historic saint michaels college

Saint Michael's First 100 Years

For more than 100 years, Saint Michael's has been providing a meaningful education to students.

In 1904, the Society of Saint Edmund founded Saint Michael's Institute in Winooski Park, Vermont. The Edmundite priests and brothers took Saint Edmund of Canterbury, the 13th-century Archbishop of Canterbury, as their patron saint. Saint Edmund taught at universities in Oxford and Paris and played an instrumental role in the construction of Salisbury Cathedral. In 1843, the Society of St. Edmund first began their ministry at his final resting place in Pontigny, France.

The Edmundites came to Vermont from France in the late 19th century. They bought the land where the college stands from a local farmer and turned the original farmhouse into what today is Founders Hall. Saint Michael's first followed a curriculum deeply rooted in the classical European liberal arts tradition, including mandatory Greek and Latin. In 1951, following an enrollment boom fueled by the GI Bill, the dean and future president, Reverend Gerald E. Dupont, SSE, initiated the Saint Michael's Plan, which focused on the intellectual growth of students through studies informed by Catholicism while meaningfully engaged in the secular world. Since then, the curriculum has been revised in response to changing times.

In the early 1970s, the College, which had been all-male, began admitting women. Enrollment has increased gradually to its present levels of about 2,000 undergraduates, 650 part-time adult graduate students and more than 200 international students studying English through the Applied Linguistics Department. Saint Michael's offers graduate programs leading to master's degrees in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL), Education and Clinical Psychology. The Saint Michael's Playhouse, started in 1947, continues to bring professional summer theater to the community as well as a range of educational opportunities, including backstage internships for Saint Michael's undergraduate students.

In 2003, Saint Michael's was invited to join the elite group of 270 colleges and universities nationwide that shelter chapters of the prestigious academic honor society, Phi Beta Kappa. In 2006, Jamila Headley '06 was named a Rhodes Scholar, and Michelle Kayser '08 was awarded one of only 19 prestigious Pickering Undergraduate Fellowships. Saint Michael's is included in the 2011 Princeton Review's Best 370 Colleges guidebook, the 2010-2011 Colleges of Distinction Guidebook, and as one of the top 100 national liberal arts colleges in the U.S. News & World Report 2010 Guide to America's Best Colleges. Saint Michael's is also included in the 2010 Fiske Guide to Colleges.

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