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Timeline

Pre-1921

  • 1889 -- Rathalla commissioned by Joseph Francis Sinnott.  Rathalla is Gaelic for “Home of the chieftain upon the highest hill”.
  • 1891 -- Rathalla is complete.  Joseph Sinnott, his wife Annie Eliza Rogers and nine children move to their summer estate and home.

1920s

  • 1921 -- Aug: Deed signed transferring the Sinnott property to the Society of the Holy Child Jesus (SHCJ).
  • 1921 -- Sept: College Founded by Society of the Holy Child Jesus. The ""Holy Child College for Women"" opens with seven students under the guidance of Mother Marie Joseph Dalton, SHCJ.  Mother Dalton is the Superior of the SHCJ & Rosemont community for its first year.
  • 1921 -- The support of Dennis Cardinal Dougherty, Archbishop of Philadelphia was invaluable at this time and in the lifetime of the college until his death in 1951." --
  • 1922 -- Sept: The college's name is changed to Rosemont College of the Holy Child Jesus and is incorporated by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.  Rosemont receives its official charter, empowering it to grant degrees in Arts, Sciences, and Letters.
  • 1922 -- Fall: the Rosemont Association (fundraising friends) launched by M.M. Dolores Brady.
  • 1922 -- Mother Mary Dolores Brady, SHCJ, is Rosemont’s first "President".
  • 1922 -- The ""Hayloft"" is the center of dorm and class life.
  • 1922 -- There is no chapel at this time.
  • 1922 -- Connelly in the building-stage.  Rolling lawns are to be seen where the current Mayfield and Good Counsel now stand." --
  • 1923 -- Former Sinnott barn and stable converted to "Old Mayfield".  Mayfield included a science lab, lecture rooms, art studio and six student dorm rooms.
  • 1923 -- Oct: The Juniors - Helen Blake'25 & Patricia Stevenson'25 give the first Baby Party to welcome the Freshman (tradition lasted until the late 1950s).  Dorothy Wade was one of two freshman to be declared the "prize babies"
  • 1923 -- Oct: The Halloween Party is held in Mayfield.
  • 1923 -- Dec: Two plays were given for the public in Mayfield the afternoon of Sunday, Dec 16.  The plays were The Ring & Lux de Lumine.  The plays were put on by the  Rosemont College Dramatic Society.
  • 1923 -- Dec: The Gymnasium is completed.  It contains a Tennis Hall (badminton court) and Basketball Court.
  • 1923 -- First hockey field & tennis courts opened." --
  • 1924 -- The first gymnasium is built.  Feb: first unofficial basketball game held against Sharon (high school?).  Rosemont won 15-11.
  • 1924 -- Feb: First Valentine Party
  • 1924 -- May 1: First May Day (current Founder's Day) is held.  Events include - May Pole dance and tug-of-war.
  • 1924 -- Dec: Christmas carols are sung on the veranda of Main Bldg.
  • 1924 -- Reverend Mother Mary Ignatius Carroll was appointed Superior and second President of the College.
  • 1925 -- Mar: St. Patrick's Day party
  • 1925 -- May 8th: first Junior Prom
  • 1925 -- Jun 8th: first commencement ceremony is held with two graduates - H. Blake & P. Stevenson.
  • 1925 -- Sept 30th: 1st meeting of the Athletic Association
  • 1925 -- Nov: The construction of Connelly Hall is finished.
  • 1925 -- Dec: First Christmas Penny Toss
  • 1926 -- Feb 17th: Rosemont wins its first collegiate basketball game, beating Ursinus 27-25.  Students receive an additional vacation day for Easter break to celebrate.
  • 1926 -- The Gertrude Kistler Memorial Library is opened.  The library collection moves from Main to Kistler.  All of the books are housed in one room, now called the Front Reading Room.  The chapel in Main was moved to the basement of Kistler.
  • 1926 -- Jun 4th: Eight students graduate in the 2nd commencement held at Rosemont and the formal blessing of the Library occurs.
  • 1926 -- Jun 6th: The Alumnae Association is established with Helen Blake (Class of 1925) as President.  The association creates awards to be given to Rosemont graduates starting in 1927.  One is named the Cornelia Connelly Prize for the best work in the English Dept.  The second is the Rosemont College Alumnae Award.  This award is to be given to the senior showing the highest average in her 4 years of work.
  • 1926 -- Sept: Connelly Hall is open as the dorms for all resident student.  Mayfield Hall is changed to being a residence for faculty.  Main is the site of most classrooms.
  • 1926 -- Kistler Club (later: Kistler Honor Society), a literary club is established. Mrs. Kistler is the first honorary president.
  • 1926 -- The Student Government is established under the leadership of the Student Council.
  • 1926 -- Class colors are in use - Seniors -rose & gray, Juniors -blue & white, Soph -green & white, Freshman -maroon & white (until 1954)
  • 1926 -- Spirits are high and enthusiastic rooters cheer hockey and basketball games with Bryn Mawr, Chestnut Hill, & Ursinus.
  • 1927 -- Jan 17: Basketball team wears the new maroon sports' uniform in a loss to Beaver College.
  • 1927 -- May 1st: Grotto to Our Lady of Lourdes opened
  • 1928 -- Good Counsel Hall is built and becomes the classroom center.  Good Counsel also holds offices, laboratories, an auditorium, reading room and book shop.
  • 1928 -- Father Fulton J. Sheen makes his first visit to Rosemont.  Fr. Sheen continues his relationship with Rosemont over the next 40 years (retreats & graduation speaker)
  • 1929 -- Large scale sodality activities are organized.
  • 1929 -- "Old Mayfield" (the converted Sinnott barn) is replaced with the new Mayfield building.  It served as a residence hall and dining hall.
  • 1929 -- The Dramatic Society is reorganized and renamed Jest & Gesture Club.  Annual plays are inaugurated with the first play, Yeats' The Hour Glass."

