History of Stevenson University

University Timeline

1947

Villa Julie College is founded by the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur at "Seven Oaks," an 80-acre estate in Greenspring Valley, formerly the home of the George Carrell Jenkins family. The college opens its doors on Oct. 1, specializing in medical-secretarial training.

1954

Official approval as a two-year college is granted by the Maryland State Department of Education. In that same year, a new classroom facility, Founder's Hall, is opened.

1965

The college receives Maryland state approval for a child development program and for transfer programs in the arts and sciences as well as teacher education. Shortly thereafter, the college is granted an "A" rating for transferability of credits by the American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers.

1967

Villa Julie becomes an independent institution that is no longer affiliated with the Catholic Church. Control is vested in a newly formed Board of Trustees comprised of business, civic, and professional leaders.

1971

In response to increasing enrollment, the college builds a multi-million dollar complex consisting of an art wing, learning resource center, and student center. Evening and summer sessions are inaugurated this same year.

1972

Villa Julie becomes co-educational, admitting its first full-time male student.

1984

Villa Julie became a four-year college offering the bachelor’s degree in computer information systems.

1985-1986

While the college continued to offer two-year programs, the student body and faculty continued to grow. Academic offerings were augmented to include new majors and programs that provided a wider choice of professional career possibilities and supported the changing requirements of the business and professional communities in the region. The concept of career education combined with the liberal arts became a hallmark of the College’s philosophy, Pro Discendo, Pro Vivendo: For Learning, For Living.

1988

The Middle States Association again reaffirmed the college’s accreditation, this time as a four-year college offering bachelor’s and associate’s degrees. New baccalaureate programs included liberal arts and technology, administrative science, computer accounting, computer information systems, and business information systems. For the convenience of the growing number of adults interested in completing their degrees, the college also added Saturday classes. 

1991

A cooperative education program was initiated for junior and senior students, making it possible for them to experience firsthand a working environment directly related to their fields of study. 

1993

Off-campus housing for students in garden-type apartments was opened a short distance from the college. The cooperative education program was also expanded and opened to all students in the baccalaureate programs. 1994 The college was awarded membership in NCAA Division III. 1995 The college began the first phase of the construction of an Academic Center, Inscape Theatre, Student Union and gymnasium, and Science Center. 

1994

The college was awarded membership in NCAA Division III.

1995

The college began the first phase of the construction of an Academic Center, Inscape Theatre, Student Union and gymnasium, and Science Center.

1996

The Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE) granted approval for programs for the preparation of elementary and early childhood teachers. This was the first Maryland education program that fulfilled the new state MSDE requirements for teacher education. The college also received the endorsement of the Maryland Higher Education Commission (MHEC) for a Master of Science in Advanced Information Technology. 

1997

The college celebrated its 50th anniversary. The Academic Center, Inscape Theatre, and Art Gallery opened in August, and in November, the Student Union and gymnasium opened. MHEC endorsed five new bachelor’s degree programs in biology, chemistry, English language and literature, interdisciplinary studies, and psychology. 

1998

A new bachelor’s degree program in visual communication design was approved by MHEC.

1999

President Carolyn Manuszak and Dean Rose Dawson retired with a combined 65 years of service to Villa Julie College. MHEC approved two new bachelor’s degree programs in early childhood leadership and biotechnology. 

2000

The new decade brought the inauguration of Villa Julie's fifth President, Kevin J. Manning, Ph.D. 

2001

New master’s programs in business technology management and e-commerce were approved by MHEC. 

2002

The School of Graduate and Professional Studies was created to accommodate the needs of adult learners. Through this school, adult students could enroll in master’s degree programs, evening/weekend bachelor’s degree programs, or accelerated bachelor’s degree programs. Additionally, the college began offering an accelerated B.S. to M.S. degree in advanced information technology, enabling students to earn both a bachelor’s and a master’s degree in five years.

2003

The college broke ground on its first campus-owned student housing complex in nearby Owings Mills

2004

Apartment-style housing for 550 students and a community center opened in Owings Mills. The college also leased classroom space on the same piece of land, allowing students to live and attend classes at the same location for the first time in Villa Julie history. Those moves, along with the purchase of the former Baltimore Ravens training facility and the office building where the college leased classroom and office space, gave Villa Julie more than 80 acres of land at the Owings Mills campus. In December, Maryland Sen. Barbara Mikulski visited the college to announce nearly $250,000 in federal funds to support distance-learning efforts utilizing the Verizon Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning. Also in 2004, the Board of Trustees began discussing the possibility of transitioning to university status because of the growth in student population and the addition of a second campus.

2005

A bachelor’s degree in medical technology was added to replace the two-year medical laboratory technology program. 

2006

The Rockland Center opened in October to provide a student dining center, offices for Student Affairs, and a banquet hall for functions organized by on- and off-campus groups. Additionally, the college received just over $1,000,000 to expand the nursing program. The Caves Sports and Wellness Center, the new name for the renovated facility formerly used by the Baltimore Ravens, was opened. In August, the college began offering an online Master of Science in Forensic Studies degree. 

The Board approved university status in November 2006 and later established a committee to oversee a study of name options for the institution. 

