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Holy Names University
Holy Names University seal.png
Established 1868
Type private, coeducational since 1971
Endowment $7,015,588
President Sister Rosemarie Nassif, SSND, PhD
Faculty 123
Students 1,100 total enrollment
Location Oakland, California, USA
Campus urban: 60 acres (5 km²)
Mascot Hawks
Affiliations Roman Catholic Church

Holy Names University is a private, coeducational university located in Oakland, California. It is affiliated with the Roman Catholic Church and is administered by the Sisters of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary.



The university was originally established as the Convent of Our Lady of the Sacred Heart in 1868 by six members of the Sisters of the Holy Names, a teaching order from Quebec, Canada. They were invited to Oakland by Father Michael King, Pastor of Saint Mary's Church to establish a school for girls and to provide means to train future teachers.

The original site of the convent was be the shores of Lake Merritt. By 1909 the convent began to offer classes at a post-secondary level and was renamed the College of the Holy Names. Graduate degree programs were added in 1951 and men were first admitted only as graduate students. Soon afterwards in 1957, the school moved to its present location in the Oakland Hills. In 1971 the college became coeducational and was renamed Holy Names College. The Julia Morgan School for Girls held classes for its first two years, from 1999 through 2001, at Holy Names.[1] The school took its present name on May 10, 2004 and became known as the "newest Catholic university in California."[2]


The university offers seventeen undergraduate degree programs and nine master's degree programs in addition to a teacher education program leading to a California teacher's credential. The university added an MA in Forensic Psychology degree in 2006.

The school maintains small class sizes and more than 85 percent of the faculty hold the highest degree in their fields. In 2006, for the third year in a row, US News and World Report rated Holy Names University a "best value" among universities that do not offer doctorates on the West Coast. That same publication also ranked the university as the third most diverse university in the West. Fifty-one percent of the incoming freshmen in the Fall of 2006 were first generation college students.


The Hawks of Holy Names University participate in the California Pacific Conference of the NAIA. The university fields teams for both men and women in basketball, volleyball, cross-country and soccer. Holy Names also fields men's golf team and women's softball team, also competing in the NAIA. Men's volleyball is the newest sport at the university and has surprised many in its inaugual 2006 season by ranking in the top ten in the NAIA Coaches' Poll.


Lydia Selina Dunn, Baroness Dunn, DBE - Member of the House of Lords in the United Kingdom[3]

Carol A. Corrigan, Associate Justice - California State Supreme Court

Rita Lavelle, EPA official during the Reagan Administration


Coordinates: 37°48′07″N 122°11′14″W / 37.80202°N 122.18715°W / 37.80202; -122.18715



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