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Marymount California University to Merge with Florida Catholic College – Daily Breeze

Marymount California University, a 53-year-old private Catholic university in Rancho Palos Verdes, could see its name change after officials agreed to merge with a Florida university, an initiative that education leaders say will create more degree programs and internship opportunities for students on both campuses.

Officials at California Marymount University signed an agreement last week to merge with Saint Leo University, a Catholic university in Florida, although the agreement still needs approval from a regional governing body and final details are to be worked out by both parties. .

The agreement will unite the two Catholic institutions under the name Saint Leo University, officials say, although it is not yet certain that the nickname "Marymount California University" will disappear completely.

"There is a value that comes from two universities working together to create something powerful for our students," Saint Leo University President Jeffrey Senese said in a recent statement. "Working with Marymount, Saint Leo University hopes to have an even more significant impact on Catholic higher education from coast to coast."

The merger is expected to benefit both institutions, education leaders say, by offering students more options for degree programs, internship opportunities, online and face-to-face courses, and more campus placements.

California Marymount University at Rancho Palos Verdes. The campus announced on Friday July 30 that it will soon merge with Saint Leo University. (Courtesy of Marymount California University)

“As a small university, we offer a limited number of degree programs,” said Marymount President Brian Marcotte. “But we've heard from our students about the programs they want.

"We seek to expand," added Marcotte, "to attract new students and offer more to current students."

Marymount, which was founded in RPV in 1968 but has roots dating back to the 1930s, is a small liberal arts college, with around 650 students, offering an associate's degree, nine bachelor's degrees, and an MBA. of companies.

St. Leo, meanwhile, educates about 2,400 students at its Central Florida liberal arts campus. Its total enrollment, including 16 regional and online campuses, is more than 18,000 annually. This university, founded in 1899, offers more than 50 undergraduate degrees, programs and endorsements, according to its website


Each university offers different degrees.

Marymount, for example, does not currently offer an education degree, while Saint Leo does. But RPV University has a degree in digital media communication, which Saint Leo lacks.

"We thought long and hard about what we need to bring to campus," Marcotte said, "as well as what we would be willing to give up."

One of the things Marymount could give up is her name.

Marymount may end up operating under the Saint Leo banner, although various ideas are still being floated, Marcotte said.

“One of the many commitments, given that both schools are Catholic,” Marcotte said, “is that San León will honor the legacy of our traditional Catholic founders.”

"This," he added, "will manifest itself in some way in the general name of the university."

Marymount was founded by Religious of the Sacred Heart of Mary, an order of apostolic women that operates throughout the world. St. Leo University was founded by the Order of St. Benedict of Florida, an autonomous order of monks.

However, the merger is not yet final.

The Commission of Universities of the Association of Universities and Schools of the South must approve the signed agreement before the merger can advance.

The two institutions must also develop plans for how the merger will actually work. But an immediate next step, Marymount officials said, will be to allow new students to the RPV campus an immediate opportunity to consider additional degree programs.

"Working with Saint Leo will allow us to fulfill our mission in even greater ways here in California," Marcotte said in a statement. “Our students will still be able to enjoy all the benefits of our beautiful campus, residential villas, sports programs, and more, while also having access to significantly expanded academics and new learning opportunities thanks to this partnership.

“Both institutions,” he added, “share compatible missions and a strong commitment to student success, which can energize both of us.”

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