2007

In May, the college broke ground on the next new building for Owings Mills, a 60,000-square-foot academic building to house the newly formed Brown School of Business and Leadership, other programs and a state-of-the-art mock trial courtroom. The school opened in April 2009.

2008

Villa Julie celebrated its growth throughout the 2007-08 academic year as part of its 60th anniversary celebration, inaugurating a new tradition on October 1, 2007, by celebrating Founders Day to commemorate the day the college first opened. The college received reaccreditation from Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools, and Villa Julie took a leadership role in educating Maryland's future teachers by creating the state's first teacher preparation program for middle school educators. 

On June 11, 2008, the Board voted unanimously to change the name of the institution, and the name Stevenson University was unveiled the next morning. The Board also voted to keep the Villa Julie name alive by creating the Villa Julie College of Arts and Sciences as part of Stevenson University. 

2009

Additional expansion of the Owings Mills campus included Wooded Way, which housed specialized student learning communities as well as the Office of Career Services. In March 2009, the University Restructuring Plan was adopted by the Faculty Council. The plan created four new schools within the Villa Julie College of Arts and Sciences: the School of Humanities and Social Sciences; the School of Design; the School of Education; and the School of the Sciences. The Brown School of Business and Leadership and the School of Graduate and Professional Studies remained as originally configured. In August, a new bachelor’s degree in criminal justice was offered online for both traditional students and students in the School of Graduate and Professional Studies. 

2010

A new entrance to the Owings Mills campus was opened. Stevenson was named to the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll, the highest federal recognition a college or university can receive for its commitment to volunteering, service learning, and civic engagement.

2011

In April, the university hired its first band director to lead the newly created marching band. During the summer, the Owings Mills campus store opened across from the new gymnasium. Two new residence halls welcomed an additional 500 students on the Owings Mills campus, and the new 3,500-seat Mustang Stadium was opened in early September. 

In November 2011, the university purchased the Owings Mills site of Shire Pharmaceuticals. The 28-acre site—which today includes the School of Design and the Manning Academic Center—comprises the university’s Owings Mills North location. 

2012

The School of Graduate and Professional Studies received approval from MHEC to add two new master's programs: cyber forensics and healthcare management. The University Archives established the Maryland Bible Society Collection at Stevenson to house the society’s historic 400-year-old first edition of the King James Bible. In December 2012, the Greenspring Valley Orchestra, conducted by Stevenson music professor Robert Suggs, celebrated its 10th Anniversary Concert. 

2013

The School of the Sciences hosted the inaugural Dell Lecture in honor of Stevenson trustee Samuel M. Dell III and his wife Geraldine and awarded the first Dell Scholarship for outstanding Stevenson seniors studying biology, chemistry, and mathematics. The university also added bachelor’s programs in biochemistry and environmental science and a Master of Arts in teaching in biology, chemistry, and mathematics, a STEM-focused degree with secondary education certification. 

The men’s lacrosse team won the NCAA 2013 Division III National Championship game, beating the Rochester Institute of Technology’s Tigers at Philadelphia’s Lincoln Financial Field on May 26. 

2014

Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak came to campus to address a crowd of middle school, high school, and Stevenson students. In April, Stevenson unveiled the iconic 12-foot-tall, bronze mustang statue, "Victory," outside of Mustang Stadium. The university opened an Athletics Hall of Fame, located in the Owings Mills Gymnasium, which was later named in honor of Dick Watts, the University’s former Director of Physical Education. 

2015

The new School of Nursing and Health Professions was created, comprised of the Department of Nursing and the Medical Laboratory Science Program, bringing Stevenson's number of schools to seven. 

2016

President Manning announced his plan to retire after 16 years of leadership, and the Board of Trustees began a nationwide search for his successor. In August, the university dedicated the new 200,000-square-foot academic building at Owings Mills North as the Kevin J. Manning Academic Center (MAC). Stevenson also received naming gifts for two of schools housed in the MAC: the Sandra R. Berman School of Nursing and Health Professions and the Beverly K. Fine School of the Sciences. 

2017

Stevenson opened the Center for Student Success on the Owings Mills Campus to provide student resources and academic support services, including the Office of Student Success, the John L. Stasiak Academic Link, and the Experiential Learning Center. In March 2017, the Board concluded its presidential search and unanimously named Elliot Hirshman, Ph.D., President of San Diego State University (SDSU), as the new President of Stevenson as of July 2017. The School of Graduate and Professional Studies' name was changed to Stevenson University Online. In July, the university formally announced its acquisition of the former Rosewood Center property. The sale was approved by Maryland’s Board of Public Works in June. The 117-acre Rosewood site is adjacent to the Owings Mills and Owings Mills North locations.

2018

In January, the Garrison Hall Student Activities Commons opened. The commons includes rooms for student clubs and activities, clubs sports offices, three meeting rooms, a fitness center, and a console video gaming room. The center also serves as the home for Stevenson’s eSports team with a dedicated eSports room. Work was completed on the Quad, a green space connecting the School of Business and Leadership, Garrison Hall, and Rockland Center. In the fall, the Reading Room was opened in Garrison Hall, giving students a quiet area for studying. The university’s first Professional Minors were being offered in management and organization leadership, entrepreneurship and small business development, human resources, real estate, and software design and coding. These minor options give students additional career options and a competitive edge in the job market.

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