Historic Past

Grounded in IHM tradition and charism since 1920.

Throughout all the change, growth, and challenges, the University has maintained its commitment to an education grounded in the charism of the IHM Sisters and the Catholic intellectual tradition. Today, Immaculata University offers more than 70 graduate and undergraduate programs, and its distinguished faculty serve a population of more than 2,500 students.

Decades of Distinction

Distinguishing ourselves through academic excellence has been a hallmark of the past century. Immaculata University’s innovative faculty work to create programs, mentor research, and develop meaningful connections to prepare a diverse student population for lives of purpose and service. The decades highlight academic excellence, significant institutional changes and new facilities that have expanded the landscape of the University.


  • 1906 – Mother Camilla purchased farmland as future site for Villa Maria
  • 1908 – Groundbreaking for Villa Maria – November 6, 1908


  • 1914 – Construction completed and Villa Maria Academy opened on September 14, 1914
  • 1917 – Post Office opened in Villa Maria College (later changed to Immaculata Post Office)


  • 1920 – Mother Loyola received permission from Archdiocese of Philadelphia to found college
  • 1920 – Commonwealth of Pennsylvania granted charter on November 12, 1920; Teacher Certification approved by the Pennsylvania Department of Public Instruction
  • 1920 – Mother M. Loyola became first president of Villa Maria College
  • 1921 – Villa Maria College opened on September 21, 1921 *Villa Maria College was the first Catholic women’s college in the Philadelphia area
  • 1925 – First Commencement of Villa Maria College – 8 lay graduates and 5 IHM Sisters
  • 1926 – Gleaner first yearbook published (last issue published in 2009)
  • 1927 – Lourdes Hall dedicated as part of the Commencement activities
  • 1928 – Accredited by Middle States
  • 1928 – College Journal (first school newspaper) published
  • 1929 – Rev. Dr. Anthony Flynn named President of Immaculata College
  • 1929 – Formal change of name from Villa Maria to Immaculata


  • 1930 – Dietetic program approved by the American Dietetic Association
  • 1934 – First issue of Immaculatan newspaper published
  • 1935 – Rev. Monsignor Vincent Burns named President of Immaculata College
  • 1936 – Rev. Dr. Francis Furey named President of Immaculata College


  • 1943 – Accelerated degree program offered to enable students to receive degree earlier because of war
  • 1945 – Establishment of the Father Gillet Cancer Research Unit (terminated in 1974)
  • 1946 – Rev. Msgr. Vincent Burns returned to serve as President of Immaculata College


  • 1950 – Bethany – practice house for Home Economics students – opened
  • 1953 – Approval of the four-year program in Elementary Education by the Pennsylvania State Council of Education
  • 1955 – Sister Mary of Lourdes named president of Immaculata College
  • 1955 – Marian Hall, Gillet Hall, and Good Counsel Hall dedicated


  • 1962 – Faculty Center dedicated
  • 1963 – Loyola Hall dedicated
  • 1966 – Scottish terrier “Mackie” became the school mascot
  • 1967 – Field House destroyed by fire
  • 1967 – DeChantal Hall dedicated
  • 1969 – Evening Division began


  • 1970 – Alumnae Hall dedicated
  • 1972 – Mighty Macs captured the first of three National Basketball Tournament titles
  • 1972 – Sister Marie Antoine Buggy named president of Immaculata College
  • 1974 – Initial accreditation by the National Association of Schools of Music
  • 1976 – First Immaculata Medal awarded to Mother Teresa of Calcutta, Rose Kennedy, and Mother M. Claudia, IHM
  • 1978 – Approval of Music Therapy program by the American Association for Music Therapy


  • 1981 – Approval of Associate of Arts and Associate of Science degrees
  • 1982 – First inter-office administrative computer system purchased
  • 1982 – Sister Marian William Hoben named president of Immaculata College
  • 1983 – Approval of the Master of Arts in Counseling Psychology, Educational Leadership and/or Administration, and Nutrition Education
  • 1984 – Graduate division formed, approval of the RN-BSN program for registered nurses
  • 1987 – Approval of the School Psychology Certification
  • 1988 – Mr. Rogers visited campus as the commencement speaker
  • 1989 – Initial accreditation of Nursing by the National League of Nursing, approval of the Master of Arts in Music Therapy program by the National Association of Schools of Music.


  • 1991 – Approval of the Doctor of Psychology in Clinical Psychology, approval of the Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership and Administration
  • 1992 – Sister Marie Roseanne Bonfini named president of Immaculata College
  • 1993 – Gabriele Library opened
  • 1995 – First college magazine Immaculata Today published; establishment of ACCEL (Accelerated Continuing and Experiential Learning) Programs
  • 1996 – First Doctoral degrees conferred (August 1995 / May 1996)
  • 1999 – Approval of the Master of Arts in Organizational Leadership


  • 2002 – Immaculata College granted status as a university by Pennsylvania Department of Education
  • 2002 – Sister R. Patricia Fadden named president of Immaculata University
  • 2004 – Approval of the Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting, Business Administration, Biology, Chemistry, Exercise Science, Mathematics, Information Technology by the Department of Education
  • 2004 – Accreditation of the Bachelor of Science in Nursing by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE)
  • 2005 – Immaculata University became co-ed
  • 2006 – Middle States Association approves the first online accelerated degree program, approval of the Master of Science degree in Nursing, Bachelor of Science degree in Healthcare Management, and Allied Health.
  • 2006 – Draper – Walsh Stadium dedicated
  • 2007 – Approval by the National Association of Schools of Music for a Bachelor of Arts degree in Music; Approval from Middle States Association to offer online degree programs and Financial Management, Human Performance Management, and Healthcare Management
  • 2007 – “The Mighty Macs” movie filmed on campus and surrounding area
  • 2008 – Agreement with the Brandywine hospital to provide academic leadership for the Brandywine school of nursing, creating a four-year pre-licensure BSN program at Immaculata University
  • 2008 – Cathy Rush, coach of the championship Mighty Macs inducted into Basketball Hall of Fame
  • 2009 – Approval by the State Board of nursing to deliver the Bachelor of Science in Nursing


  • 2010 – Approval for a Master of Arts in Clinical Psychology
  • 2011 – Initial approval of the Doctorate in Higher Education; accreditation of Business programs by the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP)
  • 2012 – Approval of the Emergency Planning and Management major
  • 2012 – Lettiere Center dedicated (Admissions and Financial Aid Center)
  • 2014 – Approval of the Human Resource Management major
  • 2014 – Championship Mighty Macs teams 1972-1973-1974 inducted into Basketball Hall of Fame
  • 2016 – Approval of the Cybersecurity major
  • 2017 – Barbara Lettiere named first lay president of Immaculata University
  • 2018 – Approval of the Associate of Arts in Education
  • 2019 – IHM Student Center opened; approval of the Bachelor of Science in Financial Planning

Support Our Ambitious Future

For nearly 100 years, Immaculata graduates have made an impact on society, forging a common bond with each other to serve for the greater good. This common bond calls upon us to invest in the future of Immaculata, its current students, and its future alumni. Immaculata chooses to continue to meet that demand and to do so confidently with the best resources available. With boundless energy before us, join us in charting the next chapter in Immaculata University’s history.