In April 1883, four Sisters of Saint Dominic boarded the Mary Powell in New York City and headed north on the Hudson River.

Their mission was to open an elementary school on Gidney Avenue in Newburgh—right where the Bishop Dunn Memorial School now stands. Thirty years later, they extended their educational mission to the secondary level, and in 1927, they built a magnificent school, Mount Saint Mary Academy.

With the continuing success of their education mission, the Sisters started a teacher training school in 1930. Less than three decades later, Mount Saint Mary College was granted a charter by the Board of Regents of the University of the State of New York to become a four-year liberal arts institution.

In 1960, the college opened its doors under the leadership of Mother Leo Vincent, OP, also known as Sister Kathleen Short, the first president.

New York Governor Nelson A. Rockefeller congratulated the Sisters on their “courage and enterprise” and thanked them for their “notable contribution” to the cause of education for nearly 80 years.

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