News Release #238:
Release Date: FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: Lydia Szyjka
610-647-4400, Ext. 3143
The Pennsylvania Department of Education granted approval to Immaculata College for University Status. This gives the college the recognition that fits its classification as a master´s comprehensive 1-A institution according to the Carnegie system of ranking institutions of higher education.
University Status adds prestige and value for graduates of the college. It also lends credibility to the eminent contribution of distinguished faculty who are committed to the importance of research for scholarship that supports preeminent teaching.
Immaculata College will officially become Immaculata University on August 1, 2002. Plans are currently being formulated for a series of events to celebrate this important milestone in the 82-year-history of the college. The timeline for these events will be announced in the near future.
This designation as a university also challenges the college to build upon the significant growth of the academic programs over the last three decades. From a college with twenty-one areas of concentration and 1200 students in 1975, Immaculata has grown to almost triple the enrollment of 3300 students and over 40 undergraduate programs, six master´s degree programs, and three doctoral degree programs. The graduating class of 2002, which included women and men of all ages, was the largest in the college´s history with 620 students receiving degrees. To better serve this diverse student body, Immaculata restructured in the summer of 2000 into three distinct colleges: The Women´s College, the College of LifeLong Learning, and the College of Graduate Studies.
The faculty consists of approximately 80 full-time members — sisters, priests, and laypersons; these educators uphold and enliven a tradition of educational excellence sustained within an environment of concern for each student. The genuine personal concern shown every individual in an atmosphere of respect, vitality, and warmth is one of the distinctive characteristics of Immaculata.
Sister Rose Marie DeCarlo, IHM, chair of the Board of Trustees for Immaculata states that university status "underscores an already dynamic college that has continuously adapted its program offerings to an ever-changing world. The Immaculata community celebrates this well-deserved recognition."
Immaculata´s origins date from 1906 when Mother Camilla Maloney, one of the pioneer sisters, purchased the present site in Chester County. Ground was broken for Villa Maria Hall (the central campus building) in 1908, and two years later, the massive stone walls were complete. In 1920, Immaculata became the first Catholic college for women in the Philadelphia area. The growth of Immaculata over the past eight decades has been gradual, yet consistent. The initial 198 campus acres have grown to approximately 373, while the two original dormitory-classroom structures are now part of a fourteen-building complex, representing a multi-million dollar investment.
Immaculata College, a Catholic, comprehensive liberal arts college, is located 20 miles west of Philadelphia, south of the intersection of routes 30 and 352, between Paoli and Exton.
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