1930S

  • 1930 -- The Sodality of the Children of Mary is established.
  • 1930 -- The Honor System was inaugurated by the Student Council.
  • 1930 -- The Christmas play is started as an annual tradition.
  • 1930 -- The College receives accreditation by Middle States, thanks to the financial backing of the Archbishop of Philadelphia, Cardinal Dougherty and the persistence of the Sisters.
  • 1930 -- Basketball uniforms change to grey flannel." --
  • 1931 -- "Rosemont is in it's 10th year of operation.
  • 1931 -- Sept: Provisions are made to offer students the ability to spend their junior year abroad at either the University of Fribourg, Switzerland or the Sorbonne, Paris.  In Switzerland the juniors would live at the Villa Beata, the Holy Child House of Studies, where only French was spoken.  In France the juniors would live at the Holy Child Convent in Neuilly.
  • 1931 -- The Honors course is introduced for the first time, open to Seniors who showed marked ability in their major subject.
  • 1931 -- Nov: The Rambler is established as the College’s official student newspaper. (final issue in 2013)
  • 1932 -- The (intercollegiate) Debating Team becomes a popular activity.  The first public debate was held in early 1932.
  • 1932 -- Feb: Team uniforms are changed to a rose-colored poplin material.
  • 1932 -- May 29th: First intercollegiate tennis game with Swarthmore.  Games prior were part of the local Tennis Tournaments." --
  • 1933 -- Rosemont's first literary magazine Bridges is published. --
  • 1934 -- Gracemere House on Wendover Road is leased as a residence hall for faculty.
  • 1934 -- The Alumnae Assoc. establishes the Philadelphia and New York/New Jersey Clubs.
  • 1934 -- The Glee Club is enlarged and re-organized.
  • 1934 -- The Science Forum and the International Relations Club are founded.
  • 1935 -- Jan: The Gertrude Kistler Memorial Library is expanded and rededicated.  A portrait of Gertrude Kistler by Janet Robson is installed on the East wall of the front Reading Room.
  • 1935 -- Cardinal Pacelli, Papal Secretary of State (future Pope Pius XII), visits Rosemont. (possibly 1936)
  • 1937 -- The first "yearbook""is published.
  • 1937 -- The first informal Tea Dance is held in Main.
  • 1937 -- Aug: The Ramble Inn (aka. The T or Tea House) is built across the pond from Mayfield.  It opens as a student activities center." --
  • 1938 -- Nov 12th: Annual operetta, Iolanthe, is performaed by the Glee Club for the first time.
  • 1938 -- The second yearbook is published and is titled Cornelian.
  • 1939 -- July 30: Mother Mary Ignatius Carroll, SHCJ, dies.
  • 1939 -- Mother Mary Cleophas Foy, SHCJ, becomes the third President of the College.
  • 1939 -- A class ring & rose pendant are initiated by the Junior class (class of 1940) for their Senior year.
  • ca.1930s -- Research does not indicate that Rosemont students formally adopted a mascot or team name, although the seniors of the Undergraduate College were referred to as "old gray mares" in the early history of the college.  Up until the 1970s there was a tradition that an "Olde Gray Mare" costume was donned by two seniors selected to boost school spirit on special occasions.  Note: "The Old Grey Mare" was a campaign song for the mayor of Baltimore ca.1890, and was published as a children's song in 1915.

