Immaculata University

Coordinates: 40°01′44″N 75°34′18″W / 40.02899°N 75.57169°W / 40.02899; -75.57169
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40°01′44″N 75°34′18″W / 40.02899°N 75.57169°W / 40.02899; -75.57169

Immaculata University
Immaculata University logo.png
Former names
Villa Maria College (1920–1929)
Immaculata College (1929–2002)
MottoScientia Floret Virtute
Motto in English
Knowledge Flourishes in Virtue
TypePrivate university
Established1920; 103 years ago (1920)
Religious affiliation
Roman Catholic
(Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary)
Academic affiliations
Conference for Mercy Higher Education
PresidentBarbara Lettiere
Academic staff
80 (FT)[2]
CampusSmall town, c. 300 acres (120 ha)[2]
ColorsBlue, white
NicknameThe Mighty Macs
Sporting affiliations
NCAA Division IIIAtlantic East
MascotMac the Scottish Terrier

Immaculata University is a private Roman Catholic university in East Whiteland Township, Pennsylvania.[3][4] It was founded by the Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary.

The university is composed of 1,427 traditional undergraduate and adult undergraduate students, and more than 1,000 graduate and doctoral students. The university is located on more than 300 acres (120 ha).[5]


Main building

Immaculata was founded as Villa Maria College, a women's college in 1920. It was the first Catholic college for women in the Philadelphia area. The name was changed to Immaculata College in 1929.[6]

Founded by the Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, Immaculata is part of the greater IHM community, which includes the neighboring House of Studies and an academy for girls (now split into two campuses, Lower School and High School). The university became co-educational in the fall of 2005.

The current location of Immaculata University is a tract of land in Chester County, Pennsylvania, near the "Main Line" in Malvern, purchased by the sisters in 1906. The original 198-acre (0.80 km2) plot has grown to 373 acres (1.51 km2) since that time.

In June 2002, Immaculata College received confirmation of university status from the Pennsylvania Department of Education. Effective August 2002, the college is now known as Immaculata University.

Barbara Lettiere assumed the office as the tenth president of Immaculata University on July 1, 2017, and is the first lay president of Immaculata.[7]

Student life[edit]

The Immaculata Leadership Institute is a program which develops religious leadership.[8]

Students can join over 35 clubs and organizations, including:

  • Campus Ministry – students engage in volunteer and fundraising work to help those less fortunate.[8]
  • English/Communications Club
  • IU Gamers' Guild
  • Garden Club
  • Cue and Curtain Theater
  • African-American Cultural Society
  • Latin Flavor
  • Fashion Group
  • Catholic Relief Services Student Ambassadors


The Immaculatan is the student newspaper published with funds from the College of Undergraduate Studies.[8]

The Immaculata Magazine is published twice a year by the staff of University Communications.


Varsity Teams:

Men's Teams
  • Baseball
  • Basketball
  • Cross Country
  • Esports (coed)
  • Lacrosse
  • Soccer
  • Swimming
  • Tennis
  • Track & Field (Indoor and Outdoor)
  • Volleyball
Women's Teams
  • Basketball
  • Cross Country
  • Esports (coed)
  • Field Hockey
  • Lacrosse
  • Soccer
  • Softball
  • Swimming
  • Tennis
  • Track & Field (Indoor and Outdoor)
  • Volleyball

Conference: Colonial States Athletic Conference (CSAC) through 2017–18; Atlantic East Conference thereafter[9]
Affiliation: NCAA Division III
Nickname: Mighty Macs
Colors: Blue and White[10]

Home Fields

Draper Walsh Stadium (Sprint turf surface) for field hockey, lacrosse, and soccer – 1,000 capacity
IU Softball Field (grass)
IU Baseball Stadium (grass) – 600 capacity

There is a Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) which encourages athletics.[citation needed]

Women's basketball[edit]

