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College of Our Lady of the Elms
Latin: Collegium Dominae Nostrae In Ulmis
MottoViam Veritatis Elegi
Motto in English
"I have chosen the way of truth"
TypePrivate college
Religious affiliation
Roman Catholic (Sisters of St. Joseph)
Academic affiliation
Cooperating Colleges of Greater Springfield
EndowmentUS$12 million
PresidentHarry Dumay
Academic staff
Location, ,

42°8′32.15″N 72°36′5.00″W / 42.1422639°N 72.6013889°W / 42.1422639; -72.6013889
Campus22 acres (8.9 ha)
ColorsGreen, gold, white
Sporting affiliations
NCAA Division III

The College of Our Lady of the Elms, often called Elms College, is a private Roman Catholic college in Chicopee, Massachusetts.


The Sisters of St. Joseph and the Diocese of Springfield co-founded Elms College as a preparatory academy for women in Pittsfield, Massachusetts, the Academy of Our Lady of the Elms, in 1897.[1] In 1899, Rev. John McCoy and Bishop Thomas Beaven of the Springfield diocese purchased property in Chicopee and it became St. Joseph's Normal College.

In 1927, the Sisters of Saint Joseph petitioned the Commonwealth of Massachusetts to charter the school as a women's liberal arts college with a specialization in education, the charter was approved in 1928, and the name was changed to the College of Our Lady of the Elms with Rev. Thomas Michael O'Leary as the first president. Through the efforts of the Sisters of St. Joseph and the Springfield diocesan clergy, the curriculum was expanded through the 1940s and 1950s, and in 1953, an evening program was established.

To meet the needs of the surrounding community, Elms developed undergraduate programs in nursing, business management, and communication sciences and disorders during the 1960s and 1970s. In the late 1980s, Weekend College, paralegal studies and legal studies, and a Master of Arts degree program in teaching were instituted.

The Elms College board of trustees voted 23–5 to begin admitting men, starting with the 1998–1999 school year, on October 7, 1997.


Berchmans Hall

The campus is about two miles north of Metro Center Springfield, Massachusetts. It is focused on the Keating Quadrangle, which lies at its center, and has 14 buildings.[2] In 2014, Elms College completed construction on the Center for Natural and Health Sciences, its first academic building in more than 30 years.


Elms offers thirty-three academic majors to 814 full-time undergraduate students, and it employs 67 full-time faculty members.[citation needed]

Academically, the college is divided into the division of business, division of communication sciences and disorders, division of education, division of humanities and fine arts, division of natural sciences, mathematics and technology, and division of social sciences.

In 2013, the division of nursing became the school of nursing. On August 9 2023, Julie Beck was announced as the new dean of the School of Nursing (SON).[3]

Student body

In 2020 the school had about 1,100 students at the undergraduate level, with about 40% eligible for Pell grants. Fred Thys of WBUR wrote that year that "Elms caters to many students who are the first in their family to go to college."[4]

Student life


The Elms College teams participate at the Division III level of the National Collegiate Athletic Association. The team colors are green, gold, and white. The Elms athletic teams competes in the Great Northeast Athletic Conference[5] and are known as the Blazers.

The current Elms College Athletics logo.


The majority of athletics at Elms College are based out of The Maguire Center, which features a physical therapy and training center, gym and weight room, six-lane swimming pool (Natatorium), 100-meter track, and the Picknelly Arena basketball court.[6] In June of 2007, the college announced an athletic fields renovation project involving the soccer specific Leary Field being transformed into a multi-use artificial surface field and the construction of a new NCAA-compliant softball field.[7] The baseball team travels to Mackenzie Stadium in Holyoke, Mass.

Cheryl R. Condon Field

The new softball field was built in for the 2008 season, it featured newly-added covered dugouts and a batting cage and extended the homerun wall a few feet. The field was dedicated to longtime winningest coach Cheryl R. Condon on April 23 2008.[8][9]

Notable people




  1. ^ Songe, Alice H. (1978). American Universities and Colleges: A Dictionary of Name Changes. Metuchen, N.J.: Scarecrow Press. p. 45. ISBN 0810811375.
  2. ^ Elms College Campus Map
  3. ^ "Elms College Names Julie Beck Dean of School of Nursing". BusinessWest. 2023-08-09. Retrieved 2024-02-13.
  4. ^ Thys, Fred (2020-06-24). "For Small Colleges, Decision To Reopen Campus Is Especially Daunting". WBUR. Retrieved 2020-06-26.
  5. ^ Elms College Athletics
  6. ^ Archived 2010-06-08 at the Wayback Machine Maguire Center
  7. ^ "Elms College building 2 new athletic fields". masslive. 2007-06-05. Retrieved 2024-02-13.
  8. ^ Lightman, Andrew. "Elms College names softball field for Rockland High School grad". Enterprise News. Retrieved 2024-02-13.
  9. ^
  10. ^ "Senator Hartley". Retrieved 2024-01-20.