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Saint Vincent College
Established 1846
Type Private
Religious affiliation Roman Catholic (Benedictines)
Endowment $67 million [1]
Chancellor Rt. Rev. Douglas R. Nowicki, O.S.B., B.A. M.Div., Ph.D.
President H. James Towey, B.S. J.D.
Vice-president Br. Norman W. Hipps, O.S.B., B.A., M.A. Ph.D.
Faculty 152 (2006)
Undergraduates 1,652 (2006)
Postgraduates 188 (2006)
Location Latrobe, Pennsylvania, USA
Campus Suburban, 200+ acres
Tuition $25,350 (2009-10)
Sports baseball, soccer, cross country, golf, lacrosse, basketball, tennis, swimming (men's); soccer, cross country, volleyball, golf, lacrosse, basketball, softball, tennis, swimming (women's)
Colors Blue and Gray (academic)
Green and Gold (athletic)
Nickname Bearcats, Lady Bearcats
Mascot Bearcat
Affiliations NCAA

Saint Vincent College is a four-year, coeducational, Roman Catholic, Benedictine, liberal arts college in Latrobe, Pennsylvania, located about 40 miles southeast of Pittsburgh. It was founded in 1846 by Boniface Wimmer, a monk from Bavaria, Germany. It was the first Benedictine monastery in the United States. It is operated by the Benedictine monks of Saint Vincent Archabbey.



Saint Vincent Archabbey and College was founded in 1846 by Boniface Wimmer, a monk from Metten Abbey in Bavaria. On April 18, 1870, the Pennsylvania state legislature incorporated the school. Saint Vincent College became coeducational in 1983. In 1996, the college, along with the archabbey, seminary, and parish, observed the 150th anniversary of its founding.


Mission Statement

Saint Vincent College is an educational community rooted in the tradition of the Catholic faith, the heritage of the Benedictine monasticism, and the love of values inherent in the liberal approach to life and learning, Its mission is to provide quality undergraduate and graduate education for men and women to enable them to integrate their professional aims with the broader purposes of human life. The programs, activities, and encounters that make up student life at Saint Vincent College encourage the intellectual gifts, professional aptitudes and personal aspirations of students to mature harmoniously.[2]


Saint Vincent is organized into four schools; each includes a number of departments and major and minor programs offering undergraduate or graduate degrees, as well as special programs and public service outreach activities. Each school has its own Dean who works closely with students, faculty and prospective students and a Council of Advisors comprised of representatives of business, industry and academia to advise and direct policy and programs.[3]

The four schools are:

Alex G. McKenna School of Business, Economics, and Government

Formed in 2001, the current Dean is Gary Quinlivan, B.A., Ph.D. It includes the departments and programs of Acccounting, Economics, Business Education, Environmental Affairs, Finance, International Business, Management, Marketing, Political Science, and Public Policy.

Alex G. McKenna was a leading industrialist, civic leader, and philanthropist. He was the past chairman, president and chief executive officer, and a founding general partner of Kennametal Inc., a global corporation headquartered in Latrobe, Pennsylvania. Throughout his life he promoted the principles of free market economics, limited constitutional government and traditional civic values.[4]

School of Social Sciences, Communication, and Education

The school was formed in 2004, and the current Dean is Mary Beth Spore, B.A., M.A., Ph.D. It includes the departments of Communication, Education, Psycholgy, and Sociology/Anthropology.

School of Humanities and Fine Arts

Formed in 2004, the current Dean is Fr. Rene Kollar, O.S.B., B.A. M.Div., M.A., Ph.D., F.R. Hist. S. It contains the departments and programs of English, Fine Arts (Art and Music), History, Liberal Arts, Modern and Classical Languages, Philosophy, and Theology.

The Herbert W. Boyer School of Natural Science, Mathematics, and Computing

Formed in 2004, the current Dean is Br. Norman W. Hipps, O.S.B., B.A., M.A., Ph.D. It includes the departments of Biology, Chemistry, Computing and Information Science, Mathematics, and Physics. Majors are also offered in Biochemistry, Bioinformatics, and Environmental Science.

The college offers a a five-year cooperative liberal arts and engineering program. Students spend three years at St. Vincent, fulfilling core requirements and prerequistes for an engineering major, then two years at the engineering college. Upon completion of coursework and recommendation by the Mathematics Department, students are guaranteed acceptance at Penn State University. The college also has agreements with the University of Pittsburgh and The Catholic University of America. Under this program, the student receives a Bachelor of Arts degree from St. Vincent and a Bachelor of Science degree from the engineering college.

Herbert W. Boyer is a recipient of the 1990 National Medal of Science, and co-recipient of the 1996 Lemelson-MIT Prize and a co-founder of Genentech. He served as Vice President of Genentech from 1976 through his retirement in 1991.


