Image of St. Joseph statue

Our History

Founded in 1850, and directed by the Society of Mary, a Roman Catholic teaching order, the University of Dayton is a private university dedicated to the pursuit of academic excellence. Known at different times in its history as St. Mary’s School, St. Mary's Institute, and St. Mary's College, the school established its present identity in 1920. In the same year, the university started its tradition of offering evening and Saturday classes as a service to the community. Graduate programs were initiated shortly thereafter, and program growth has been rapid.

Today, the University of Dayton is a Doctoral/Research Intensive university comprising the College of Arts and Sciences, and the Schools of Business Administration, Education and Health Sciences, Engineering, and Law. The university numbers among its students and faculty representatives of many faiths, drawn from the immediate community, and across the country. In keeping with our Marianist heritage, faculty and staff endeavor to educate the total person by providing numerous opportunities for intellectual, emotional, and spiritual development.

The Heritage of Nazareth

To learn more about our Marianist heritage, watch the video segment below.

The Heritage of Nazareth from University of Dayton on Vimeo.

You can also learn more about our Marianist educational philosophy and history here >>