1809 – Mother Elizabeth Ann Seton founded the Sisters of Charity in the United States.
1859 – The Sisters of Charity of Saint Elizabeth was founded in the Diocese of Newark at the Colonel Ward Mansion, by Mother Mary Xavier Mehegan.
1870s – Convent Station became a stop on the Morris Essex line. A railway station was constructed to accommodate visitors and students of The Academy of Saint Elizabeth, the Convent, and Saint Anne's Villa. The Sisters of Charity paid the station master's salary for the first 12 years.
1880 – Patrick Keely, a famous 19th century church architect from Ireland, designed the Sisters of Charity Administration Building.
1899 – The College of Saint Elizabeth was founded and opened on September 11th with six students. Sister Mary Pauline Kelligar became the first president.
1901 – Xavier Hall was added onto the main structure to become the first College building. It is named after Mother Mary Xavier Mehegan.
1902 – Sister Helen Angela Dorety graduated and continued her studies to become the first Sister in the United States to receive a Ph.D. in 1909 from the University of Chicago.
1903 – The first graduating class (Mary Ennis, Blanche Maskell, Esther Kenna, H. Seton McCabe,) received their degrees.
1904 – The first music degree was conferred.
1907 – Santa Rita Hall opened as the first dormitory and housed bedrooms, reception rooms, club rooms, the Athletic Department, and school store.
1907 – The first degrees in education were awarded.
1908 – The Athletic Association formed, with four sports to span the year (field hockey, basketball, track, and tennis,) outside of the gym class requirements.
1908 – The Dramatic Association, "The Dram," began its long history of performing pieces both for the campus and for competition between classes.
1909 – Holy Family Chapel was completed and dedicated to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Sisters of Charity, as well as the 50th anniversary of Sisters of Charity of Saint Elizabeth, and the 10th anniversary of the College.
1910 – The very first yearbook, "The Elizabethan" was published.
1911 – A botany experiment station was built under the direction of Sister Helen Angela Dorety, Class of 1902.
1913 – Santa Maria opened as the first separate academic building and library. It housed classrooms, laboratories, lecture halls, and a basement clubroom.
1913 – Florence Wall graduated to become a chemist, cosmetologist, and extensively published researcher.
1915 – The first home economics degree was awarded.
1916 – In honor of the 300th anniversary of the death of The Bard of Avon, the play "Will Shakespeare" was performed at The Plaza Hotel, New York. It was the first College production ever given to the public.
1919 – The College's Alumnae Association separated from the Academy of Saint Elizabeth's and held its first official meeting. Graduates from the College as well as the Academy were referred to as "Elizabethans", and kept in touch through quarterly periodicals.
1919 – The first senior prom was held at the Robert Treat Hotel in Newark, N.J.
1920 – Class Days originally began as a ritual for dressing up to celebrate Saint Patrick's Day and evolved into decorating, attending Mass, creating songs, wearing costumes, and settled with each class wearing a colored blazer, white skirt, and hat. The tradition continued until the 1970s.
1920s – "The White Houses" were built on the current site of Henderson Hall. These two wooden buildings served as chemistry labs.
1921 – The College of Saint Elizabeth was included in the first published list of accredited colleges by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools, and has maintained such accreditation to the present time.
1922 – Sister Marie Jose' Byrne became the second president.
1922 – The Alma Mater was written by Teresa Driscoll Vickers, class of 1922, and was later updated by Sister Marian Jose' Smith in 2006.
1923 – Teresa Demjanovich from Bayonne, N.J., graduated in 1923, entered the Sisters of Charity in 1925, and began her life's work, which eventually led to her recent beatification.
1924 – Student Government was created. Meetings were held in the basement of Santa Rita. Officers wore their caps and gowns for all meetings.
1926 – O'Connor Hall opened as the second dormitory named after Most Reverend John J. O'Connor, Bishop of Newark, and uncle of Sister Mary Catharine O'Connor – a well-known faculty member and author.
