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College of Mount Saint Vincent
College of Mount Saint Vincent seal.jpg
Latin: Collegium ad Sancti Vincentii Montem
MottoBonitatem et disciplinam et scientiam doce me.
Motto in English
"Teach me goodness and discipline and knowledge."
Established1847; 175 years ago (1847)
Religious affiliation
Roman Catholic (Sisters of Charity of New York)
Academic affiliations
Endowment$25.0 million[1]
PresidentSusan Burns

40°54′49″N 73°54′31″W / 40.9135°N 73.9085°W / 40.9135; -73.9085Coordinates: 40°54′49″N 73°54′31″W / 40.9135°N 73.9085°W / 40.9135; -73.9085
ColorsWhite, gold[2]
Sporting affiliations
NCAA Division IIISkyline

The College of Mount Saint Vincent (CMSV) is a Catholic liberal arts college in New York City. It was founded in 1847 by the Sisters of Charity of New York.

The college serves over 1,800 students with professional undergraduate programs in nursing, business, communication, and education and graduate degree programs in nursing, business, TESOL and education. It is under the care of the Sisters of Charity of New York, one of several Sisters of Charity congregations of Catholic women that trace their lineage back to Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton.


1861 in Central Park
1861 in Central Park

The college was founded in 1847 as the Academy of Mount Saint Vincent, a school for women. It took its name from Saint Vincent de Paul, the 17th-century French priest who worked with the poor and founded the original Sisters of Charity, and from the geographic high point along Fifth Avenue in Manhattan known as McGowan's Pass. When New York City began acquiring land for Central Park in 1855, the sisters, under the leadership of Mother Angela Hughes, sister of Archbishop John Hughes, purchased the 70-acre (280,000 m2) "Fonthill", the estate of famed Shakespearean actor Edwin Forrest, in the Riverdale neighborhood in what was then the town of Yonkers, now The Bronx. On April 25, 1865, the funeral train carrying Abraham Lincoln back to Springfield, Illinois passed by the college.[3]

In 1911, the academy became a degree-granting institution, and changed its name to the College of Mount Saint Vincent. The Campus Record, the original college newspaper (named the Alembic in 1970), published its first issue in 1922. Just five years later, the first issue of the college's literary magazine, the Fonthill Dial, was published. The end of the decade saw the first issue of the college yearbook, the Parapet. In 1943, the college began working in conjunction with St. Vincent's Hospital in New York City to provide a nursing education program for its students.

In 1964 the Mount joined forces with Manhattan College in a cooperative program that ran until 2006. Also in 1964, the Mount granted its first degrees in Fine Arts. In 1974, the College of Mount Saint Vincent became a co-educational institution, as it began admitting men. In 1976, the College Emeritus program was started to provide courses for mature students.

The Mount began offering a new baccalaureate nursing program in 1975. It integrated business as an independent major in 1983. In 1988, almost 80 years after the college first amended its charter to confer Master of Science degrees. At the end of the decade, in 1989, the honors program was established.

Campus buildings

See also: Fonthill Castle and the Administration Building of the College of Mount St. Vincent

Fonthill Castle

The Fonthill Castle, dramatically sited above the Hudson River, was the centerpiece of the estate of actor Edwin Forrest. Forrest built Fonthill in Riverdale, the Bronx, New York, from 1848 to 1852 for his wife, but before they could occupy it, they divorced and Forrest sold the estate to the Sisters of Charity. Fonthill was named after the castle of William Beckford (the younger) in England, Fonthill Abbey. The design of Mr. Forrest's Fonthill Castle has been attributed to Thomas C. Smith of New York City. The castle housed the college library from 1942 to 1968. Fonthill once formed the architectural symbol of the college and housed the Office of Admissions and Financial Aid. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1980.[4] Today, Fonthill is vacated due to damage it has suffered throughout the years.

The Villa

One of the original buildings on site, the Villa (or gardener's cottage) was built of ashlar, sometime prior to 1856 in mid-19th century "bracketed" style.[5] From 1887 to 1911 the "Stone Cottage" (originally called "Lourdes Villa") housed the St. Aloysius Academy for Boys. Many of the boys attending had sisters who were students at Mt. St. Vincent Academy. Actor Lionel Barrymore enrolled at the age of 10. At the turn of the century, American playwright Eugene O'Neill was enrolled in 1895[6] and received his First Communion in the Chapel in 1900. In 1911 the Villa, which no longer educated boys, was used as a college residence for the ladies. Today the Villa, is the home for several members of Sisters of Charity of New York.

Founders Hall

Founders Hall was built between 1857 and 1859 and subsequently expanded in 1865, 1883, 1906–1908, and in 1951. The original building is a five-story red brick building on a fieldstone base. It features a six-story square tower topped by a copper lantern and spire. The tower is flanked by five story gabled sections.

The Chapel of the Immaculate Conception was enlarged to its present size in 1874. The crucifixion scene over the altar was painted by Constantino Brumidi, who also worked on the Capitol Building in Washington, D.C. The stained glass windows were created by Mayer of Munich. The organ was built by Hilborne L. Roosevelt of New York City in 1873.[7]

In 1877, Thomas Edison came to campus to demonstrate inventions for the academy students in South Hall.[3] In 1978 a former locker room in the Administration Building was converted into Cahill Lounge. The Administration Building was listed on National Registrar of Historic Places in 1980.