1940s

  • 1940 -- Oct: laying of the new Chapel's corner stone
  • 1940 -- The Archery team is founded.
  • 1941 -- The Immaculate Conception Chapel is completed and dedication ceremonies are held.
  • 1941 -- Due to the efforts of M.M. Lawrence, M.M. Chrysostom, SHCJ and Miss O'Sullivan, Rosemont is granted entry to the national Catholic honor society, Delta Epsilon Sigma.  Rosemont is admitted on April 14th under the name Alpha Omicron Chapter.
  • 1941 -- The US is attacked and joins the allies in fighting World War II.  Rosemont students and alumnae contribute time and money in war relief efforts." --
  • 1943-1945 -- Rosemont is active in war efforts.  Campus is involved in running War Bond drives and Red Cross activities.
  • 1945 -- Feb: First Alumnae Retreat with Fr. Coffey from Villanova.
  • 1946 -- Jan 8: Mother Mary Cleophas Foy, SHCJ dies.
  • 1946 -- Mother Mary Boniface Henze, SHCJ Becomes the fourth President of the College.
  • 1946 -- The College celebrates its 25th anniversary.
  • 1946 -- Dec 4th: The first Cap & Gown Ceremony is held.
  • 1949 -- Dalton House on Wendover Road is purchased to initially be used as lay-faculty housing.  Its named after the Mother Superior of SHJC who purchased the Sinnott estate and ran the college in its first year.

1950s

  • 1952 -- Carroll House on Wendover Road is purchased as a new dormitory hall.  It is named after the second President of the college.
  • 1952 -- Mother Mary Chrysostom diamond, SHCJ, PhD, becomes the fifth President of the College.
  • 1954 -- The Science Hall and McShain Auditorium are built.
  • 1954 -- A second addition is built onto the Gertrude Kistler Memorial Library through the funds from the Kistler estate.  These new library wings include a cloister for SHCJ sisters, more book stack areas, a periodical room and a chapel.
  • 1956 -- Cardinal Hall, a new dining hall, is built and named after Denis Cardinal Dougherty, Archbishop of Philadelphia.  (Previous to its completion resident students ate in the first floor of Mayfield, while commuters ate in “The Tea House” – a small building no longer in existence. )
  • 1957 -- Jan: Senator John F. Kennedy visits Rosemont and speaks to students and faculty in Main Building.
  • 1957 -- Mother Mary Aidan Cliggett, SHCJ, becomes the sixth President of the College."
  • 1958 -- Kaul Hall is built as a new residence hall and named after Bertha Kaul Kistler, mother of Gertrude Kistler and financial supporter of the college library.

1960s

  • 1960 -- The old gymnasium is torn down to make way for a new one. 
  • 1961 -- Alumnae Hall is built, housing the new “T” deli, mail room, lounge and gymnasium.  It replaces the “Old Gym” that had been erected in 1924 and to further operate as an activities building for students’ use.
  • 1961 -- A new physical plant building called White Hall is built to house the campus groundskeepers (men).  Most worked and lived on campus for many years.
  • 1961 -- This year is noted as the beginning of the ""Turbulent Years"" at Rosemont.  Students rebelled the official norms and long-standing rules on campus in order to express the changing attitudes of the times.  These ""Turbulent Years"" lasted until 1971.
  • 1962 -- Alumna Mother Mary George O'Rielly, SHCJ '38, becomes the seventh President of the College. She is the first alumna to serve as president
  • 1962 -- Gray sports tunics replace the rose-color ones.
  • 1964 -- Heffernan Hall is built as a residence hall and named in memory of Margaret Heffernan, mother of Clare Heffernan Shlora ’47 and Frances Heffernan Rooney ’48.  
  • 1967 -- The Student Government Association (SGA) begins a drive toward participation in decision making, resulting in the formation of a College Council. Debates over the next few years flourish over curfews, parietals, curricula, and dress codes.  
  • 1968 -- Lawrence Hall is built to add more classroom space, art studios, and faculty and administrative offices.
  • 1968 -- Dalton House is converted to Daltonette.  This housing is to be used as and experimental residence hall for students interested in majoring in French.
  • 1969 -- Daltonette House is converted to a Spanish house.
  • 1969 -- The College now allows student-run dormitories.

