Join our legacy of influential and visionary women. St. Catherine University guides an inclusive community of women to learn and discern wisely, live and lead justly, and shape a better world. Our baccalaureate College for Women makes us one of the largest private women’s universities in the nation, where we normalize women leaders, leaving our graduates fully ready to be changemakers. Our Catholic founders have influenced our commitment to improve and grow, which has transformed the institution into the University it is today, including four schools and three colleges.
St. Catherine University (formerly the College of St. Catherine) was founded in St. Paul in 1905 by the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet, under the leadership of Mother Seraphine Ireland. The University is named for St. Catherine of Alexandria, the fourth-century Egyptian lay philosopher who suffered martyrdom for her faith. A site for the University was chosen atop the city’s second-highest hill, in the area now known as Highland Park. The first benefactor was Hugh Derham of Rosemount, who contributed $20,000 for the first building. Derham Hall opened in January 1905, offering classes to high school boarding students and lower-division college students.
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