Aston Recognizes Neumann University on 50th Anniversary
By Loretta Rodgers.
Aston Commissioners, during its Feb. 18 meeting, presented a proclamation to Neumann University in recognition of the 50th anniversary of its founding.
Neumann President Dr. Rosalie Mirenda and her husband Tony, gratefully accepted the proclamation certificate on behalf of the university.
With 115 women enrolled and seven faculty members, Our Lady of Angels College first opened its doors as an institution of higher learning in 1965.
The establishment of the college was the result of countless decades of work and planning by the Sisters of St. Francis of Philadelphia, who, instead of borrowing needed funds for the college, raised the money themselves.
“The sisters solicited funds from the parishes where they taught, held bazaars and yard sales, and even recorded an album of their favorite songs, which sold for $5 each,” said Commissioners Vice President Mike Higgins while reading the proclamation.
From 1965 to 1980, the college built its undergraduate enrollment and reached out to graduate students.
In 1980, to honor St. John Neumann, the college changed its name to Neumann College and began admitting male students. In addition, residence halls were constructed and in 1983, the first graduate program, Pastoral Counseling, was approved. Today, master’s degrees are offered in a substantial variety of fields including nursing, sport management, education, accounting, organizational strategic leadership, and more.
A child development program has proven very successful over the years and doctoral programs were established.
On April 24, 2009, Neumann College received approval from the Pennsylvania Secretary of Education, to become a university.
Today, as Neumann University celebrates its 50th anniversary, the school enrolls 3,047 students, which includes 2,061 full-time undergraduates. The university boasts more than 12,000 living alumni, has 30 academic clubs and honor societies, and 21 athletic teams.
“The Sisters of St. Francis of Philadelphia, courageous and humble, set an example for us 50 years ago,” Dr. Mirenda said. “Neumann University moves forward as a work in progress and a labor of love for all involved.”