College Timeline

Cushing Library, 1966-1967Emmanuel Students, 1978-1979Admin. Building Classroom, 1942-1943

College Founding (1910-1923)

1912: Sisters of Notre Dame (SND) purchased 11 acres in the Fenway Area. (view the Fenway in 1912)

July 25, 1914: Cornerstone of the Academy building (Administration Building) was blessed by Rev. Edward J. Mealey. The building was designed by Maginnis & Walsh and constructed by MD Mealey & Co., both of Boston. (view material on the event)

c. 1915-1916: Boston Academy of Notre Dame opened in its new location on the Fenway, moving from its former location on Berkeley St. (view material on the event)

1919-1920: Sr. Superior Adela du Sacre Coeur, SND, became the first president of Emmanuel College.

September 19, 1919: Emmanuel College opened with 29 students as a day college. It was the first women’s Catholic college in New England.

View materials from the 1910s.

April 14, 1921: Emmanuel College received a charter  from the Massachusetts Legislature giving the College the authority to grant degrees. The bill became law  after it was signed by Governor Channing H. Cox. (view the Emmanuel College charter)

September 24, 1921: A Board of Trustees was established and included Emmanuel President Sr. Superior Adela du Sacre, SND.

1922: Sr. Mary (Margret Henretty), SND, became Emmanuel College's second President.

1923: The College was accredited by National Catholic Education Association.

Emmanuel Class of 1923, (1922-1923)June 7, 1923: Emmanuel graduated its first class with A.B. and BLitt. Degrees.

June 8, 1923: The Alumnae Association was founded with the guidance of Sr. Helen Madeline Ingraham, SND.

View materials from the 1920s.

Early Years (1924-1939)

Administration Buldg. Classroom, 1927-1928October 1927: The Board of Trustees approves the construction of basketball and tennis courts.

November 1927: The student publication, Ethos begins publication.

1929: Sr. Frances of the Sacred Heart (Catherine Cahill), SND became Emmanuel College's third President.

View materials from the 1920s.

1932: Sr. Julie de la St. Famille (Julia Chisholm), SND, becomes Emmanuel College's fourth President.

1932: Emmanuel College is granted accreditation from the New England Association of Secondary Schools and Colleges.

1933: Emmanuel College purchased land expanding the original campus from Brookline Ave., to Ave. Louis Pasteur on the Fenway. The original eleven acre site was enlarged by 16,150 sq. ft. In addition the College added a paved road and renovated the heating system of the one existing building.

1934: Sr. Agnes Cecelia (Ida Loughlin), SND, becomes Emmanuel College's fifth President.

1935: A Placement Bureau was established  to provide alumnae guidance in entering the professional working world. The Bureau was a forerunner to the Office of Counseling and Career Services.

1939: The College instituted a formal administrative structure to aid Sr. Helen Madeline Ingraham in the administration of the College. 

View materials from the 1930s.

War and Expansion (1940-1969)

1940: Sr. Teresa Patricia (Mary T. Jordan), SND, became Emmanuel College's sixth President.

1941-1942: The International Relations Club was organized.

1941-1945: The Tabernacle Society, at Emmanuel College, under the leadership of Sr. Claire Julie, SND created Mass kits for chaplains in World War II European and Pacific Theaters. The kits, according to Sr. Julie contained “everything but the altar boy.”

Aministration Building Quad, 1940-1941April 22, 1944: William Henry Cardinal O’Connell died and was replaced as Archbishop of Boston by Richard J. Cushing, in the year of Emmanuel College’s silver jubilee.

1944: Archbishop Cushing was named chair of the College Board of Trustees and the Rev. Sr. Augusta of the Sacred Heart, SND, Provincial for Waltham Province for the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur, was appointed vice-chair. This marked an end to the period when the Board of Trustees was comprised solely of members of the Congregation.

June 4, 1945: Mary McNally purchase the Horace B. Shepard Property along Ave. Louis Pasteur and transferred it to the College on August 22, 1945. This 51,101 sq. ft. site was used for the construction of Alumnae Hall.

1945-1946: A student government was created to represent the student body by the Class of 1946.

1946: Sr. Margret Patricia (Margret Herbert), SND, became Emmanuel College's seventh President.