1970s

  • 1971 -- Rosemont College celebrates its 50th anniversary.
  • 1971 -- “The Grind” is created as a student entertainment center on the lower level of Cardinal Hall. (The Grind is later moved to Alumnae Hall.)
  • 1971 -- Sister Ann Marie Durst, SHCJ, JD, becomes the eighth President of the College.
  • 1978 -- Esther R. Sylvester, Esq. became the Interim President of the College.
  • 1979 -- Dorothy McKenna Brown, Ph.D., becomes the first layperson to be inaugurated as president of Rosemont College.  Dr. Brown is the ninth president.

1980s

  • 1980 -- Rosemont's first Oktoberfest.
  • 1981 -- A fire destroys Connelly Hall’s living room.
  • 1983 -- The College athletic programs are named "The Rosemont Ramblers", after a climbing rose. --
  • 1986 -- The School of Graduate Studies is established. -
  • 1987 -- President Brown develops a "Joint Admissions Program" between Rosemont and Hahnemann University School of Medicine.
  • 1988 -- The student body votes for the Rosemonster" as their mascot.
  • 1988 -- Rosemont is granted the right to confer the honorary degrees of Doctor of Humane Letters, Doctor of Literature, and Doctor of Science.

1990s

  • 1990 -- The first earned graduate degree is conferred on Anne H. Franz.
  • 1990 -- The McShain Auditorium is redesigned as the McShain Performing Arts Center.
  • 1991 -- The Science Hall is gutted, redesigned, and renamed as the Dorothy McKenna Brown Science Building.
  • 1991 -- Ofelia Garcia, MFA. becomes the tenth President of the College.
  • 1991 -- The Women's Studies Program is launched.
  • 1992 -- RADAR (Rosemont Alcohol & Drug Awareness Resources) program initiated.
  • 1992 -- The Pennsylvania Athletic Conference (PAC) is formed.  Rosemont is a member.
  • 1994 -- The School of Continuing Studies (Now called Professional Studies) is established.
  • 1994 -- The Conwell Multimedia Center, the gift of Jane and Marilyn Conwell, is created to replace the former Language Lab.
  • 1995 -- Margaret M. Healy, Ph.D. becomes the eleventh President of the College. --
  • 1996 -- Rosemont College celebrates its 75th Anniversary. --
  • 1997 -- "RISE" (Rosemont Initiative for Success in Education) is founded. (discontinued at Rosemont in 2009)

2000s

  • 2000 -- Rathalla is refurbished and renamed Main Building to honor the days of the College’s founding. --
  • 2001 -- Apr: The Bill and Rosemarie Seydel McCloskey'52 Fitness Center is officially opened.
  • 2001 -- Jul: Ann M. Amore, Ph.D. becomes the twelfth President of the College.
  • 2003 -- The T-House is demolished.
  • 2005 -- Connelly Hall is renovated as a modern living and community gathering space.
  • 2005 -- President Ann M. Amore dies unexpectedly.
  • 2005 -- Alumna Sharon Latchaw Hirsh, Ph.D.'70 becomes the thirteenth President of the College.
  • 2006 -- The School of Graduate Studies and School of Continuing Studies are merged into a single academic unit dedicated to the needs of adult learners.  Renamed to the Schools of Graduate and Professional Studies (SGPS).
  • 2008 -- The Board of Trustees of Rosemont College approves a Strategic Plan which will emphasize and expand the College’s enrollment, programs, and reputation by embracing co-education, partnerships, and online education.
  • 2008 -- The PAC is renamed to Colonial States Athletic Conference (CSAC).
  • 2009 The Class of 2013 becomes the first coeducation undergraduate class
  • 2009 -- Aug. 30: College introduced Men's Sports teams - basketball, soccer, tennis.  Team names changed from The Ramblers to Rosemont Ravens.
  • 2009 -- The Class of 2013 is the largest class in over 40 years.
  • 2009 -- Sept 5th: The men's soccer team will be the first to don the Raven insignia on their uniforms for their game against Valley Forge Christian College.
  • 2009 -- The School Mascot, Rosie the Rosemonster, is retired.
  • 2009 -- The Schools of Graduate and Professional Studies receive accreditation for fully online degree programs.

