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Salve Regina University

Salve Regina University (Salve) is a private university in Newport, Rhode Island founded by the Sisters of Mercy in 1934. Salve is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges and enrolls more than 2,600 undergraduate and graduate students from across the U.S. and around the world.

Salve Regina University
Entrance to Ochre Court, Salve Regina's first building
Former names
Salve Regina College (1934–91)
MottoMaria Spes Nostra
Motto in English
Mary, Our Hope
TypePrivate (Non-Profit)
Religious affiliation
Roman Catholic (Sisters of Mercy)
EndowmentUS$62.7 million (2018)
ChancellorDr. M. Therese Antone
PresidentDr. Kelli Armstrong
ProvostDr. Nancy G. Schreiber
Location, ,
United States

41°28′26″N 71°17′57″W / 41.47389°N 71.29917°W / 41.47389; -71.29917Coordinates: 41°28′26″N 71°17′57″W / 41.47389°N 71.29917°W / 41.47389; -71.29917
ColorsRoyal blue, white
AthleticsNCAA Division III
CCC, CCC Football,
AffiliationsConference for Mercy Higher Education
Sports19 varsity teams

Salve's 80-acre historical campus, bordering Newport Cliff Walk in the state of Rhode Island, is set on seven contiguous Gilded Age estates with 21 structures of historic significance.[1] In 2002, Salve Regina became the first New England institution to receive a Getty Grant Program award to develop a campus heritage preservation plan.[2]

Salve is a member of the NCAA Division III and in 2018 more than 460 of its students participate in intercollegiate athletics, representing a participation rate of approximately 17% of the total student body.[3]

An extensive number of notable senior U.S. and foreign military leaders are alumni of Salve, primarily due its close proximity to the U.S. Naval War College and special matriculation agreements that exist between the two institutions.


On March 6, 1934, the state of Rhode Island granted a charter to the Sisters of Mercy of Providence for a corporation to be named Salve Regina College (translated in Latin to mean "Hail Queen" or "Hello Queen"). The charter specified that the college would exist "to promote virtue, and piety and learning". In 1947 the corporation received the gift of Ochre Court, a 50-room Newport mansion, and admitted its first class of 58 students in the autumn of that year.[4] The college's first president was Mother Mary Matthew Doyle (1870–1960), who was also the first Mother Provincial of the Sisters of Mercy of Providence.[5]

During the 1950s Salve Regina added two more buildings to its campus. Moore Hall, originally built in 1890, was donated to the college in 1955 by Cornelius Moore, a former Newport mayor and chairman of Salve Regina's original Board of Trustees. McCauley Hall, originally the Vinland Estate, was donated to the college in 1955 by the daughter of Florence Adele Vanderbilt Twombly.

Originally a women's college, Salve Regina became coeducational in 1973, added graduate programs in 1975 and achieved university status in 1991. The changes came about during the tenure of its longest-serving president, Sister Lucille McKillop, who headed the institution from 1973 until 1994. During that time Salve Regina went from 1000 students studying nine majors to over 2300 students studying 25 majors.[6] The Ph.D. program was accredited in 1995 and the Pell Center for International Relations and Public Policy was established in 1996.[4][7]

By 2000, Salve Regina's campus had expanded to 60 acres and included 18 buildings of historical significance. The university received an Historic Preservation Award from the Rhode Island Historical Preservation and Heritage Commission in 2000 for its work in the preservation and "sensitive adaptation" of the buildings and the 1999 National Preservation Award from the National Trust for Historic Preservation.[8][9][10]

In December 2015 the University applied for, and was subsequently awarded, a Tree Campus USA designation, a program of the Arbor Day Foundation. A Tree Campus USA designation recognizes and encourages the best practices of planting and caring for campus trees and the engagement of students in environmental stewardship. The University was also accredited by the Morton Arboretum as a Level II arboretum for its historic trees and landscapes in 2016.[11]


Salve Regina University is ranked annually by several national and international publications. For 2020, Salve was ranked 23rd in the Regional Universities (North) category by U.S. News and World Report magazine. In 2018, Salve Regina University was ranked as being one of the Top 50 Most Beautiful Colleges in America by Architectural Digest magazine.[12] Salve was ranked in 2018, by the career portal Zippia, as one of the Top 10 colleges in the U.S. for career placement.[13] For the 2018-19 year, Money magazine ranked Salve as one of the Most Transformative Colleges in the U.S.[14]


Salve Regina University offers associate, bachelor's, master's and doctoral degrees in a wide variety of majors. The university has two PhD programs focusing on international relations and the humanities; the university also offers the Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP). Salve Regina is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges[15] with additional accreditation from other bodies for its professional programs such as business studies, visual arts, counseling, education, nursing, and social work.

