Concept

St. Catherine University

Summary
St. Catherine University (St. Kate's) is a private Catholic university in Saint Paul, Minnesota. It was established as one of the first institutions of higher learning specifically for women in the Midwest and was known as the College of St. Catherine until 2009. St. Kate's offers baccalaureate programs for women as well as graduate and associate programs for women and men. The university averages an enrollment of about 5,000 students annually. It focuses on recruiting and enrolling minority students and non-traditional aged students. St. Catherine's Weekend College—now College for Adults—was the second such program in the nation and the first in the Upper Midwest. St. Kate's was also the first private college in the nation to launch an effort to attract, welcome, and retain Hmong students, making it home to one of the largest populations of Hmong scholars in the nation. St. Catherine University was founded as the College of St. Catherine in 1905 by the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet under the leadership of Mother Seraphine Ireland. The university is named after St. Catherine of Alexandria, the fourth-century Egyptian lay philosopher who suffered martyrdom for her faith. A site for St. Kate's was chosen atop the city's second-highest hill in St. Paul in the area now known as Highland Park. Hugh Derham of Rosemount contributed $20,000 for the first building. Derham Hall opened in January 1905, offering classes to high school boarding students and lower-division college students. The high school eventually moved to its own campus and merged with the Lasallian-run Cretin High School to form Cretin-Derham Hall High School in 1987. Upper-division courses were first offered in the academic year of 1911–12. In spring 1913, Bachelor of Arts degrees were conferred on the first two students to complete four years at the new institution. In 1917, St. Kate's earned full accreditation from the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools. During World War II, St.
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