Digital Commonwealth

Elms College Founding and Early History (1928-1950)

Elms College Alumnae Library

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Presented here are letters, personal memorabilia, and photographs that represent the founding and early history of the College of Our Lady of the Elms (Elms College) from 1928 to 1950. After receiving a charter from The Commonwealth of Massachusetts to confer degrees, Elms College became a baccalaureate-granting institution in 1928, with a specialization in education. Bishop Thomas Mary O'Leary became the first college president, with Rev. Patrick Doyle the first Vice-President, and on 21 September 1928, the college admitted its first class, composed of 36 students. The present administration building, later to be named Berchmans Hall, was dedicated in 1931. Through the efforts of the Sisters of St. Joseph and the Springfield diocesan clergy, the curriculum was expanded through the 1940s and 1950s, with the colleges first NEASC accreditation coming in 1942, and a Sociology program being introduced in 1948.

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