According to the university, in the three years prior to 2016, it received an average of 5,000 yearly applications, of which 3,000 students were admitted from 35 US states and 20 other countries. Admission to the nursing program is more selective, with 40 percent of nursing applications typically accepted.[16][17] There are also a number of study abroad programs.[18]

Financial aid is offered through a variety of grants, scholarships, loans and part-time work-study employment. Some of the programs are funded by outside bodies and others funded by the university itself. The university also participates in the Post-9/11 GI Bill Yellow Ribbon Program to provide educational funding for veterans and their families.[19]

Salve Regina University offers a number of public lectures, presentations and conferences throughout the academic year, including the annual John Edward McGinty Lecture in History, the Atwood Lecture Series, the Cultural and Historic Preservation Conference and the Blue Innovation Symposium.


Antone Academic Center

Antone Academic CenterEdit

Named for Sister Therese Antone, president of Salve Regina from 1994-2009, the Antone Academic Center for Culture and the Arts houses facilities for several academic departments and programs, including art, cultural and historic preservation and music, theatre and dance. It was completed in 2008 and involved combining and restoring the carriage house and stable complexes of two historic buildings—Wetmore Hall, belonging to Chateau-sur-Mer, and Mercy Hall belonging to Ochre Court.[20]

McAuley Hall

McAuley HallEdit

McAuley Hall, named after Catherine McAuley, founder of the Sisters of Mercy, was originally the main building of the Vinland Estate built in 1882 for the tobacco heiress Catharine Lorillard Wolfe. It was acquired by the university in 1955 and initially served as a residence hall and library. It now houses classrooms and academic department offices.[21]

McKillop Library

McKillop LibraryEdit

Named for Sister Lucille McKillop, president of Salve Regina from 1973 to 1994, the McKillop Library is the university's main library. It was built in 1991 and holds approximately 150,000 volumes.[22]

Miley Hall

Miley HallEdit

Named for Sister M. Hilda Miley, Salve Regina's second president, Miley Hall was built in 1964 on the former site of Mary Frick Garrett Jacobs' Whiteholme estate. It serves as a residence hall for first-year students and also houses the cafeteria, bookstore, and offices for student services.[23]

Ochre Court

Ochre CourtEdit

Ochre Court, built between 1890-1895, and once the summer residence of Ogden Goelet, is now the university's central administration building. Concerts, lectures, and special functions are periodically held in the ballrooms located on the ground floor. The Goelet family gave Ochre Court to the Sisters of Mercy in 1947 enabling the establishment of the college. In the early years of the college, the 50-room mansion was its sole building and housed the dormitories for the original 58 students, classrooms, a library, and the dining hall. At the time, the faculty consisted of eight Sisters of Mercy who lived in the mansion's former servant quarters.[24]

O'Hare Academic Center

O'Hare Academic CenterEdit

Named for Sister Mary James O'Hare, the university's first academic dean, the O'Hare Academic Center houses classrooms, laboratories, faculty offices, the Bazarsky Lecture Hall and the Jazzman's Cafe. It was built in 1968, and in 2015 underwent a major renovation and expansion project scheduled to conclude in June 2017.[25][26]

Our Lady of Mercy Chapel

Our Lady of Mercy ChapelEdit

The chapel and interfaith prayer room are situated on the main floor of the building which was completed in September 2010. It was built, in part, to house three large figurative stained glass windows and ten smaller ones by John La Farge. They were originally created in 1890–1891 for the private chapel of the Caldwell sisters in Newport. When the Caldwell house was demolished in 1931, the windows went to the Sisters of Mercy convent chapel in Fall River Massachusetts and were subsequently acquired by Salve Regina when the convent was torn down 2004. Wood salvaged from the Fall River convent has been incorporated into the chapel's altar base and celebrant's chair. The steeple contains three bells made by the Meneely Bell Foundry in 1910 and formerly hanging in a church in Lawrence, Massachusetts. The Mercy Center for Spiritual Life is located on the lower level of the building and provides space for student activities and offices for campus ministers.[27][28]

Rodgers Recreation Center

Rodgers Recreation CenterEdit

Named for Thomas Rodgers Jr., a trustee and benefactor of the university, the center was completed in 2000. It houses the university's athletic and recreational facilities.[29][30]

