Our Founders

  • Since their founding in Le Puy, France, in 1650, the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet (CSJs) have been faithful to their original mission of "helping women become all they are capable of being" and of "serving all persons without distinction."

    Established by the sisters in 1925, Mount Saint Mary’s University welcomes students of all faiths, nurturing them in their intellectual and spiritual growth. As a Roman Catholic institution, the Mount is part of the oldest university tradition in the world. The fleur-de-lis symbols of France in the College’s academic seal represent the sisters.

    MSMU Seal

    The University's first president was Mother Margaret Mary Brady, CSJ. It was during her term as provincial superior in 1925 that she responded to Bishop Cantwell's request to establish a Catholic women's college in Los Angeles.

    Mother Mary Brady

    At the time of its founding, Mount St. Mary’s was housed temporarily at St. Mary’s Academy at Slauson and Crenshaw in Los Angeles. Two years later, in 1928, the Sisters purchased 36 acres from Rodeo Land and Water Company at $4,500 per acre. The new site stretched among the foothills of the Santa Monica mountains, 1,100 feet above sea level, overlooking Los Angeles and 40 miles of Pacific Ocean. The College graduated its first students in 1929 at the new Chalon Campus.

    First MSMU Students

    Twenty years later, the forward-thinking CSJs made an additional purchase that brought the Chalon Campus to its present 56 acres of land. Then, in 1962, the University expanded to its second campus on the Doheny Estate near downtown Los Angeles. The Doheny Campus complements the educational opportunities of the original Chalon Campus in West Los Angeles by offering numerous graduate programs; a "Weekend College" for working adults who want to earn a baccalaureate degree; a two-year, associate in arts program; and education certificate programs.

    Doheny Mansion - 8 Chester Place

    Since its founding, the University has graduated more than 17,000 students. The current student body is approximately 2,900.