance of its 80th Anniversary year. 

    2010
    > The Mercy Center for Service was created.
    > The 2010 Women of Spirit® Award recipients were honored.
    > The National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics named Carlow a "Champion of Character" school.
    > Carlow University awarded its first doctoral degrees to 10 Doctorate in Nursing Practice (DNP) students.

    2011
    > Carlow University announced its online Master of Science in Fraud and Forensics degree program — one of the few such programs in the world.
    > Carlow University was selected for the U.S. President's Community Service Honor Roll.
    > The University received the largest alumna/trustee gift in its history to endow the "Michele R. Atkins Endowed Chair for Ethics Across the Curriculum." 

    2012
    > Carlow University was selected for the U.S. President's Community Service Honor Roll.
    > Women of Spirit® Institute launched "Pre-Law & Order, The Summer Advocates Academy," a new summer workshop.
    > Carlow University Celtics softball team won the NAIA's AMC conference championship.
    > Carlow alumna, Rita M. McGinley gives $5 million, the largest gift in Carlow University's history. 

    2013
    > The Principal Path, a walkway connecting parking lot A and Antonian Hall, was completed.
    > Carlow University was selected for the U.S. President's Community Service Honor Roll.
    > In July, Dr. Suzanne K. Mellon was appointed Carlow University's 10th president.