Wakehurst Student Center


Wakehurst, a mansion built in 1887 for James J. Van Alen, was acquired by the university from the Van Alen family in 1972. A replica of Wakehurst Place in England, Wakehurst houses classrooms and faculty offices and serves as a hub for student recreational activities and campus events.[29][31]

Young Building

Young BuildingEdit

Named for the university benefactors Anita O'Keeffe and Robert R. Young, the Young Building is the home of the Pell Center for International Relations and Public Policy and also serves as a residence for sophomore students in the Pell Honors Program. It was originally Fairlawn, a mansion built in the 1850s for the Boston lawyer Andrew Ritchie and later owned by Levi P. Morton. It was acquired by the university in 1997.[10][32]


Salve Regina competes on the NCAA Division III level. The university is a member of the Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC) and the CCC's quasi-independent football arm, Commonwealth Coast Football. The university offers 10 varsity sports for women (soccer, field hockey, tennis, cross country, basketball, ice hockey, volleyball, softball, track and field, and lacrosse), eight for men (football, cross country, soccer, basketball, ice hockey, tennis, baseball, and lacrosse), and one co-ed sport (sailing). The university also has a club sports program. The men's rugby club competes in the Colonial Coast Rugby Conference (CCRC).[33]

Notable alumniEdit




Politics and LawEdit

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Salve Regina University. Campus Buildings
  2. ^ J. Paul Getty Trust (July 20, 2004). "Campus Heritage Grant Recipients"
  3. ^ "Salve Regina University". Retrieved 2018-12-21.
  4. ^ a b Salve Regina University. Salve Regina History and Tradition
  5. ^ Social Networks and Archival Context. "Doyle, Mary Matthew, Mother, R.S.M.". University of Virginia Institute for Advanced Technology in the Humanities.
  6. ^ The Day (2 March 2008). "Salve Regina President who first admitted men dead at 83".
  7. ^ Salve Regina University. Salve Regina Facts
  8. ^ Salve Regina College (1957). "In the course of a Decade". Stella Maris, pp.4–5.
  9. ^ Rhode Island Historical Preservation and Heritage Commission (2000). Awards.
  10. ^ a b Kennedy, Patrick J. (26 October 1999). "Tribute to Salve Regina University". Congressional Record, Vol. 145, Part 19, p. 26916. US Government Printing Office. ISBN 0160731577
  11. ^
  12. ^ Nast, Condé. "The 50 Most Beautiful Colleges in America". Architectural Digest. Retrieved 2019-06-14.
  13. ^ "The Best College In Each State For Getting A Job 2018". Zippia. 2018-06-05. Retrieved 2019-06-14.
  14. ^ "MONEY's 2018-19 Most Transformative Colleges". Retrieved 2019-06-14.
  15. ^ New England Association of Schools and Colleges. Salve Regina University
  16. ^ Salve Regina University. Admissions FAQs
  17. ^ Salve Regina University. About
  18. ^ Salve Regina University. Salve Regina Study Abroad
  19. ^ Salve Regina University. Salve Financial Aid
  20. ^ Salve Regina. Antone Academic Center
  21. ^ Salve Regina University. McAuley Hall
  22. ^ Salve Regina University. McKillop Library
  23. ^ Salve Regina University. Miley Hall
  24. ^ Salve Regina University. Ochre Court
  25. ^ Bridges, Barry (27 November 2014). "Salve Addition Receives Final Approval ".
  26. ^ Salve Regina University. O'Hare Academic Center. Newport This Week
  27. ^ Naylor, Donita (16 August 2014). "A View from Newport: Salve Regina chapel has a good deal of history inside". Providence Journal.
  28. ^ Salve Regina University. Our Lady of Mercy Chapel.
  29. ^ a b Yarnall, James L. (2005). Newport Through Its Architecture: A History of Styles from Postmedieval to Postmodern, pp. 123–125; 193. UPNE. ISBN 1584654910
  30. ^ Salve Regina University. Rodgers Recreation Center
  31. ^ Salve Regina University. Wakehurst
  32. ^ Historic Campus Architecture Project. Anita O'Keefe and Robert R. Young Building. Council of Independent Colleges
  33. ^ Salve Regina University. Salve Athletics

Further readingEdit

  • McKillop, Lucille (Summer 1986). "Salve Regina—The Newport College". New Directions for Higher Education, Vol. 1986, Issue 54, pp 77–85 (subscription required)
  • Our Lady of Mercy Chapel, catalogue for the exhibition John La Farge and the Recovery of the Sacred, McMullen Museum of Art, September 1-December 13, 2015. (Illustrated article on the three large stained glass windows by La Farge in Salve Regina's chapel)

External linksEdit