In 1960 Sister Majella was appointed president of Marymount College of Virginia, in Arlington County. Inheriting a two-year school with 240 students, she spent her first decade as president raising the number and quality of academic offerings, attracting new faculty, and expanding the student body. Using her outstanding relationship-building and fund-raising skills, she attracted a sizable endowment that allowed for the construction of many new buildings on the college’s original site and the acquisition of two new campuses in Ballston and Sterling, Virginia. The college began offering bachelor’s degrees in 1973, and in 1986 it achieved university status and became fully coeducational. By the time Sister Majella retired in 1993, Marymount offered thirty-eight undergraduate programs and twenty-three graduate degree programs to a student body of nearly 4,000. Sister Majella held honorary doctorates of humane letters from Georgetown University (1970) and Marymount Manhattan College (1983). At the time of her death in 2004 she was the longestserving woman college president in the nation.
Reprinted with permission of the Library of Virginia.