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Marywood University
Former names
Marywood College (1915–1997)
MottoSanctitas Scientia Sanitas
Motto in English
Holiness, Knowledge, Health
TypePrivate university
EstablishedSeptember 8, 1915; 108 years ago (1915-09-08)
AffiliationRoman Catholic
(Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary)
Academic affiliations
Endowment$44.9 million (2020)[1]
PresidentMary Persico
Administrative staff
Location, ,

41°26′01″N 75°38′03″W / 41.4337°N 75.6342°W / 41.4337; -75.6342
CampusSuburban, 115 acres (0.47 km2)
ColorsForest green, gold and white
Sporting affiliations
NCAA Division IIIAtlantic East, ECAC

Marywood University is a private Catholic university in Scranton, Pennsylvania. Established in 1915 by the Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, Marywood currently enrolls more than 2,800 students in a variety of undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral programs.[2] The university has a national arboretum[3] with more than 100 types of trees and shrubs.[4]


The Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary came to Scranton, Pennsylvania, and established St. Cecilia's Academy in 1878 "for young ladies". Mount St. Mary's Seminary opened in 1902. Mother M. Cyril Conway, IHM superior in 1901, deliberately chose the term "seminary" (roughly equivalent to a high school in present times) to avoid the suggestion of a finishing school – which was a much more common destination at that time for older girls who could afford to continue their education – as it was intended to be "a place where young scholars dedicated themselves to serious study". The Motherhouse was co-located with the seminary. Its buildings suffered major damage during a fire in the 1970s. As a result, the Jesuit Scranton Preparatory School, then a boys' school, became co-educational to accommodate the girls.[5] The arch, now known as "Memorial Arch", which stood at the entrance to the seminary-cum-motherhouse, still stands on the present-day campus and the former seminary's name can be seen engraved on it.

The seminary was the next time step to the sisters' ultimate goal: to open a women's college in Scranton. Marywood College opened on September 8, 1915 with 34 students.[6] Germaine O'Neil served as the first president and treasurer. It was the fifth Catholic women's college in the United States.[7] The first batch of students graduated in 1919 with a Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Science, or Bachelor of Letters. By the 1930s, the college had diversified its curriculum, offering subjects ranging from the social sciences to pre-medical.[8] In 1937, the sisters turned down an invitation to merge with St. Thomas College, then under the Christian Brothers. St. Thomas later came under the administration of the Jesuits after World War II and is now the University of Scranton.[9]

By the 1970s, other single-sex Catholic colleges and universities in the diocese such as College Misericordia and King's College were becoming co-educational and Marywood followed suit, opening its doors to male students in the fall of 1989.[10] In 1997, the college was granted university status by the Pennsylvania Department of Education, officially becoming Marywood University.[11]

Over half the campus is located in Dunmore.[12][13]


Marywood's programs are administered through four degree-granting colleges, with 60 bachelor's degree, 36 master's degree, two doctoral degrees, two terminal degrees by program (MFA, Ed.S.). All students are required to complete a core curriculum in the liberal arts in addition to the courses in their major. Undergraduates may also enroll in double majors, honors, and independent study programs, practicums, internships, and study abroad, as well as Army and Air Force ROTC programs.

The university is structured into three colleges:[14]


Marywood University is an NCAA Division III school and member of the Atlantic East Conference. The official name given is the Marywood Pacers. Marywood competes at the varsity level in baseball, basketball, cross-country, field hockey, golf, lacrosse, rugby, soccer, softball, swimming and diving, tennis, track and field, and volleyball.[15] Students may also choose from more than 30 intramural programs, including club sports, as well as fitness options, recreational classes, and activity clubs. Marywood University's Mascot's name is Maxis Gillet after the Founder of the IHM Sisters, Mother Theresa Maxis and their Chaplain, Fr. Louis Gillet.

Campus buildings and landmarks

The Rotunda The Liberal Arts Center, completed in 1923, is crowned with one of the campus' most distinctive architectural features, the dome of the Rotunda. foreground, Memorial Commons

Marywood University is home to about 20 different buildings on its campus, including the following:[16]

The Memorial Arch, built in 1902, marks the entrance to the original Motherhouse, which was the location of St. Mary's Seminary.


Notable alumni


Marywood University Arboretum

Marywood University was declared an arboretum in 1975 in honor of Sister Maria Laurence Maher, then Professor of Biological Sciences, and received its official designation as such in 1997. It now contains 42 species of trees (103 varieties) and a comparable collection of shrubs, ornamental grasses, and flowers.[18]


  1. ^ As of June 30, 2020. U.S. and Canadian Institutions Listed by Fiscal Year 2020 Endowment Market Value and Change in Endowment Market Value from FY19 to FY20 (Report). National Association of College and University Business Officers and TIAA. February 19, 2021. Retrieved February 21, 2021.
  2. ^ "Marywood University".
  3. ^ "New Arboretum Sets Down Roots at Wilkes". 27 June 2012.
  4. ^ "About the Arboretum".
  5. ^ "Scranton Prep History".
  6. ^ "History". Marywood University. Retrieved 25 September 2023.
  7. ^ Steadfast in the Faith: The Life of Patrick Cardinal O'Boyle. CUA Press. 2006. p. 17. ISBN 9780813214290.
  8. ^ Dunn, Josephine Marie; Kashuba, Cheryl A. (2007). Images of America — The Women of Scranton: 1880-1935. Arcadia Publishing. pp. 59–61. ISBN 9780738538587.
  9. ^ "President's Page: Road to the Centennial". Archived from the original on 2014-04-09. Retrieved 2014-05-02.
  10. ^ Gallagher, John P. A second century begins: the Diocese of Scranton, 1968-1993. Roman Catholic Diocese of Scranton. p. 62.
  11. ^ "Chronological History of Marywood: 1997".
  12. ^ "Dunmore". Google Maps. Retrieved 17 November 2018.
  13. ^ "Campus Safety: Parking Map". Marywood University. Marywood University. Retrieved 17 November 2018.
  14. ^ "Marywood University Organization of the University". Marywood University. Retrieved 2020-01-03.
  15. ^ "Marywood University Pacers". Retrieved 2017-07-15.
  16. ^ "Marywood University Marywood University Building Directory". Marywood University. Retrieved 2020-01-03.
  17. ^ Butler, Michael P. (March 5, 2014). "Former Wilkes-Barre mayor Namey dies". The Citizens' Voice. Retrieved March 30, 2014.
  18. ^ "Marywood University Arboretum". Marywood University. Retrieved 2017-07-15.