The women's basketball team played in six straight AIAW basketball tournament final fours from 1972 to 1977, five straight finals from 1972 to 1976. They won three consecutive national championships from 1972 to 1974.[11] The team was featured for its 1970s accomplishments on a SportsCenter special on March 23, 2008.[12]

On January 26, 1975, Immaculata played in the first nationally televised women's intercollegiate basketball game. Facing Maryland at Cole Field House, Immaculata won 80–48 in a game noted more for its turnovers (70) than scoring (56 field goals, 16 free throws).[13][14]

On February 22, 1975, they played in the first women's college basketball game ever played in Madison Square Garden.[15][16] Immaculata won 65–61. On January 4, 2015, Immaculata and Queens College played in the Maggie Dixon Classic as a commemoration of the 40th anniversary of the first game played between women's college basketball teams in Madison Square Garden.[17]

The story of the basketball team was adapted into a movie, The Mighty Macs, which was released in 2011.[18] Directed by Tim Chambers, the film chronicles the first Mighty Macs championship in 1972.

The head coach of the women's team from 1972 to 1977, Cathy Rush, was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2008, and the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame in 2010.[19] The 1972–1974 teams were announced on April 7, 2014, as part of the 2014 induction class of the Naismith Hall, and were formally inducted as a team on August 8.[20] Players Theresa Grentz and Marianne Stanley were inducted into the Naismith Hall in 2022 for their subsequent accomplishments as college coaches.[21]


The following buildings are located on campus:[22][23]

Alumnae Hall was named in honor of Immaculata University alumnae. This building contains a gymnasium, fitness center, and a theater.[24]

The Mary A. Bruder Center focuses on Campus Health Services (nurses) and Counseling Services.

The DeChantal and Marian halls are a residential complex containing 154 residential rooms with kitchenettes on most floors, student and study lounges, and laundry facilities, as well as a chapel.

The Faculty Center contains faculty and administrative offices of the College of Undergraduate Studies.

The three-storied Gabriele Library contains computers and study rooms and houses the writing center and archives along with a coffee shop on the first level, which is called the ImmacuLatte.[25]

Gillet Hall contains the faculty residences, mainly occupied by the IHM Sisters. The building is named after Father Louis Gillet.

Good Counsel Hall was the university's first main classroom building. It contains a bookstore, humanities department, and music listening rooms.

The Lillian P. Lettiere Center houses financial aid and admissions and also the Esports arena.

Lourdes Hall, attached to Villa Maria Hall, serves as a residential hall with 60 residential rooms and also contains Great Hall for large events and functions.

Loyola Hall is the university's second main classroom building and contains administrative offices—College of Graduate Studies, nursing and allied health sciences, amphitheaters, art, education, mathematics, psychology, science departments, computer centers, curriculum library, laboratories, and math center.

Nazareth Hall includes the main cafeteria and the campus chapel. Classrooms are also located in this building for fashion and nutrition majors. In the year 2000, air conditioning, heating, and sprinkler systems were installed.

Villa Maria Hall, with its Italian Renaissance architecture, is a beautiful building capped by a dome.[26] Villa Maria is the principal building of the Immaculata University campus. Ballinger & Perrot designed this building, along with Nazareth Hall. With the vision of the IHM Sisters, Villa Maria Hall was placed between Harrisburg and Philadelphia in order to have a convenient location to build a college for women. It was opened in 1914. In the year 2000, Villa Maria had renovations done. Air conditioning, heating, and sprinkler systems were added to the building. Immaculata events such as Carol Night, Ring Ceremony, Pinning Ceremony, Homecoming, and others are held in this building. The third floor contains a residence hall, while offices are located on the first and second floors. Immaculata University had a post office with a ZIP code of 19345, which is now closed.

In 2022, a new building, the Parsons Science Pavilion, will house the sciences. It will be composed of modern laboratory spaces for chemistry and biology, complete with cutting-edge scientific and simulation equipment.

