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Mercy Hall at the Omaha campus from the southwest

College of Saint Mary is a Catholic women's college located in Omaha, Nebraska. As of 2006, there were 917 undergraduates and 16 graduate students.[1]

The academic programs at Saint Mary are primarily career-focused, with majors offered in fields such as medical technology, business administration, and nursing. Courses of study in the liberal arts are also available, including English. Students can receive an Associate's, Bachelor's, or Master's degree upon graduation.[2]

Saint Mary athletes compete in the NAIA as the Flames. Basketball, softball, volleyball, cross-country, and soccer are the sports offered. All of the athletic programs are very competitive and have a long history of excellence. [3]


The College of Saint Mary offers a solid foundation that is complemented by several distinctive programs:

  • A Practical Nursing program created specifically to graduate bilingual (Spanish-English) nurses to serve the growing Spanish-speaking population in Nebraska and surrounding areas
  • An innovative "2+3" engineering-study program in collaboration with the University of Nebraska College of Engineering and Technology (COET) through which graduates actually will receive two degrees: a Bachelor's degree in Science or Math from CSM, and a Bachelor's degree in Civil, Computer, or Electronics Engineering - or a Master's for those in Architectural Engineering - from the University of Nebraska
  • A Masters in Leadership program dedicated to explore and strengthen the unique leadership qualities of women
  • The region's only four-year paralegal studies program approved by the American Bar Association
  • The region's only associate and bachelor's degrees in health information management
  • Nationally accredited nursing programs at the associate and bachelor degree levels


Catherine McAuley, founder of the Sisters of Mercy and an early 18th century Irishwoman, had a bold vision. She believed that nothing was more productive of good to society than the careful education of women. Her strength of conviction gave birth to what would become a long line of women's secondary and post-secondary schools around the globe. Omaha's College of Saint Mary is one of those schools.

Mother Mary Leo Gallagher, another Sister of Mercy, carried on the tradition and opened the doors of College of Saint Mary in 1923. In the old Continental Hotel at 15th and Castelar Streets, the work began. The church schools needed teachers. To be effective in these positions, Mother Gallagher believed women needed a strong liberal arts education. Mother Gallagher accomplished this feat when women had won the vote just three years prior. Many at the time viewed educating women as a frivolous gesture. But a woman with a vision will not be deterred.

The dynamic leadership of women such as Mother Gallagher, the first president of the College, and Sister Mary Constance Walsh, the first academic dean, brought high standards to the fledgling two-year teacher's college and led to its growth. Their dedication served as an example for those who followed.

In November 1950, the Sisters purchased 80 acres (320,000 m2) of land for $150,000 next to a dirt road named 72nd Street and what would become Mercy Road. A $3 million construction project began in March 1953 and by May 1955, College of Saint Mary was a reality. That year, 255 students enrolled and by 1958 College of Saint Mary had become a four-year fully accredited college.

Today the College continues its affiliation with the Sisters of Mercy and is proud of its tradition of women leading the way. A community of faith and learning, College of Saint Mary offers an education that inspires academic excellence and celebrates the roles of women as scholars and contributors to society, family and church.

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