St. Mary’s College, I believe, is the only truly Catholic educational experience available after high school in the United States, and possibly in the world. Its faculty is very gifted, and each and every member really does desire to make the student better; a person more prepared and more knowledgeable, but also and more importantly a soldier made stronger for the spiritual fights which will undoubtedly occur.
In terms of academics, the college is met with the very difficult task of meeting an extremely broad spectrum of incoming students. Some graduated from a public school, others were home-schooled, and still others came from private schools. This means that there have to be classes available which cater to those different levels of knowledge, and the curriculum does an excellent job of fulfilling this task. Regardless of this, the curriculum remains challenging for any student wishing to graduate with either an Associates’ or a Bachelors’ degree, and the college’s program is designed to teach the student good habits as well, such as time management and interpersonal skills. All the fields taught –Philosophy and Religion, Science, Languages, the Arts, and Mathematics– these are all covered in such a professional and dynamic manner that it is difficult to criticize negatively and thus deserves staunch approval.
As well as maintaining a very high benchmark for academic excellence, St. Mary’s College strives for higher and nobler goals. It urges the student to improve personally, through spiritual conferences, retreats, the sacraments, advice, and the moral example of the faculty. Even the social atmosphere among peers leaves little for criticism, whether as a boarder or a day student. The student body is truly a close-knit group of young ladies and gentlemen, and many student-initiated activities involve most, if not all the students from the college. Few are those who are asked to leave for moral reasons.
As an alumnus of St. Mary’s College, I see very few negative elements, especially since the institution does an admirable job of constantly improving all aspects seen within an educational organization. Already having seen coursework from other institutions, I conclude without a doubt that the level of academic excellence ranks at the same level, if not above comparable educational bodies. Furthermore, it provides an effective spiritual framework with the intention to better the student personally. -Esteban Maradona, SMC '07
To incoming students:
St Mary’s College is special in so many ways, but particularly in its aim to provide young Catholic adults with a well-rounded formation in the intellectual, spiritual, and social life. Though it demands commitment and hard work, understanding that everything is directed for the betterment of yourself and those around you makes you realize that it is all so worth it. In the end, the two years go by quickly, and you will appreciate how profoundly it affects the rest of your life. Having a solid formation and a trained, clear-thinking intellect will render you more capable of making life decisions than before you attended the college. My advice to you is to put your heart into it. Only you can decide to let it form you, to aid you in becoming who you are meant to be. - Julie Riccomini, SMC ‘17
My advice to you is: Open yourself to all that the college offers. You will find that the it gives generously, so do not hesitate to receive generously. Take everything in and cherish it—the liturgical life, the sacraments, the intellectual formation, the dedicated professors, the friendships of your classmates, and everything else entailed in the college experience. The more you open yourself to receive and treasure what St. Mary's gives, the more you will benefit from these years. - Catherine Janacaro, SMC ‘16
To graduating students:
Don’t be afraid to put yourself into challenging new situations that require you to give to others; go outside of your comfort zone, but keep in close contact with the friends, teachers and priests of your college days who will always support you. - Jane Spencer, SMC ‘18
What makes SMC special?
Laying aside the partiality every graduate feels towards his Alma Mater, I believe there is something very special about St. Mary’s College. Any good college can educate the mind, but St. Mary’s offers an invaluable education of the heart. She gives her students not only intellectual knowledge but also the chance to grow in appreciation of beauty, strength of character, depth of friendship and, ultimately, in love of God. She provides her students with the formation they need in order to spread the light of Christ to the world. - Catherine Janacaro, SMC ‘16
I would have to say that meeting good friends at St. Mary's is one of the aspects that makes it so special for me. When you are around other Trad Cats, you bond deeply as your beliefs, standards, morals and habits are all built on the same foundation of your faith, building permanent friendships. This network of friends and connections now reaches across this great country, keeping us in contact with past alumni. The good times continue... lifelong. As I look back, I realize that St. Mary's made all of this happen. I cannot imagine my life now, without St. Mary's being a part of it. - Dr. Marty Dvorak MD. MBA, SMC
St. Mary's College is an extraordinary school of which I am a proud graduate. This place is utterly unique among colleges because it gives its students a unified knowledge of the deepest truths of human existence. College is advertised as "preparation for adult life" and what better preparation is there than this? In the confusion and unrest of this age, St. Mary's College grounds her students in clear truth and firm peace. For this, I am forever grateful. - Jessica Schwendeman, SMC ‘18
Advancing post-SMC careers
My time at SMC helped me build the discipline necessary to keep up with my studies when I transferred to another college. If you can handle the workload here, you will have no problem with the average amount of coursework elsewhere. The education I received at SMC laid the foundation that allowed me to pursue works of literature and history which I enjoy on my own time. - Xavier Varnado, SMC ‘16