October 1948: The Focus, a student newspaper, was established with a seven (7) person editorial board and Sr. Berchmans Louise of the English Dept. as the faculty advisor.

February 19, 1949: “The Saint Among the Shadows” following the life of Sr. Julie Billiart during the French Revolution, was presented on the radio station WEEI. It was written by Emmanuel Seniors Jean Edwards and Catherine Reilly at the request of Rev. Timothy O’Leary, Diocesan Assistant Superintendent of Schools.

April 24, 1949: The cornerstone was laid for Alumnae Hall, built for the purpose of expanding science facilities and funded by contributions from alumnae and Cardinal Cushing. The building was the first building constructed on campus since the opening of the Administration Building and was designed by Charles Maginnis.

June 7, 1949: John F. Kennedy, U.S. House of Representative from Massachusetts's 11th district, speaks at Emmanuel College's Commencement.  

View materials from the 1940s.

June 29, 1950: Sr. Helen Madeleine, the First Academic Dean of the College, resigned.

c. 1952: The Art Department was established.

1952: Sisters began taking courses with traditional students, instead of on Saturdays, summer sessions or independent study sessions.

1952: Sister Alice Gertrude Keating, SND, was appointed the eight President of Emmanuel College.

May 13, 1954: Emmanuel Day as declared by Boston Mayor John Hynes.

April 10, 1955: The Chase C. Rice Property along Brookline Avenue was purchased. This 190,977 sq. ft. was to be the site of Marian Hall.

September 26, 1955: Dedication of Marian Hall as a multipurpose building that contained a cafeteria, gymnasium/auditorium and residence hall.

February 16, 1956: Senator John F. Kennedy lectured on the influences on elected officials and then read from his book, Profiles in Courage.

1957: St. James Hall was built as an extension to the west end of the Administration Building to accommodate resident nuns. (view material on the event)

c. 1957-1958: Julie Hall, Emmanuel's first dormitory, was constructed.

View materials from the 1950s.

July 31, 1960: Sr. Ann Bartholomew Grady, SND, was appointed  ninth President of Emmanuel College.

1962: St. Ann’s Hall opened, allowed for the conversion of Marian Hall dorm rooms to faculty offices.

1962: A Coffee Shop/Campus Shop was opened on Campus.

c. 1963: Loretto Hall was constructed as Emmanuel's third dormitory.

c. 1963-1965: Emmanuel College purchased apartment buildings on the corner of Brookline Avenue and The Fenway for the construction of St. Joseph’s Hall.

June 2, 1963: Ground was broken for the new library.

Fall 1963-Spring 1964: Dorothy Day gives a talk on “Ethics for Peace.” The talk was most likely held in the Administration Building Auditorium of Emmanuel College.

1964: The undergraduate Economics Department and the Graduate School  were established.

1964: Betty Friedan spoke at Emmanuel.

June 5, 1965: Cardinal Cushing Library was dedicated.

c. 1966-1967: St. Joseph’s Hall, described as a “super-dorm” was constructed.

c. 1966-1967: For the first time, more residential (60%) than commuter (40%) students attended Emmanuel College.

October 1967: Faculty Senate was created.

October 18, 1967: The first lay members of Emmanuel College Board of Trustees, Henry W. Leen and John E. Sullivan, Jr., elected.

November/December 1967: Emmanuel College students, join other Boston area college students, to aid migrant farmers’ struggle for unionization by supporting a boycott of Guimarra Grapes.

1967-1968: A formal academic faculty rank (i.e., instructor, assistant professor, associate professor and professor) system established.

1968: A Sociology club was formed.

May 1969: Women’s Liberation Conference held in Marian Hall on such issues as women and their bodies,women and the law, self-defense and witchcraft. Authors of the landmark publication, Our Bodies, Ourselves met at the conference.

May 30, 1969: Senator Ted Kennedy was commencement speaker.

October 13, 1969: Caesar Chavez speaks at Emmanuel College about the migrant grape boycott (See:The Heights: Boston College Newspapers).

November 22, 1969: Sr. Marie Barry, SND, was inaugurated as the tenth President of the College.

View materials from the 1960s.