Today, The Administration Building has been renamed to "Founders Hall" in honor of all those who founded the college.

A fire started in half of Founders Hall in the summer of 2014 and the damage was restored later during the school year.


Maryvale was constructed in 1859; it originally served as a laundry. In 1906 the laundry moved to the newly constructed Rosary Hall and Maryvale housed science classes. In 1954, Science classes moved to the new science building and Maryvale became the Library Annex and Studio Annex. Today, it mainly houses the communications and fine arts departments. Maryvale features a radio studio and a TV studio. The radio shows streams live on livestream. The TV studio is where students film the school's news program, Mount Saint Vincent News.

Lourdes Grotto

In 1873 the Lourdes Grotto was built. It is now considered the oldest outdoor grotto still in existence in the United States. The grotto is situated on a little island in a small lake in an area at one time known as "Lourdes Park".[3]

Le Gras Hall

In 1875, Le Gras Hall, named after Louise le Gras de Marillac, was built as St. Vincent Free School for the Catholic Children of Riverdale. This brought more young children onto the campus which at that time was filled with orchards and vegetable gardens. In 1911, with the opening of a parochial school in Riverdale, Le Gras was remodeled to house the college gymnasium with an auditorium on the second floor.[3] It also housed the commuter students' cafeteria. In 1931 the library moved from the Administration building to Le Gras, before relocating in 1942 to Fonthill Castle. In 1951, the commuter students' cafeteria moved from Le Gras Hall to the first floor of the Administration Building. Today, Le Gras Hall is the headquarters for the Sisters of Charity of New York.

Rosary Hall

In 1906, Rosary Hall was constructed to house the boiler and laundry. The Sisters made room for the new building by using land in the lower orchard. Today, several sisters from the Sisters of Charity of New York currently resided in Rosary Hall.

Grace Center

In 1930, Hayes Auditorium and Gym were built on the site of the vegetable field. This building was renovated in the early 1990s and is now known as the Grace Center.

Peter Jay Sharp Athletic and Recreation Center

Opened in 2009, the Sharp Center offers 50,000 square feet of recreational space and houses the college's basketball courts, fitness center, and athletic offices. In 2016, the college placed solar panels on top of the roof of the Sharp Center.

Science Hall

In 1954, science classes moved from Maryvale to the new Science Hall on the hill, which had been built on the former sports field. In 2013, the college renovated the building making state of the art.

Elizabeth Seton Library

In 1968, the new Elizabeth Seton Library, or Seton Library, was opened. The library is named after Saint Elizabeth Seton, the first native-born American to be canonized. Elizabeth Seton founded the Sisters of Charity.

Corazon C. Aquino Hall

Opened in 2021, Aquino Hall serves as a residence hall and also houses the Mount's Nursing Program.[8]

Residence halls


CMSV is registered by the New York State Education Department, Office of Higher Education, in Albany, NY. and is independently chartered to grant degrees by the Regents of the State of New York.

The student-faculty ratio at CMSV is 13:1. The most popular majors at College of Mount St. Vincent include: Registered Nursing/Registered Nurse; Business/Commerce, General; Speech Communication and Rhetoric; and Psychology, General.[9]


Mount Saint Vincent teams participate as a member of the National Collegiate Athletic Association's Division III. The Dolphins are a member of the Skyline Conference. Men's sports include baseball, basketball, cross country, lacrosse, soccer, volleyball, tennis and wrestling, while women's sports include basketball, cross country, lacrosse, soccer, softball, and volleyball.

Notable alumni

Notable faculty and staff

Cultural references


  1. ^ "Endowment for Scholarships". Retrieved June 29, 2020.
  2. ^ "College of Mount Saint Vincent". Retrieved April 24, 2016.
  3. ^ a b c d e Brown, Mary Josephine. College of Mount Saint Vincent: A Famous Convent School, P.J. Kenedy & Sons, New York, 1917
  4. ^ "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. March 13, 2009.
  5. ^ "Lehman College Art Gallery: Architecture/College of Mount Saint Vincent". Retrieved April 24, 2016.
  6. ^ "Eugene O'Neill". Retrieved April 24, 2016.
  7. ^ "Hilborne L. Roosevelt", The New York City Organ Project Archived July 3, 2014, at the Wayback Machine
  8. ^ Barbu, Ana (November 27, 2018). "Construction Begins: Aquino Hall". College of Mount Saint Vincent. Retrieved July 22, 2022.
  9. ^ "College of Mount St. Vincent – Mount St. Vincent College – Academic Life – Best College – US News". Retrieved April 24, 2016.
  10. ^ "The Countess of Romanones Commands a Dazzling Cast in Her Second Memoir of Espionage, the Spy Went Dancing". Retrieved April 24, 2016.
  11. ^ "Balasole Founder and Fine Arts Instructor Roberto Villanueva Receives Distinguished Alumni Award - College of Mount Saint Vincent". College of Mount Saint Vincent. November 21, 2013. Retrieved September 15, 2017.
  12. ^ Shuman, Bob J., "Eugene O'Neill, and College of Mt. St. Vincent, and a Literary Landmark in the Bronx", Stage Voices, 2012
  13. ^ Kadinsky, Sergey. "Lourdes Grotto, Riverdale", Hidden Waters, March 3, 2016
  14. ^ "Filming on Campus", CMSV