St. Vincent has intercollegiate teams in football, baseball, softball, women's volleyball, and men's and women's basketball, cross country, golf, lacrosse, soccer, men's ice hockey, swimming, and tennis. The college is a member of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA). They compete in the Presidents' Athletic Conference, at the Division III level.

The current athletic director is Myron M. Kirsch, O.S.B.. The sports information director is Jeffrey Zidek.

The men's teams are known as the Bearcats and the women's as the Lady Bearcats. The athletic colors are green and gold.


In the fall of 2007, the college resumed their varsity football program in the Presidents' Athletic Conference after a 44-year hiatus. The team went 0-10 in 2007, 1-9 in 2008, and 0-10 in 2009. The lone win since the resumption of the program came in 2008, when the Bearcats defeated Gallaudet University 23-22.[5]

The games are played on campus at Chuck Noll Field, named in honor of the former coach of the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Other Sports

The main athletic center is the Robert S. Carey Student Center. It was formerly known as Sportsman's Hall, after the original name of St. Vincent Parish, and Kennedy Hall, after President John F. Kennedy. It contains the gymnasium, swimming pool, student union and fitness center.

The college took a page from Duke University's Cameron Crazies in creating the Carey Crazies, the student fans at home basketball games. In addition, the Carey Crazies have a tradition of standing up, turning around and reading a page from the newspaper while the visiting team is announced and takes the court.

Since 1966, the college has served as the training camp host of the Pittsburgh Steelers. Rooney Hall, completed in 1995, is a residence hall which is used by the Steelers during their stay on campus each summer. It is named in honor of the Steelers' founder, Arthur J. Rooney Sr.

Residence Life

Housing on campus is available in six residence halls for approximately 1,280 students. First-year students under the age of 21 and living more than 50 miles from Saint Vincent College must reside on campus.

Saint Benedict Hall serves as the center for the first-year student population. Upperclass students are housed in Bonaventure Hall, Gerard Hall, Wimmer Hall, Rooney Hall and Aurelius Hall. Housing in most residence halls in single sex by floor. Aurelius is the oldest dorm, built in 1923. Wimmer Hall was built in 1952. Gerard and Bonaventure, known better as "Gerry" and "Bonny" to students, were built in 1963. Rooney Hall opened in 1995 and Saint Benedict Hall opened in 2002.

Within each residence hall, each area is led by at least one student resident adviser. At St. Vincent, they are known as prefects. Each hall is supervised by a residence hall director and assistant residence hall directors. The latter are known as moderators.

Current President

Mr. H. James Towey has served as the president of St. Vincent College since July 1, 2006. He is a 1978 graduate of Florida State University where he earned a Bachelor of Science degree with high honors. He earned a Juris Doctor degree from the FSU College of Law in 1981. He grew up in Jacksonville, Florida. He and his wife, Mary, have five children.

Prior to becoming the college's president, Towey served for four years as director of the Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives, now known as the Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships. He served as a member of President George W. Bush's senior staff and reported directly to him.

He served in the administration of Florida Governor Lawton Chiles as district director of the Department of Health and Rehabilitative Services, where he presided during the time of Hurricane Andrew. He later became secretary of the agency.

He represented the late Mother Teresa on legal matters in the United States and Canada from 1985 until her death in 1997 and traveled with her on numerous occasions. For the past three years, he has returned to Calcutta with students from the college to work in her missions.[6]

Commencement Speakers

Towey attracted two high-profile commencement speakers at St. Vincent: President George W. Bush in 2007[7] and Mike Tomlin, coach of the Pittsburgh Steelers, in 2008. Sen. Bob Casey, Jr. was scheduled to speak in 2009, but decided to withdraw for unknown reasons.[8] He was replaced by J. Christopher Donahue, the Chairman of the Board of the St. Vincent College Corporation. Donahue is president and CEO of Federated Investors.

Also at the 2007 commencement, local Marine Justin Grieco was honored for his work in Iraq and his contribution to his "Emails from the Sands" diary.


Conflict With Faculty
Towey has faced some difficulties in his relationships with faculty members at St. Vincent.[9] In April 2008, he attributed much of the dissension to a clash of cultures with the predominantly Benedictine faculty, who were not accustomed to rapid change, and to the fact that he was "new to academia".[10] In early 2008 a letter to the school board, signed by three-quarters of the school's tenured faculty, said that Towey had created "an unparalleled crisis", accusing Towey of "sanitizing the self-study portion of the school's re-accreditation effort and displaying heavy-handed tactics in the search for an academic vice president,"[11] when he hired an untenured academic dean.[12]

Fr. Mark Gruber controversy
In November 2009 reports began emerging in which Towey accused a Saint Vincent College Priest/Professor, Fr. Mark Gruber, O.S.B., of sexual misconduct. In August 2009, local police were summoned to campus to investigate alleged instances of child pornography found on an open access computer outside Fr. Gruber's office. The police closed the case noting that, in addition to the open access to the computer, there was no evidence a crime had been committed - images of nude men were found, but no subjects could be identified as being under 18.[13] Nonetheless, President Towey, Archabbot Douglas Nowicki and Bishop of the Greensburg Diocese Lawrence Brandt acted to immediately ban Fr. Gruber from his pastoral duties and to relieve him from his post as Professor of Anthropology. Fr. Gruber's case has been referred to the Holy See for adjudication.