Period of Engagement (1970-1999)

c. 1970: A Black Student Union (BSU) was established.

c. 1972: Area men's Catholic Colleges began to admit women. It was at this point that enrollments began to drop and  Emmanuel opened its dormitories to area hospitals and schools.

December 9, 1972: The Board of Trustees formally approved a Students’ Bill of Rights.

1974: Julie Hall was sold to Beth Israel Medical Center.

May 31, 1975: Barbara Walters spoke at Commencement.

August 1975: Sister Mary Frances McCarthy, SND, became the eleventh President of  Emmanuel College.

Fall 1975: Sr. Helen Madeleine Ingaraham, SND, writes her memoirs entitled Yesterday, Today, and Forever.

November 20, 1977: Emmanuel College sponsors a ‘teach-in’ that was organized by Sr. Rosaria Salerno in support of the Anti-nuclear movement.

November 1978: Sr. Janet Eisner, SND, was appointed Acting President of the College.

Winter Break 1978-1979: Sr. Janet Eisner, SND, called a the Wenham Conference to plan the future of Emmanuel with faculty, students and administrators.

September 15, 1979: Sr. Janet Eisner, SND, was inaugurated the twelth President of the College (view material on the event).

Emmanuel Students, 1979-1980

View materials from the 1970s.

February 3, 1984: A Democratic Presidential Primary Forum on Women’s Issues was sponsored and by WBZ and Emmanuel and hosted by the College. (view material on the event)

Fall 1984: Larry Bird filmed a commercial on the Emmanuel Campus.

April 27, 1985: A Higher Education and Hispanic Women Conference was  held on campus.

c. 1985-1986: Emmanuel College hosted a ‘No Nukes’ rally.

c. 1986: Residence suites were built in St. Joseph’s Hall.

August 1986: A Catholic Church Peace Conference was held at Emmanuel College.

October 25, 1987: A renovated Marian Hall was dedication as a Science Center.

April 13, 1988: Grand opening of the Plaza Cafe (i.e. mailroom, café/social center, student services) in the Administration Building.

View materials from the 1980s.

February 2, 1993: Celebration of the first Founders Day that included a panel discussion and Vespers prayer service

October 1993: A “Movie Madness” film series was initiated at Cardinal Cushing Library by Albie Johnson (Library Director) and Suzanne Wenz (President of Student Government Association).

c. 1994-1995: Emmanuel College launches its first website. (view an early College website).

1994-1995: In partnership with IBM, Emmanuel College builds an infrastructure for greater technology and internet access. The Cardinal Cushing Library becomes a member of Fenway Libraries Online (FLO).

Tree Planting Ceremony, 1995-19961996: The Colleges of the Fenway, a consortium of six area colleges,  was initiated by Sr. Janet Eisner, SND.

April 11, 1996: The author of Dead Man Walking, Sr. Helen Prejean, CSJ, speaks at Emmanuel College.

1998: Renovation of College Chapel on the first floor of the Administration Building was completed.

View materials from the 1990s.

Into the 21st Century (2000-Present)

2001: Merck Laboratories leased a parcel of the Emmanuel College campus for a Research Laboratories Building.

September 2001: Emmanuel College began to admit men into the undergraduate traditional program.

October 1, 2001: Ground was broken for the Merck Research Laboratories Building

c. 2002: First Mr. Emmanuel (later renamed “Big Man on Campus") conducted.

September 13, 2002: Emmanuel College buys Julie Hall back from Beth Israel Hospital to allow for expansion of the resident student population.

October 1, 2004: The Jean Yawkey Student Center is dedicated.

Spring 2005: Emmanuel College installs a wireless network.

2009: The College partnered with the City of Boston to restore Roberto Clemente Field.

2009: The College initiated a four-phase renovation of the landmark 1914 Administration Building.

September 2009: The Maureen Murphy Wilkens Science Center opened.

View materials from the 2000s.

2012: Emmanuel College purchased the Notre Dame Campus. It was the former home of the Society of St. Margaret's Convent.

Spring 2012: OUTspoken, a LGBTQ organization, is recognized by the Student Government Association.

January 2013: Administration Building renovation is completed.

View materials from the 2010s.