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University of Saint Mary
Established 1859
Type Private,
President Sr. Diane Steele, SCL
Undergraduates 600
Postgraduates 150
Location Leavenworth, Kansas, United States
Colors Navy and Gold
Nickname Spires
Mascot Spyro

The University of Saint Mary is based in Leavenworth, Kansas, USA. It is a private, liberal arts university sponsored by the Sisters of Charity of Leavenworth, who established it originally as Saint Mary College, a school for women. The school is now coeducational. On the same campus, the nuns also established St. Mary's Academy for high school students. The Motherhouse of the order is also on the premises. At one time the nuns' property had its own post office, Xavier, Kansas, the name honoring St. Francis Xavier.

The University of Saint Mary offers 26 bachelor’s degree programs and six master’s degree programs, including Master of Business Administration, Master of Arts in Psychology, Counseling Psychology, Education, Adaptive Special Education, and Teaching. Traditional, evening, degree completion and online classes are available.

The Saint Mary’s mission is, “to educate students of diverse backgrounds to realize their God-given potential and prepares them for value-centered lives and careers that contribute to the well being of our global society.” Saint Mary’s has values they focus on. The values include community, respect, justice, and excellence.



St. Mary’s originated as a small institute for women in 1859. The Sisters of Charity came to Leavenworth Kansas in 1858 and began teaching boys and girls. One year later they decided to start St. Mary’s institute in downtown Leavenworth. In 1870 St. Mary’s was moved to its current location and was renamed St. Mary’s academy. After the move the academy thrived and in 1923 it was renamed again to St. Mary’s college. Nine years later in 1932 the college became a four year institute and started accepting a few men for certain areas. The University didn’t become residential coed until 1988. In 1974, St. Mary’s became the first four year university to offer a degree completion in Kansas City. In 2000 St. Mary’s opened up the Overland Park Campus which is centrally located making it easy access. In order to meet the growing demands today St. Mary College expanded again in July 2003. St. Mary’s College became the University of St. Mary’s. St. Mary’s first fully endowed chair came in 1989 with the retirement of Sister Mary Janet McGilley. Sister McGilley was a poet, educator, and a president to St. Mary’s University.

Academic Profile

St. Mary’s has 886 students enrolled across four campuses. It has 31 full-time campus faculties with 26 undergraduate programs and 6 masters programs and in the past two years St. Mary’s has been consistently named a “Best Value College” by the Princeton Review. Students at St. Mary come from 33 different states, and it has international students from Brazil, Tobago, Taiwan, the United Kingdom, Columbia, Finland, and Canada. The Average age of residential full-time students is twenty-two and the average full-time undergraduate is twenty-seven. The student body is 47% male, 53% female. On average, USM receives 427 applications per year, and 233 students are accepted.


The main campus of USM is located between 200 acres (0.81 km2) of hills in Leavenworth, Kansas. The main campus is the location to undergraduate classrooms, two residential halls (Berchmans hall and Maria Hall), and the main academic and administrative offices. It is near a nature preserve, stately academic buildings, indoor athletic facilities, and outdoor playing fields. The Overland Park Campus is located centrally between College Boulevard and Plumm. The Overland Park is host to evening master degree classes and degree completion programs. Its main function is accelerated degree-completion and graduate programs and is home to various resource centers. The Wyandotte County Campus is located inside providence medical center. The Wyandotte County is host to master degree classrooms and degree completion programs year round. St. Mary’s also offers Masters in Art education at Sacred Heart in Shawnee, Kansas. USM also has an online degree program given in eight week sessions. Some of the important buildings around campus are Annunciation Chapel, Saint Mary Hall, Xavier Courtyard, DePaul Library, McGilley Fieldhouse, Kehoe Memorial Baseball Field, and the Ryan Sports Center.


USM is part of the Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference (KCAC) which is part of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA). St. Mary’s has 8 men’s and women’s varsity sports, which include men’s baseball, basketball, football, and soccer and women’s basketball, soccer, volleyball, and softball. SMU’s team colors are navy and gold. St. Mary’s has four sports facilities. The Ryan Sports center is a 1,500 seat multi-purpose arena which hosts the women’s volleyball and men’s and women’s basketball. It has an indoor run/walk track, training room, racquetball courts, and athletic offices. The McGilley’s field house north of Ryan sports center is the main facility for practice and training and is home for intramural sports on campus. It also has the campus weight lifting facility. The last facility is the USM fitness center which is used by both students and faculty. St. Mary’s also has separate baseball, soccer, and football fields used by both men and women.



Saint Mary began its football program in 2000 under Kevin Haslam and the current coach is Lance Hinson. As of conclusion of the 2007 season, the school has an all-time record of 22 wins, 53 losses, and 0 ties.[1]

Seasons Coach Record Notes
Sivertson 1998-1999 3-3 The first coach who initiated the program
Haslam 2000-2001 1-17 First coach for a varsity season
Frear 2002-2004 10-18 2002 KCAC Coach of the Year
Hinson 2005-present 16-23 2005 KCAC Coach of the Year

USM Projects

St. Mary’s believes the importance of having a community and campus presence. So St. Mary’s puts on the “Into the Streets" program to incoming freshmen. These freshmen are separated into groups and do different tasks helping the community with mentoring younger students during the first day of middle school, working on houses for people in the community, helping with maintenance at the local shelter, and helping the Red Cross. St. Mary’s also has alternative breaks where students are able to do alternative events on spring break and winter breaks. Students go to Denver, Colorado during their winter break and get the opportunity to work with three different organizations, the Mount Saint Vincent Home[1], Annunciation School[2], and the Humanitarian Center for Workers. During spring break students travel to Guatemala where they help the community center there. They also have the choice to travel to Appalachia where they build new homes for various people. USM also has a local service agency programs where students are able to take what they learn in the classroom and use it in the real world. Members of the productions and operations management class has helped Alliance Against Family Violence improve operations by creating a computerized inventory agency. Consumer behavior and marketing research classes has helped the Leavenworth community library with strategic planning which helped the library layout and varies problems.

City Leavenworth

The city Leavenworth where USM resides is a community of 35,000 people located in the rolling hills of northeastern Kansas on the Missouri River. Leavenworth has the Army’s Fort LeavenworthFort Leavenworth in it and a federal Penitentiary. Leavenworth was the first city in Kansas when it was founded in 1854 and was the spring board for other settlement state wide.


  1. ^ College Football Data Warehouse, Saint Mary Spires

“University of Saint Mary – Rewriting History." About Saint Mary. 30 Apr. 2008. <>.

"University of Saint Mary." berecruited. 30 Apr. 2008. <>

"Athletics." University of Saint Mary. 30 Apr. 2008. <>

"Campus Locations." About Saint Mary. 30 Apr. 2008. <>

"Leavenworth, Ks." University of Saint Mary. 30 Apr. 2008. < &login=false>

"America's Best Colleges 2008." US News. 30 Apr. 2008. < y/brief/drglance_1943_brief.php>

"programs in the Spotlight." Kansas Campus Compact. 30 Apr. 2008. < nor_roll/index.html>

"Living in Leavenworth." City of Leavenworth, Kansas. 30 Apr. 2008. <>

External links





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