1927 – The first outdoor commencement ceremony was held in front of Santa Maria.
1929 – The first college newspaper, "The Pelican" went to press.
1931 – The Shakespeare Garden, designed by Sister Helen Angela Dorety, was completed in which flowers from each of The Bard's plays and poems were represented.
1932 – The Greek Theatre was constructed, and thus began the tradition of Greek plays being performed in the theatre as well serving as host for commencement and class days for many years.
1936 – In celebration of "May Day", the first May queen, Anita McManus was crowned. Students of all classes gathered in the Greek Theater to dance the maypole, hold "court" and celebrate spring!
1939 – "The Sector" became the College's annual literary journal with poems and stories composed and published by the students.
1939 – The tradition of the Junior Ring Ceremony was born, in which class rings were blessed and presented to members of the junior class.
1939 – The first Nevin House, located off Madison Ave. in the area that is now St. Thomas More Church, opened as a practice house for seniors in the Home Economics department.
1940s – Due to the war, the commuter "day hop" population rose as more students lived at home and traveled to campus via bus and train to attend classes.
1942 – Comprehensive Examinations became a requirement to demonstrate knowledge and excellence in one's chosen area of specialization.
1943 – Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration was introduced.
1949 – The College celebrated its Golden Jubilee.
1952 – Sister Hildegarde Marie Mahoney became the third president.
1952 – The tradition of Mother/Daughter Weekend was born. Events included a bridge tournament, hot dog roast, campus sports, buffet dinner, Mass, walking tours and a senior tea on Sunday.
1954 – In celebration of the 50th anniversary, Saint Joseph Hall opened to provide athletic facilities, a dramatic studio, a pool, art studio, lounges, snack bar, book store, additional classrooms and activity areas for students. Previously meals, performances, and gym classes were attended in the Administration Building, and student activities as well as student government meetings were conducted in the dorm lounge areas.
1955 – The swim proficiency test became a requirement for graduation. Students could take the test at any point prior to graduation.
1955 – Aqua shows became a form of entertainment complete with costumes, narration, and music, with an interpretation of "Sleeping Beauty" being the first.
1956 – The first alumnae award, the Mother Xavier Award, for outstanding contributions and leadership, was presented and began the tradition of recognizing graduates to this day.
1957 – Father/Daughter Day began and grew into Father/Daughter Weekend with activities including film viewings, casino nights, dances, local outings, Mass, and brunch.
1962 – Henderson Hall opened. It was named after the Henderson family, generous benefactors to the College, which provided a place for laboratories and additional classrooms.
1966 – Founders Hall, the "modern" dormitory, opened in honor of the founding sisters of the College.
1968 – For the first time in the school's almost 70 year history, slacks and pants are allowed to be worn on campus! Prior, students had to wear skirts and dresses even in their dorm rooms.
1969 – Mahoney Library opened (in honor of Sister Hildegarde Marie Mahoney.)
1969 – The College of Saint Elizabeth's 70th birthday was marked by the publication of "Three Score and Ten," by history professor and later archivist, Sister Blanche Marie McEniry, chronicling the first 70 years of existence.
1970 – The Continuing Education program was established, which allowed for non-traditional aged women to complete their degrees.
1970 – Nevin House, formerly used as a "practice house" for senior home economics majors, moved from its Park Avenue location to campus next to the library. It remained there to become the President's house until the mid 2000s when it was razed in preparation for Annunciation Center.
1971 – Sister Elizabeth Ann Maloney became the fourth president.
1971 – The 100 Nights to Graduation tradition began, in which seniors "rang" in the countdown to graduation by sneaking into the convent and ringing the bell. The celebration has evolved into printing T-shirts, opening time capsules made as freshman, enjoying a progressive dinner, and toasting at the Rathskellar.
1972-73 – The Rathskellar ("Rath") was created on campus in Saint Joseph Hall. This was a particularly momentous event since it required permission to serve alcohol on campus for students 21 and over.