Panoramic view of Nazareth Hall (left), Villa Maria Hall (center), and Lourdes Hall (right) at Immaculata University



  1. ^ "ACCU members" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on March 27, 2014.
  2. ^ a b c d "Fast Facts & Rankings". Retrieved 29 August 2018.
  3. ^ "Zoning Map". East Whiteland Township, Pennsylvania. Retrieved 2021-03-31. - Compare to the address of the university.
  4. ^ Home page Immaculata University Retrieved on June 16, 2009. "1145 W KING ROAD IMMACULATA, PA. 19345"
  5. ^ History Retrieved on August 14, 2018.
  6. ^ "History". Immaculata University.
  7. ^ Leadership & Administration Retrieved on August 14, 2018.
  8. ^ a b c "Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary (IHM) – Radiating joyful service and promoting Gospel values".
  9. ^ "Atlantic East has name, formal announcement". March 1, 2018. Retrieved March 6, 2018.
  10. ^ "Immaculata University Athletics - Official Athletics Website". Immaculata University Athletics.
  11. ^ "Duke News". Archived from the original on 2006-12-07. Retrieved 2006-12-11.
  12. ^ "Where did it all begin? Just ask Immaculata's Mighty Macs". ESPN. April 1, 2008.
  13. ^ Baker, Kent. "Immaculata trounces UM, 80-48, as defense forces Terp errors". The Sun. Retrieved 10 Apr 2014.
  14. ^ GONZALES, PATRICK (January 29, 2005). "Lights, Camera, Action". Lubbock Avalanche-Journal. Retrieved 4 Dec 2012.
  15. ^ "NY sports history: Feb. 22, 1975". Long Island Newsday. February 21, 2011. Retrieved 8 Dec 2012.
  16. ^ Jenkins, Sally. "History of Women's Basketball". WNBA. Archived from the original on January 6, 2013. Retrieved 8 Dec 2012.
  17. ^ Feinberg, Doug (Sep 19, 2014). "MSG to honor first women's basketball game at arena". Norwich Bulletin. Retrieved 19 Sep 2014.
  18. ^ "".
  19. ^ "The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame - Hall of Famers". Archived from the original on 2009-08-31. Retrieved 2009-08-01.
  20. ^ "Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame Announces Class of 2014" (Press release). Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. April 7, 2014. Archived from the original on April 8, 2014. Retrieved April 7, 2014.
  21. ^ Jensen, Mike (2022-09-09). "Theresa Grentz and Marianne Stanley: From Delco to Immaculata to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame". Philadelphia Inquirer. Retrieved 2022-10-04.
  22. ^ "Campus Map". Immaculata University. Retrieved 14 August 2018.
  23. ^ "Historic Campus Architecture Project". Council of Independent Colleges. Retrieved 1 May 2011.
  24. ^ "The Council of Independent Colleges: Historic Campus Architecture Project".
  25. ^ "The Council of Independent Colleges: Historic Campus Architecture Project".
  26. ^ "The Council of Independent Colleges: Historic Campus Architecture Project".
  27. ^ Stevens, Laura (2014-11-24). "New Postmaster's Goal: Act Like the Private Sector". Wall Street Journal. ISSN 0099-9660. Retrieved 2022-08-28.
  28. ^ Hawkes, Nena; Seggar, John F.A. (2000). Celebrating Women Coaches: A Biographical Dictionary. Greenwood Publishing Group. pp. 69–73. ISBN 9780313309120.
  29. ^ Lubenau, Joel O. "In Memoriam: E. Gail de Planque, 1944-2010". Health Physics Society. Retrieved 2022-08-28.
  30. ^ Smith, Harrison (2018-07-23). "Rene Portland, Penn State basketball coach accused of anti-gay discrimination, dies at 65". Washington Post. Retrieved 2022-08-27.
  31. ^ "Eileen M. Rehrmann, County Executive, Harford County, Maryland". Maryland Manual Online. Retrieved 2022-08-28.

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