College of St. Catherine Board of Trustees authorizes name change to “University”
While the name is changing, the College's iconic front gate and commitment to its Catholic identity, education for women and the liberal arts, will remain.

College of St. Catherine Board of Trustees authorizes name change to “University”

The College of St. Catherine Board of Trustees voted unanimously May 5 to direct College administrators to take the necessary steps to change the name of the College to University, effective June 1, 2009.

Several new names are under consideration, all of which include the name “St. Catherine.” College administrators will propose the new name to the Board and present a full implementation plan for the name change in August.

The decision is the culmination of a process that began last August when President Andrea J. Lee, IHM, established the University-College Task Team. Evaluating the appropriateness of a name change was part of the work of implementing the strategic plan approved by the Board in 2005.

Following extensive research and consultation, the task team concluded that changing the College’s name to University will strategically advance the institution by:

  • More accurately reflect the comprehensive and complex nature of St. Catherine’s.
  • Enhancing student recruitment internationally.
  • Promoting increased emphasis on graduate and digital learning.
  • Providing a vehicle to develop strategic partnerships.

“The name change will enhance the College’s standing as the largest, most comprehensive college for women in the United States,” said President Lee. “This is an historic and important step in laying groundwork for the future while strengthening our century-old tradition as a world leader in educating women to lead and influence.”

The College of St. Catherine is the only college among the 17 institutions in the Minnesota Private College Council to offer degrees at the associate, baccalaureate, master’s and doctoral levels. The College of St. Catherine offers 11 graduate programs, including the recently announced Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP).

With 5,238 students on two campuses, the College of St. Catherine has been classified as a comprehensive, large master’s institution for the past 15 years by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching.

The 17-member task force was co-chaired by Vice President for External Relations Marjorie Mathison Hance ’70 and Special Assistant to the President for Special Initiatives Julie Belle White-Newman.

The group evaluated the experiences of other institutions that had made or rejected such a name change; conducted an extensive review of relevant literature; and sought the opinions of representatives from all of the College's major constituent groups, including students, alumnae and the sponsoring Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet.

Vice Chair of the Board Mark Chronister said he is pleased with how the name change has been tied to strategic directions at St. Catherine’s. “It was important to the Board that this initiative signals where St. Catherine’s is going while preserving the most cherished aspects of our mission: Catholic, women, liberal arts.”

For more information, see “Charting Our Future” on the St. Catherine’s website:

By Amy Gage
May 6, 2008

Contact Julie Michener, (651) 690-6521

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