Some suggested these actions were in retaliation for Fr. Gruber's outspoken criticisms of the Towey administration. While Towey himself has not addressed these critics, administration spokespeople have denied the charges. Criticisms arguing that the administration perverted Canon Law in an attempt to subvert longstanding traditions of academic freedom, integrity and collegiality have not been addressed. The American Association of University Professors, alumni of Saint Vincent College as well as thousands of Fr. Gruber's friends and colleagues have come to his defense.[13]

Past Presidents

  • Rt. Rev. Boniface Wimmer, O.S.B. (1871-1887)
  • Rt. Rev. Andrew Hintenach, O.S.B. (1887-1892)
  • Rt. Rev. Leander Schnerr, O.S.B. (1892-1920)
  • Rt. Rev. Aurelius Stehle, O.S.B. (1920-1930)
  • Rt. Rev. Alfred Koch, O.S.B. (1930-1950)
  • Rt. Rev. Denis Strittmatter, O.S.B. (1950-1955)
  • Rev. Quentin Schaut, O.S.B. (1955-1962)
  • Rev. Maximilian Duman, O.S.B. (1962-1963)
  • Rev. Maynard Brennan, O.S.B. (1963-1968)[14]
  • Rev. Fintan R. Shoniker, O.S.B. (1968-1971)
  • Rev. Cecil G. Diethrich, O.S.B. (1971-1982)
  • Rev. Augustine Flood, O.S.B. (1982-1985)
  • Rev. John F. Murtha, O.S.B. (1985-1995)[15]
  • Rev. Martin R. Bartel, O.S.B. (1995-2000)
  • James F. Will (2000-2006)[16]
  • Jim Towey (2006-2010)
  • Br. Norman W. Hipps, O.S.B. (will take office in July 2010). )[17]


Saint Vincent College Basilica

Saint Vincent Parish was founded in 1790. It was the first Catholic parish in Pennsylvania west of the Allegheny Mountains. Father Theodore Brouwers, O.F.M., purchased 300 acres of land called "Sportsmen's Hall Tract." A church was built and dedicated on July 19, 1835. It was named after St. Vincent de Paul because July 19 is his feast day.[18]

The cornerstone of the basilica was laid in 1892, and the consecration took place on August 24, 1905. The basilica was completely restored in 1996, as part of the 150th anniversary of the founding of the college.[19]


Each year, on the Thursday before Thanksgiving, the Saint Vincent Community celebrates Founders Day, honoring all those who founded the college and have been a part of its community since its inception. The day features Honors Convocation (held in the Archabbey Basilica), a candle-lit turkey dinner in the gym, Zambelli fireworks and the campus light-up, featuring lighted arches in Melvin Platz.

The Saint Vincent College fight song, "Forward, Saint Vincent," was approved by the college's student government in 1996 and was written by Jen Waldmann, Heather Fields, and Chris Rodkey.

Notable alumni

See also



  1. ^
  2. ^
  3. ^
  4. ^
  5. ^ [
  6. ^
  7. ^ "President Addresses 2007 Saint Vincent Graduates". KDKA-TV. May 11, 2007. Retrieved 2007-05-16. 
  8. ^
  9. ^ Garazik, Richard "St. Vincent faculty quietly revolts", Pittsburgh Tribune-Review'', April 3, 2008. Archived by WebCite
  10. ^ Lederman, Doug. "Too Catholic, Even for Many Monks". Inside Higher Ed, Apr 22, 2008. Archived by WebCite.
  11. ^ Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, 2 April 2008, St. Vincent's president a lightning rod for criticism
  12. ^ Michael D. Yates, CounterPunch, 25 December 2009, Fear and Loathing at St. Vincent College
  13. ^ a b Inside Higher Ed, 30 November 2009, Protecting a Punished Professor
  14. ^ Maynard Brennan, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, 2 May 2007, Mr. President: This place is not your place - St. Vincent College should not host a leader who has exhibited values antithetical to its mission
  15. ^ U.S. News & World Report, 13 February 1994, How to Pull the Levers: A man of the House and the money he spends
  16. ^ BusinessWeek, St. Vincent College, accessed 26 December 2009
  17. ^
  18. ^
  19. ^

Additional sources

  • Oetgen, Jerome (2000). Mission to America: A History of Saint Vincent Archabbey, the First Benedictine Monastery in the United States. Washington: Catholic University of America Press. ISBN 0-8132-0957-9. 

External links

Coordinates: 40°17′34″N 79°24′08″W / 40.2928°N 79.4021°W / 40.2928; -79.4021


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