The academic formation at St. Mary's has helped me at my current school, not only with credits, but by giving me the ability to filter the new education I am receiving. Firstly, I was able to transfer about 24 credits either directly or through placement tests. More importantly, the courses at St. Mary's, all of which were interconnected, have empowered me to define terms, identify erroneous lines of reasoning, and connect modern ideas to historical trends of philosophy, literature, and music in whatever class or situation I find myself. Moreover, if I am ever unsure about how something I learned in St. Mary's applies to a current problem, I can always contact one of my former professors to help resolve the issue. I don't know how I would be surviving academically without St. Mary's College. - Elena Baquerizo, SMC ‘18
Favorite Second Year Class
My favorite class in the second year of college was definitely Theology with Fr Wiseman! With the help of the Summa, he was able to give us a deeper understanding, appreciation, and clearer knowledge of God and His truths. Having such a strong foundation made us able to carry it through to our daily lives. – Julie Riccomini, SMC ‘17
My favorite class during my second year of St. Mary’s College was certainly Physics/Chemistry. Dr. Strong always came to class with so much enthusiasm and energy that it was impossible not to be excited about the subjects that he loved. He opened up the beauty of science to me and showed us how perfectly ordered and detailed creation is, down to the construction of the smallest atom. - Cara Thomet, SMC ‘15
To those who are ‘on the fence’ about attending St. Mary’s College
Saint Mary’s is far from “just another option” for those weighing the pros and cons of prospective colleges. It is a unique treasure which affords a breath of fresh air by virtue of its conveyance of and adherence to the reality that is Catholicism. Concerned not so much with facts, numbers and cutting-edge research, the curriculum of Saint Mary’s College gives a spread of knowledge and wisdom that cannot be gleaned from textbooks alone. Between the professors, the courses and the life of Faith that the Campus offers, students have access to a wide and deep understanding of human nature, and in a way which orients the mind, heart and soul towards the real goal of eternity. - Danielle Grieco, SMC ‘12
I would tell someone who is considering St. Mary's College as just another option for continuing their schooling, that it is one of the best colleges where you can study liberal arts and further your studies. The college gives you a great education, but also makes you a more versatile thinker and well-rounded person. These two attributes are keys to excel out in the working world and will set you up for a bright future and much success. - Augustine Zuno, SMC ‘16
The College’s influence on alumni’s future:
In short, St Mary’s made a HUGE IMPACT!! I attended the College in the fall of 1983 to the spring of 1985. I lived in St. Mary's, and I was able to attend mass and the sacraments regularly. I later transferred to the University of Minnesota and completed my undergraduate program and then Medical School, and now live in Minnesota where I have been in practice as an Internal Medicine physician for 25 years. My St. Mary's education allowed me to stay the course and navigate through the rough waters and pitfalls of life in the world of Medicine. It was in St Mary's where I met my wife, now of 32 years, and we are blessed with 11 children and 10 grandchildren. I have been back to visit multiple times, as St. Mary's in forever entwined in my life and my family. So, as you can see, the decision to go to St. Mary's was a huge life-changing decision. - Dr. Marty Dvorak MD. MBA, SMC
College attendees fresh out of High School are still finding their way and learning so much about life. So, naturally, upon entering St. Mary’s College myself, I did not have a super clear-as-day plan. Howevere, my experience at the college helped me in post-college plans. A vast array of things factored into my life decisions, but notably the retreats, the spiritual direction and spiritual conferences, the stellar example of my professors, and the ready access to the Sacraments made quite the impact. Ultimately, these guiding factors helped lead me to the decision to teach in SSPX schools. - Maria Merz, SMC '16
When I think about the good formation I received at St Mary's College, and the stamp it has made on my life, I must thank God's Providence for allowing me to come and immerse myself in the rich tradition of Catholic thought which existed and still exists here. As a teacher and a father, I can say from experience that not a day goes by when I do not draw on the instruction and good examples of those teachers and colleagues of my college years. - Mr. William Dredger
SMC vs. Public University/Other Private College:
Some of the things that separates St. Mary's College from public universities is the curriculum and the one-on -one interaction with the professors. St Mary College offers classes and an education that cannot be received anywhere else in the country. The professors who are entrusted to give this education are very qualified and go above and beyond other institutions to ensure the students’ success. With the College having a smaller student body, the professors are able to give more focus to each student when help is needed. - Augustine Zuno, SMC ‘16
The traditional curriculum of St Mary’s College, which cannot be found anywhere else in the US, forms its students with a deep love and respect for the past, while shaping the minds with ideas of our forefathers. St. Mary’s offers a small family setting, making the relationshs between students and teachers much deeper and longer lasting. While this atmosphere can be found in other small, private colleges, St. Mary’s is unique in that her goal is to form young traditionally minded Catholics, and all activities and classes are centered around this goal. The rush and contention of the world do not enter the walls of St. Mary’s, for here there is the love of truth and simplicity which comes from the contemplation of the Beautiful. - Cara Thomet, SMC ‘15