Jun 25, 2024  
2018-2019 Undergraduate Catalog 
2018-2019 Undergraduate Catalog [Archived Catalog]

Mission and Traditions

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It is the mission of Saint Michael’s College to contribute through higher education to the enhancement of the human person and to the advancement of human culture in light of the Catholic faith.


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Saint Michael’s Institute was founded in 1904 at Winooski Park, Vermont, by members of the Society of Saint Edmund. These priests and brothers, known as Edmundites, came to Vermont in the late nineteenth century after having experienced religious persecution in France. The decision to minister to the educational needs of God’s people in the Green Mountain State proved to be most fortunate; the Vermont location, on a plateau just outside the city of Burlington, with views of both the Green Mountains and the Adirondacks across Lake Champlain, has provided a beautiful setting for the development of an attractive campus that has become a distinguishing feature of Saint Michael’s College.

As the Institute developed into an American-style college, the farmland became a campus. Founders Hall (1904), the original building in which everything took place in the early years, was later supplemented by Jeanmarie Hall (1921). The College grew gradually over its first forty years, reaching about 250 students by the end of World War II. After the War, however, with the return of military veterans, Saint Michael’s expanded dramatically to 1,145 students. Barracks were acquired from nearby Fort Ethan Allen to serve as classroom buildings, the library and student residences. The College, almost resembling a temporary military installation, was setting the stage for its future development and place among American colleges and universities.

The buildings that gave the campus a ‘temporary’ look back in the 1950’s have been gradually replaced with thoughtfully designed structures of brick and stone giving the transformed campus a sense of architectural consistency and permanence. The integrated intellectual and religious character of the College is symbolized by a center green, anchored by the Chapel of Saint Michael the Archangel (1965) at one end and Durick Library (1968) at the other. The pattern of having the academic and activity buildings on the south side of the green continued with the construction of Cheray Science Hall (1949), Ross Sports Center (1973) and McCarthy Arts Center (1975). On the north side are the residential facilities, including Alliot Hall Student Center and dining room (1960), the “Quad” dorms (Ryan, Alumni, Joyce, and Lyons), townhouse residences, Cashman Hall (2002), Pontigny and Canterbury Halls (2004), the Dion Family Student Center and Quad Commons residence hall (2013), and a new apartment-style residence hall opened in Fall 2016.

Further development of its academic and student-life programs prompted Saint Michael’s to upgrade facilities to support excellence in all its activities. Saint Edmund’s Hall (1987) is an academic center for classrooms and faculty offices; the renovated and expanded Durick Library (1992) is a first-class, computerized college library; Cheray Science Hall (1993) was modernized and enlarged to provide improved instructional and research facilities; renovations of Alliot Student Center (1992 and 2004) created attractive dining and other spaces; the Tarrant Recreation Center (1995), Duffy Turf Field (2005), and athletic fields added impressive facilities to Ross Sports Center; and networking of the entire campus was done in 1996 for academic and administrative purposes. The Hoehl Welcome Center (2003) provides a first stop and greeting place for prospective students and their families. In 2006, the Fire and Rescue squads moved with Public Safety into the Robert E. Sutton ‘66 Fire and Rescue Station. The Antonio and Rita Pomerleau Alumni Center (2009) houses the Office of Alumni and Parent Relations and provides meeting and function rooms for Saint Michael’s graduates.

Over the past century, Saint Michael’s has developed into a quality, Catholic, residential, liberal arts college, drawing undergraduate students primarily from the New England and Mid-Atlantic states. In the early 1970s, a very important step was taken when Saint Michael’s became fully coeducational. With a full-time undergraduate population of about 2,000 students, Saint Michael’s has reaffirmed its emphasis on the liberal arts and sciences for all students, while offering preprofessional programs in accounting, business, education and journalism as well.


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Vision:  Three Objectives

  1. To actively engage students with ideas developed over millennia in many world civilizations as well as those ideas from more recently emerging disciplines and assist students in the generative process of creating new understandings.  For this engagement to be most productive requires that a student work closely with a faculty member who is deeply, actively, and demonstrably engaged in learning, for in a liberal arts college it is not so much acquired knowledge or personal belief that is passed on from one generation to the next, but rather curiosity and passion for the very ideas of the discipline.
  2. To encourage the development of an empathetic understanding and respect for the differing views of others derived from their history, status or unique philosophical or religious belief.  Such an understanding is to be developed through proximate experience grounded in religious, philosophical and historical contexts.
  3. To take responsibility for the moral and spiritual development of each individual by employing the long Catholic intellectual tradition that sees no conflict between belief and reason.  This is rooted in the belief that the world is “good” and that the dignity of each person needs to be acknowledged.