History, Mission, and Organizations

History of the University and Graduate Education: Marywood Experience

Marywood College was established by the Congregation of the Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, in l915. In 1917, the College was incorporated under the laws of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, and, in 1921, approval of the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools was secured. The College expanded to include graduate study in 1921, and the charter was extended on June 26, 1922, to include the Master of Arts degree. In the intervening years, the College moved to expand graduate degree offerings in those areas where it had particularly strong resources and strong mission-related needs. In the spring of 1997, the Pennsylvania Department of Education approved the request to change Marywood’s status from college to university. By definition, a university is a multi-unit institution with a complex structure and diverse educational functions, including instruction, promotion of scholarship, preservation and discovery of knowledge, research, and service. In addition, a university has a broad cultural basis from which undergraduate and graduate units draw upon the arts and sciences for basic courses.

Marywood University Mission Statement

Marywood University, sponsored by the Congregation of the Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, roots itself in the Catholic intellectual tradition, the principle of justice, and the belief that education empowers people. The University integrates an enduring liberal arts tradition and professional disciplines to create a comprehensive learning experience. Our undergraduate and graduate programs promote academic excellence, advance innovative scholarship and foster leadership in service to others. Within a welcoming and supportive community, Marywood challenges individuals of all backgrounds to achieve their full potential and make choices based on spiritual and ethical values. Marywood University prepares students to seek sustainable solutions for the common good and educates global citizens to live responsibly in an interdependent world.

Goals and Objectives

  1. Provide a values-based context for university experiences.
    • A majority of students will participate in service opportunities in an ongoing way.
    • Students will demonstrate an understanding of the ethical dimensions of their fields of study.
    • A majority of students will participate in spiritual development activities.
    • Employees will demonstrate core values in the work place.
  2. Foster an awareness and appreciation of the pluralistic nature of contemporary society.
    • Graduates will choose to study or work in multicultural settings either at home or abroad.
    • Students will demonstrate a deeper appreciation for cultural diversity and an understanding of global issues.
    • Enrolled students will travel abroad during their college years.
    • Employee groups and governing bodies will reflect the pluralistic nature of contemporary society.
  3. Provide a supportive and welcoming environment to a diverse academic community.
    • Students enrolled in any program will fulfill their academic goals by successfully completing their degree work.
    • An increasing number of racially and culturally diverse students and employees will choose Marywood as a welcoming community.
    • Students from a cross-section of socio-economic groups will enroll in each incoming class.
    • Campus constituencies will express satisfaction with all campus services.
  4. Prepare people for socially responsible leadership roles.
    • Students will participate in an internship or practicum experience.
    • Students will demonstrate a significant level of co-curricular activities.
    • Students will experience positive interactions with faculty members outside of class.
    • Employees will serve as role models of socially responsible leaders.
  5. Provide a challenging instructional program.
    • Students will demonstrate achievement of cognitive skills at a level comparable to peers on standardized tests.
    • Students will demonstrate the ability to think critically by engaging in research activities and by developing problem solving strategies.
    • Students will demonstrate the ability to integrate the liberal arts tradition with their professional specializations.
    • Students will demonstrate competence in both information literacy skills and communications skills.
    • Faculty will provide evidence of ongoing scholarly activity.
  6. Inspire a sense of personal responsibility for responding to social justice issues.
    • Faculty, staff, and students will participate in projects designed to address social inequities.
    • Students will demonstrate knowledge of both national and international social justice issues.
    • Faculty, students, and staff will serve as advocates for justice in their personal and professional lives.

Core Values

Catholic Identity

The pursuit of truth, goodness, beauty, justice, and the common good within the context of the Catholic faith tradition and in dialogue and service with persons of diverse faiths and worldviews.


Honoring the uniqueness and dignity of each human person; demonstrating ethical and just interactions; and caring for the earth and all creation through a commitment to sustainability.


Access to education that enables all to achieve their full potential to live as conscientious citizens in a pluralistic society.


A commitment to promoting social responsibility which fosters community engagement to meet real needs.


Manifesting Marywood University's pursuit of the highest level of achievement in support of Sanctitas, Scientia, Sanitas.