2010s

  • 2010 Women’s soccer and cross country are added to the athletics’ program, in addition to men’s cross country, golf, and lacrosse.
  • 2011 Rosemont College celebrates a year of milestones including its ninetieth anniversary of the College, the eighty-fifth anniversary of Gertrude Kistler Memorial Library, the seventieth anniversary if Immaculate Conception Chapel, and the fiftieth anniversary of Alumnae Hall. 
  • 2012 Rosemont College’s brand was refreshed including a new tagline: the POWER of small.
  • 2012 Renny the Raven was introduced to the College community.
  • 2012 The Institute for Ethical Leadership and Social Responsibility hosts its first symposium.
  • 2012 Rosemont receives a $5M gift from an anonymous alumna for the construction of the athletics complex and renovations of the dining facility. 
  • 2013 Rosemont College Online launched with two graduate degree programs and seven graduate certificate programs.
  • 2013 The ninetieth commencement class is also the first undergraduate coeducational class graduates from Rosemont College.
  • 2013 Rosemont’s graduate creative writing program holds summer writers’ retreat and with the graduate publishing program hosts first annual book festival.
  • 2013 Athletics Complex with new turf field and natural grass softball field open. A newly renovated dining facility opens in Cardinal Hall including a modern eatery and café.
  • 2013 A new five year strategic plan approved by the Board of Trustees.
  • 2013 Rosemont receives a $500K pledge from Jeffrey & Dianne Rotwitt for the renovation of the McShain Performing Arts Center.
  • 2015 “Our Tuition Promise”  The bold step of reducing tuition by 43% and room and board by 12% was announced in September of 2015  with two goals: 1) to present Rosemont as an affordable and accessible private-college option for all families & 2) and to promote clarity in the confusing world of college finance. 
  • 2017 $40 Million Comprehensive Fundraising Campaign was successfully completed in June 2017
    • One $5 Million Estate Gift
    • One $8.5 Million Gift
    • Three $1 Million Gifts
    • $8 Million of Endowed Scholarships Established
  • 2019 RoCo Option, launched in August 2019, making submission of ACT/SAT scores is optional if a student’s weighted, cumulative high school GPA is a 3.0 or higher (on a 4.0 scale). Approximately 15% of all 2019 applicants applied with the RoCo Option vs. 25% standard in 2018 study (result of our having a GPA requirement)
  • 2019 President Sharon Latchaw Hirsh announces her retirement. A search begins for the new President
  • 2019 The College’s new 73,000 square foot Sharon Latchaw Hirsh Community Center Dedicated November 16, 2019
  • 2019 Rosemont convenes a Commision on the Legacy of Slavery and files their report with the Rosemont College Archives.
  • 2019 Approval to confer Associates Degrees through the School of Graduate and Professional Studies, beginning with an AS Criminal Justice and AS Business
  • 2019 Partnerships Established/Enhanced with Salus University, Harrisburg University, Drexel University, PCOM, University of the Sciences, Widener University, Fordham University, Eastern University, Villanova University, SEPCHE
  • 2019 Center For Experiential Opportunities and Post-Graduate Success Established

2020s

  • College announces 99% of May 2018 graduates are employed full-time, in the military, participating in service programs, or are attending graduate school (as of June 2019)
  • The new COVID-19 virus impacts Pennsylvania in mid-March. By the order of the Governor all Pennsylvania Colleges, including Rosemont, must cease in-person classes and gatherings. Rosemont switches mid-semester from an in-person format to a virtual format. Commencement for 2020 was postponed until 2021. Reunion was cancelled.
  • President Sharon Latchhaw Hirsh May 30, 2019
  •  President Jayson Boyers EdD takes office June 1, 2020
  • Rosemont 2020 – the Plan to Reopen the Campus is launched as Rosemont’s plan to successfully operate through the restrictions of the pandemic. One measure is Two Terms Once Focus, dividing classes for the undergraduate College into two terms per semester and all classes operate on a hybrid model, mixing in-person and online formats.  The rates of infection among the Rosemont Community remain low through the Fall Semester.