Blog Series: Early Texas collegesBlog Series
St. Mary’s University
St. Mary’s Institute opened in 1852 above a livery stable with five faculty members and twelve boys enrolled. The institution continued to grow under the first director, Brother Andrew Edell, until 1866 when the Marianists’s resources in personnel were stretched to the limit and consideration was given to closing the Institute. The Rev. John N. Reinbolt, Provincial of the Marianists’ Province of the United States traveled to San Antonio to assess the situation of the school and reported back that it would “be a crime to close.” Enrollment grows to 350 after Brother Charles Francis, S.M. takes over director and ads the four story skyscraper that at the time was the tallest building in San Antonio in 1877. In 1882, the St. Mary Institute was renamed the St. Mary’s College. Due to downtown crowding, the Marianists purchase 75 acres of land northwest of the city. St. Louis College opens in 1894. In 1921 all college classes are transferred to St. Louis College which is then renamed St. Mary’s College in 1923 and then again renamed to St. Mary’s University in 1927.
Information courtesy of St. Mary’s University and Texas State Historical Association. Photo is of a painting of St. Mary’s Institute by artist Theodore Gentilz courtesy of St. Mary’s University.