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College of Our Lady of the Elms

Seal of the College of Our Lady of the Elms
Latin: Collegium Dominae Nostrae In Ulmis
Motto Viam Veritatis Elegi
Motto in English “I have chosen the way of truth"
Established 1928
Type Private
Religious affiliation Sisters of St. Joseph
Endowment US $6 million
President Sister Mary Reap, ihm
Faculty 63
Undergraduates 1,118
Location Chicopee, Massachusetts, United States
Coordinates: 42°8′32.15″N 72°36′5.00″W / 42.1422639°N 72.60139°W / 42.1422639; -72.60139
Colors Green, Gold, White
Nickname Blazers
Athletics NCAA Division III

The College of Our Lady of the Elms, often called Elms College or simply Elms, is a Catholic liberal arts college located in Chicopee, Massachusetts. Founded as a girls' academy in 1899, it became a women's college in 1928 and started admitting men in 1998.



Elms was founded as a girls' academy on August 22, 1899. Rev. John McCoy and Bishop Thomas Beaven of the Springfield diocese purchased property. By 1908, it was a normal school. In November 1927, the Sisters of Saint Joseph petitioned the Commonwealth of Massachusetts to charter the school as a women's college. Rev. Thomas Mary O'Leary became the first president of the college and the college admitted its inaugural class on September 21, 1928. Under increasing financial and enrollment pressures, the Elms College board of trustees voted 23-5 to begin admitting men, starting with the 1998-1999 school year, on October 7, 1997. Sixteen freshmen and transfers were Elms' first male students.[citation needed] It was recently placed on a watchlist by the US Department of Education, due to fiscal instability.[1]


The campus is about two miles north of downtown Springfield, Massachusetts. It is focused on the Keating Quadrangle, which lies at its center, and has 14 buildings.[2]


Elms is a four-year liberal arts college. It offers thirty-three academic majors to 701 full-time students, and it employs sixty-three full-time faculty members.[citation needed]

Student life

Traditions include Elms Night, an event in the beginning of the fall semester which purpose is to welcome incoming first year students. The event starts with an outdoor dinner where all Elms students and staff are invited. Freshmen are encouraged by seniors to sing a few lyrics from a song of choice during dinner. Following dinner, everyone meets in the Berchman's Hall Rotunda. Each class is assigned a pop song, and sings for the other classes. At this point in the event event, seniors toss items from the second floor balcony down to the freshmen on the first floor. Traditionally, the items were beanie caps - but now they vary from towels to wallets, and various other items. Often an Elms College student will hang onto this item at least until they graduate, and in many cases, long after that.[citation needed]



The Elms College Blazers got their nickname from an old tradition where sophomore students would receive 'blazers' to wear as a seniority right. Although this tradition has long since been discontinued, the team name has stuck. The Elms College Blazers team colors are a green, gold, and white. Elms competes at the Division III level as part of the National Collegiate Athletic Association in baseball, basketball, cross-country, golf, soccer, softball, and volleyball, field hockey, lacrosse, and swimming.[3] The athletics at Elms is based out of The Maguire Center.

Notes and references

External links


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