The land now occupied by the campus of St. 玛丽学院 has played an important role in the evolution of the community and in the history of Maryland. The campus, lying on a broad bend of the St. Mary’s River, was the home of the Yaocomaco people during the 1600s. English colonists arrived aboard the Ark and Dove in 1634, determined to establish a settlement under a charter from King Charles I, authorizing them to take dominion of the lands surrounding the Chesapeake Bay. 由莱纳德·卡尔弗特领导, 巴尔的摩勋爵的次子, they came ashore within sight of where the College stands today, signed a treaty of peaceful coexistence with the Yaocomaco, 并将他们的小镇命名为St. 玛丽的城市. Though the settlement had ceased to flourish by the end of the 17th century, it was the capital of Maryland for 61 years (until 1695) and saw the beginnings of civil rights and representative government on this continent.
从一开始，圣. 玛丽学院 of Maryland embraced the ideal of making an excellent education affordable. In 1846, the first board of trustees designed tuition and living costs to be substantially lower than those at similar schools. 1868年之后, when the General Assembly began giving the school annual appropriations, the seminary frequently educated up to half of its students—representing every county of the state and each legislative district of Baltimore City—free of charge. Although it struggled for survival in its first two decades, the seminary enjoyed a successful half-century following the Civil War, 受益于国家资助, 受欢迎的批准, 有责任心的受托人, many of whom served for as long as 30 years. 在20世纪, the school expanded its campus and enriched the quality of instruction to serve the growing numbers of young women, 最后是男人, 谁想要良好的教育. 增加了St的稳定性. Mary’s was the fact that it has had only 11 principals/presidents between 1900 and 2013.
Twice in the 20th century—in 1924 and in 1947—crises threatened to destroy the school. 每一次, the people of the county and the state rallied to save their “monument school” and to improve it. 1924年1月, 在寒冷的暴风雪中, fire gutted the majestic 80-year-old Main Building, despite the valiant efforts of local residents. 受托人, 政府官员, and hundreds of alumnae and friends quickly rebuilt the school as students lived in temporary quarters. In 1927, their efforts were rewarded when St. Mary’s became Maryland’s first junior college, affording students the unique opportunity to complete four years of high school and two years of college at the same institution.
In 1947, the Maryland Commission on Higher Education slated St. Mary’s Female Seminary-Junior College for dissolution although it was fully accredited and had begun admitting male students. Before the governor could act, 公众的强烈抗议, 在不知疲倦的校友们的推动下, not only saved the school from extinction, but created the momentum for removing the word “Female” and renaming it St. Mary’s Seminary Junior College (1949), and its eventual evolution into a four-year baccalaureate college (1967). In 1992, the Maryland legislature designated it the state’s public honors college.
Under the leadership of seven presidents—M. 阿黛尔·弗朗斯(1923-1948. 梅·罗素(1948-1969. 小伦威克·杰克逊. (1969-1982). Lewis (1983-1996), Jane Margaret O’Brien (1996-2009), Joseph R. Urgo (2010-2013), and Tuajuanda C. 乔丹(2014 -)-圣. 玛丽学院 of Maryland has developed into the national public honors college. 在过去十年中, the College has received national acclaim for the quality of its programs, the excellence of its faculty and students, and the magnificence of its waterfront campus.