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Mount St. Mary's University (Los Angeles)

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Title: Mount St. Mary's University (Los Angeles)  
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Subject: David G. O'Connell, Independent Colleges of Southern California, Liberal arts colleges in California, University Park, Los Angeles, Brentwood, Los Angeles
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Mount St. Mary's University (Los Angeles)

Mount Saint Mary's University
Seal of Mount Saint Mary's University
Motto Deus Illuminatio Mea (Latin)
Motto in English
God, My Light
Established 1925
Type Private liberal arts college
Affiliation Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet (Roman Catholic)
Endowment $65.4 million[1]
President Ann McElaney-Johnson
Provost Wendy McCredie
President Emerita Jacqueline Powers Doud
Academic staff
Administrative staff
Students 2,707[3]
Undergraduates 2,160[3]
Postgraduates 547[3]
Location Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Campus two urban campuses
Chalon (Brentwood):

56 acres (23 ha)
Doheny (Downtown):

20 acres (8.1 ha)
Colors Purple and gold
Nickname Athenians
Mascot Athena
Affiliations ACCU

Mount Saint Mary's University (known as Mount St. Mary's College until January 2015)[4] is a private, independent, Catholic liberal arts college, primarily for women, in Los Angeles, California, United States. The college was founded in 1925 by the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet, and today has two campuses, which are just over 16 miles (26 km) apart: Chalon in Brentwood and Doheny in North University Park, near Downtown Los Angeles.

Nearly sixty percent of the entering freshman class are first generation college students. Three quarters of the student body is made up of visible minority students, while women make up nearly 95% of first-year undergraduate students.

According to the 2007 U.S. News & World Report listing of America's Best Colleges, Mount St. Mary’s College is one of the highest ranked master's-granting universities in the western United States, placing among the top twenty schools evaluated, out of 574 colleges and universities nationally.


  • History 1
    • Chalon Campus 1.1
    • Doheny Campus 1.2
  • Identity 2
  • In the media 3
  • References 4
  • External links 5


Chalon Campus

Mary Chapel, built in 1939, at the university's Brentwood campus.

The university first held its classes at St. Mary's Academy, then located at West Slauson Avenue and Crenshaw Boulevard. In 1928, the Sisters purchased 36 acres (15 ha) of land along the foothills of the Santa Monica Mountains from the Rodeo Land and Water Company for $162,000. In 1947, an additional 20 acres (8.1 ha) was acquired to complete what is today the university's Chalon campus. The campus contains a blend of architecture familiar to Los Angeles, largely in the tradition of the Spanish Colonial Revival and Mission Revival styles. The unique location of the Brentwood campus, on a 1,100-foot (340 m) ridge, provides an overlook to both the Getty Center and 40 miles (60 km) of the Pacific Ocean.

Being the university's first campus, Chalon has been home to a number of important events in the history of the university. In 1929, the university's first graduation was held on the Chalon campus. In 1952, the university granted its first baccalaureate degrees in nursing, also the first in Southern California. In 1955, the university began offering graduate degree programs.

Today, Chalon is home to the university's traditional baccalaureate programs, offering more than 35 academic majors and minors. The most popular majors are: nursing, pre-nursing, psychology, biology, sociology, and business.

Doheny Campus

The Doheny Mansion, the center of the university's Downtown campus.

The university grew to two campuses in 1962 when it was given 20 acres (8.1 ha), holding two city blocks of Queen Anne-style Victorian mansions, in Los Angeles next to the University of Southern California. The tranquil property was formerly owned by Edward L. Doheny and his wife, the Countess Estelle Doheny, who made their fortune in oil. The Chester Place residences were built at the turn of the century by Judge Charles Silent. The university named the campus after the Countess Doheny and her husband. Due to the Countess' desire for privacy, the Dohenys purchased all the adjacent houses and made it into a private street. The University Park campus is located in one of the oldest neighborhoods of the city.

The Doheny campus first played host to the university's Associate in Arts program when it opened in 1962. Forty years later, in 2002, the university began its first doctoral degree, in physical therapy, which joined the other graduate programs now offered at the Doheny campus.

In 1992, the university launched its Weekend and Evening College program at the Chalon campus, which primarily focuses on providing working professionals the opportunity to complete their undergraduate degrees within four years by attending classes scheduled on weekends. The Weekend and Evening College program moved to the Doheny campus in 2006, joining a number of courses for the associate and graduate programs offered at Doheny on weekday evenings and on weekends, furthering the idea of accessibility introduced by Weekend and Evening College.

Doheny is home to the university's associate, daytime and evening graduate programs, Weekend and Evening College (undergraduate and graduate), and educational credential programs.

Doheny is also home to Los Angeles's first swimming pool:


The J. Thomas McCarthy Library, part of the Coughlin Learning Complex, built in 1996 at the Doheny campus.

The university's seal, a circular shield, was designed by Baker's Heraldic office in London. It has four divisions, each representing the university's founding. An open book at the base of the shield holds the university motto, Deus Illuminatio Mea, or God My Light. At the highest point of the shield, a lily surrounded by thorns represents the Immaculate Conception by Mary. The fleur-de-lis of France on the right symbolizes the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet, established at Le Put, France, in 1650. On the left, three angel wings with the rose signify the City of Los Angeles.

Particular care is necessary in distinguishing the university's name from that of other institutions with some variant of Mount St. Mary in their name. Usage of the abbreviated form of Mount or the complete form of St. is discouraged, and the possessive form Mary's (with an apostrophe) is required.

In the media

Due to its isolated location and beautiful vistas and architecture, a number of movies and television shows have filmed on either the Doheny or Chalon campus of the university. The list includes, but is not limited to:[5]


  1. ^ As of June 30, 2009.
  2. ^ a b
  3. ^ a b c
  4. ^ New Name, Expanded Programs At L.A.'s Only Women's University: Mount Saint Mary's University
  5. ^
  6. ^ The O.C. Filming Locations

External links

  • Mount Saint Mary's University official website
  • Mount Saint Mary's University alumnae community
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