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  • History and Heritage

    Saint Vincent Archabbey and College was founded in 1846 by Boniface Wimmer, a monk from the Benedictine Abbey of Metten in Bavaria. With the aid of several American bishops, friends and benefactors in Europe, and a strong community of Benedictine monks at the Saint Vincent monastery, he established the first Benedictine college in the United States. From modest beginnings the college grew rapidly, and on April 18, 1870 the State Legislature of Pennsylvania incorporated the school, empowering it "to grant and confer degrees in the arts and sciences as are granted in other colleges and universities in the United States, and to grant to graduates, or persons on whom such degrees may be conferred, diplomas or certificates as is usual in colleges and universities.''

    From its earliest days, Saint Vincent College has strived to embody the ideals and character of the fifteen-hundred-year-old heritage of Benedictine education and scholarship. Based firmly on the ideal of Christian community, this heritage has contributed to both the survival and dissemination of Western culture. For almost 150 years the monks of Saint Vincent have worked to exemplify and to carry on this living tradition.

    In January of 1963, a fire destroyed part of the campus and out of the ashes a new Saint Vincent has emerged. Saint Vincent College became coeducational in 1983 in an effort to strengthen all aspects of the community life and educational services of the College. The decision was based on a belief that the College was in a strong position to offer men and women the opportunity of personal development and solid career preparation in a wholesome environment, grounded in the time-tested Benedictine educational and religious tradition.

    Saint Vincent College, along with the rest of the Saint Vincent Community--Archabbey, Seminary and Parish--observed the 150th anniversary of its founding in 1996 with activities and events which recognized the rich history and heritage of Saint Vincent, while focusing attention on planning and preparing for the future.