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Founders Day

Helene Sachs Downey '49 is the recipient of the 2014 Mother Xavier Award for her steadfast leadership in the alumni association and her creative methods for raising funds for student scholarships.
Read More | Past Recipients

Living Out the Spirit of Mother Xavier

Founders Day is celebrated each year as a reminder of the vision, courage, and faith of the College's foundress Mother Xavier Mehegan (1825-1915), who also founded the Sisters of Charity of Saint Elizabeth in 1859.

At a time when a college education seemed an unrealistic hope for all but a few women, Mother Xavier, along with Sister Mary Pauline Kelligar, the College's first president, and other determined Sisters, bravely asserted that the day for providing higher education for all women had come. In 1899, with a student body of six, the College of Saint Elizabeth was officially approved as an institution of higher education for women.

The highlight of Founders Day is the presentation of the Mother Xavier Award, the most prestigious award given to a graduate. We also recall all those who form the cornerstone and foundation of the Sisters of Charity and the College of Saint Elizabeth.

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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.

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College of Saint Elizabeth
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Morristown, NJ 07960-6989

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