1974 – Oktoberfest became a fall tradition thanks to Sister Anne Haarer. Students, faculty, and families enjoyed German food and "oom-pah-pah" music from authentic Deutsche musicians.
1975 – The campus community celebrated the canonization of Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton.
1976 – The Weekend College program began allowing working men and women to attend classes while maintaining their current jobs.
1980s – The Senderak Computer Lab (named after Sister Mary George Senderak, who held many responsible positions for the College,) opened in Santa Maria to provide "state of the art" IBM technology for students.
1981 – Sister Jacqueline Burns became the fifth president.
1982 – The Center for Theological and Spiritual Development was opened and developed in response to the evolving needs of the Church as envisioned by the Second Vatican Council.
1982 – In January, the Feast of Saint Elizabeth was celebrated in a new way which included the Sisters of Charity, the Academy of Saint Elizabeth, and the College of Saint Elizabeth.
1985 – The College newspaper's name changed from "The Pelican" to "The Station" in reference to Convent Station.
1991 – Broadway Revues became a yearly campus highlight, in which excerpts from current Broadway productions were entirely directed and choreographed by students, and performed by faculty, staff, Sisters of Charity, students, as well as males from Morris County College, Seton Hall, Fairleigh Dickinson and Drew University.
1992 – The first group of students from the Hispanic Leadership Program graduated.
1993 – The Masters program began offering a Masters of Educational Leadership.
1994 – The College officially became a Holocaust Education Resource Center at the hands of Dr. Harriet Sepinwall and Sister Kathleen Flanagan.
1995 – The College's address and zip code changed from "Convent Station, N.J. 07961" to "2 Convent Road, Morristown N.J. 07960."
1997 – Sister Francis Raftery became the sixth president.
1999 – The College of Saint Elizabeth celebrated her 100th Anniversary with numerous special programs, reenactments, dedications and the publication of the book "The College of Saint Elizabeth" for The College History Series, written by Dr. George Sirgiovanni (history professor,) Carol-Marie Kiernan (photo researcher and alumna,) and Sister Mary Ellen Gleason (Director of the Archives, and alumna.)
1999 – The final year of the century and millennium marked the dorms being wired for individual phones, cable, and internet access. Prior, students utilized two pay phones per dorm floor, computer labs, and antennae televisions.
2000 – After being closed for a decade, Santa Rita was refurbished and rededicated as the new administrative complex on campus.
2000 – Lizzie the Mascot began appearing at campus and athletic events as well as in "The Station" newspaper with her own advice column.
2000 – Mahoney Library entered the digital age by teaming with Fairleigh Dickinson and computerizing its entire collection with the "COOLCAT" digital card cataloging system allowing access to both campus' materials.
2001 – The Center for Catholic Women's History, was established to collect Catholic women's stories and record the ways those women handed on their faith. Annually the Heritage Award, which is a research grant, is presented to a candidate to further contribute to the Center's resources.
2006 – Sister Marian José Smith updated the Alma Mater to reflect the changes in society and the student body.
2007 – Annunciation Center opened to provide students with Dolan Performing Arts Hall, music and art studios, as well as a theological center, the Holocaust Education Resource Center, and the Therese Maloney Art Gallery.
2010 – The first doctoral degrees were awarded for Educational Leadership.
2013 – Dr. Helen J. Streubert became the seventh president and the first lay president of the College.
2013 – A joint effort between the Sisters of Charity, the Academy of Saint Elizabeth and the College of Saint Elizabeth resulted in a new soccer and lacrosse field by the back entrance of the College gate to host sporting events at both the high school and college levels.
2014 – Blessed Sister Miriam Theresa Demjanovich's beatification was held in Newark, New Jersey, at the Cathedral Basilica of the Sacred Heart. It was the first time a beatification took place outside of The Vatican.
Who We Are
Founded in 1899 by the Sisters of Charity of Saint Elizabeth, the College of Saint Elizabeth has a strong tradition of concern for the poor, for developing leadership in a spirit of service and social responsibility, and a commitment to the promotion of women as full partners in society.